Parks could be closed, Lightfoot threatens again

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CHICAGO – Mayor Lori Lightfoot has again threatened to close city parks if people do not practice social distancing during the pandemic.

Lightfoot, speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, announced that all liquor sales in the city were now to stop at 9 p.m. as part of an effort to prevent crowds from forming in outside liquor stores. And she said the city could do more if people don’t respect the stay home order.

“Just yesterday the Chicago Police Department issued hundreds of dispersal orders,” Lightfoot said. “It was in each of our police districts. And this is completely unacceptable.

“When you do this, you are putting yourself and others at risk, including potentially costing more lives. … That is why we will take even greater action if people continue to act irresponsibly, including in our parks.

Lightfoot added that she had personally driven the North Side on Tuesday and when she saw people coming together in clusters and not respecting social distancing, she told them to break up.

The mayor has repeatedly warned that parks – which have green spaces that are always open so people can get some fresh air and exercise while practicing social distancing – could be completely closed as people congregate in large groups at popular places like Humboldt Park and Lincoln Park.

RELATED: Mayor Lori Lightfoot likes memes that show her severely protecting city from coronavirus

Gov. JB Pritzker also said the state could pass more stringent stay-at-home measures or other orders to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, saying grocery stores could start taking the temperatures of everyone entering so that ‘they can reject people with fever, for example.

So far, there have been 6,099 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Chicago and 15,078 throughout Illinois. At least 462 people have died.

The majority of people have followed the stay home order, officials said, and you can see the impact in how the rate of growth of coronavirus cases here has slowed.

But there were a few issues: Police had to clean up our parks, some non-essential businesses tried to stay open, and people had parties at Airbnb rentals, Lightfoot said on Wednesday.

The Chicago Police Department dispersed more than 2,000 groups, including 300 groups on Tuesday, when the weather reached the 1970s.

Coronavirus case

• There were 15,078 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Illinois as of Wednesday afternoon. Some of these patients have recovered since testing positive.

• There have been 6,099 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Chicago.

• Illinois has so far recorded 462 deaths from the virus.

If you need help

• Sick? Broke? Want to help? Here’s a massive list of Chicago coronavirus resources

What’s going on in Chicago

Alcohol curfew: All stores must now stop selling alcohol by 9 p.m. as authorities try to reduce crowds outside liquor stores.

Glimmers of hope: The growth rate of confirmed coronavirus cases in the state is slowing. Illinois still expected to reach its peak cases from mid-April to the end of April.

Violence: “Enough, enough, enough,” demanded Lightfoot after saying the city’s outbreak of violence was taking resources away from the fight against the coronavirus. On Tuesday alone, seven people were killed and 14 others injured.

Chicagoans without papers: Lightfoot has signed an order to ensure that all undocumented Chicagoans will be eligible for the city’s coronavirus relief programs.

A new fund that will help illegal immigrants is accepting applications.

Cinéespace: The movie studio has become a pantry warehouse to help families affected by the coronavirus.

Non-essential businesses: Some businesses have remained open, breaking the state’s stay-at-home order and facing collective fines that have totaled $ 120,000.

Good weather: It may be hot, but the authorities are begging people to stay home.

Authorities have asked people not to congregate in city parks in good weather. The city is cracking down on those crowds, but here are 10 parks where you can avoid the crowds.

Racial disparities: More than 70% of those who have died from the coronavirus in Chicago are black. Officials said the pandemic was exacerbating health disparities.

1099 Workers: Although the stimulus bill promised unemployment benefits to independent contractors, they are now being asked to wait to apply – even if their savings disappear.

Sports teams: The city’s most famous teams, including the White Sox, Blackhawks, Cubs and Bears, have teamed up to urge the Chicagoans to stay home.

Masks: Pritzker is now urging all Illinois residents to wear masks, even if they are only homemade fabric masks, when they go out to protect others.

McCormick Place: The convention center was transformed into a field hospital for coronavirus patients in just five days. It already has 500 beds, and 2,500 more will be installed by the end of the month.

Prisoners: Pritzker said the state would care for those in jail as it would care for anyone else during the outbreak – but hundreds of people detained have tested positive for the coronavirus and two men have died in Stateville. The wife of a sick inmate said she was terrified.

And the Cook County Jail has now seen an inmate die from the virus.

Rent and mortgages: Aldermen are pushing the state to act now to help tenants – but Pritzker has said his hands are tied due to the state’s ban on rent controls. The state legislature needs to make changes, he said.

The city will provide $ 1,000 in grants to 2,000 Chicagoans to help lower rents. You can apply online.

State officials have also reached out to major mortgage lenders, like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, asking them to offer the Illinoisans a multi-month forbearance.

Pritzker halted statewide evictions during the crisis.

CPS: The neighborhood will continue to provide free meals, even during what would have been spring break. But some of the giveaway sites are being consolidated.

CPS is sending 100,000 laptops and tablets to students so they can learn at home, with distance learning scheduled to begin on April 13. It could also be a sign that schools will remain closed longer than expected.

Stay at home: The state stay-at-home order has been extended until April 30. The order means non-essential businesses are closed (here’s what stays open) and people are urged to stay home and practice social distancing as much as possible.

Police issue citations and issue fines of up to $ 500 to people if they do not comply with the state’s stay-at-home order. Those who do not listen to warnings and quotes could be arrested.

Chicagoans who have tested positive for the coronavirus, or even those who are simply showing symptoms of coronavirus, must stay home or face a fine of up to $ 500.

Health workers: Doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers who have recently retired or left the profession are urged to reinstate so that they can help in the fight against the coronavirus.

Information on “re-engagement” is available online.

Symptoms

The coronavirus can be fatal, but the vast majority of cases have been mild. Those most at risk for the virus are the elderly or those with underlying health problems.

Symptoms of the coronavirus can appear two to 14 days after a person has been exposed to the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control. People who have no symptoms can get the virus and pass it on to others.

The virus is spread between people by coughing and sneezing, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The most common symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

According to Harvard Medical School, people also suffered from body aches, stuffy nose, runny nose, and sore throat.

If you or someone else has difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, become confused, cannot be awake, or develop a bluish face or lips, see a doctor immediately, according to the CDC. .

How to protect yourself

Here’s what you can actually do to avoid getting sick:

  • The CDC and other officials have said people should wash their hands often, including before, during and after eating; after using the bathroom; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
    The CDC has a guide here on how to properly wash your hands. Remember: Wash with soap and water, rubbing your hands together for at least 20 seconds.
  • If you can’t wash your hands with soap and water, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
  • Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth, with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that you touch frequently, such as cell phones and light switches. Here is the advice from the CDC.
  • Stay home when you are sick and avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you have to sneeze or cough with a tissue, throw it away immediately after using it, according to the CDC.

What to do if you think you are sick

Even if you don’t have any symptoms, the Chicago Department of Public Health recommends that people from high-risk countries (here’s a list from the CDC) self-quarantine for 14 days after returning home.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus, contact your primary care physician or health facility before entering. Explain your symptoms and tell them if you have come in close contact with someone with coronavirus or have traveled to an area where COVID-19 is prevalent (here is a list of CDCs) in the past 14 days, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

From there, the experts will work with your local health department to determine what to do and whether you should be tested for the coronavirus, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

And, of course, if you think you have coronavirus, don’t risk exposing others to the virus. Anyone who is not feeling well has been ordered to stay home or face a $ 500 fine.

People with questions and concerns about the coronavirus can call the Illinois Department of Public Health at 800-889-3931.

Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free to all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501 (c) (3) newsroom run by journalists.

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