SPONSORED:

Chicago to ban indoor dining amid rise in COVID-19 numbers

Chicago to ban indoor dining amid rise in COVID-19 numbers
© Getty

Chicago will ban indoor dining and indoor bar service again starting Friday as the city grapples with rising COVID-19 numbers.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) announced a return to some coronavirus restrictions, like the ban on indoor dining and bar service, citing rising hospitalizations and an increased positivity rate over more than seven of the past 10 days.

The governor noted the number of daily coronavirus-related hospital admissions is averaging more than double the statistics from last month.

ADVERTISEMENT

The surge in cases and hospitalizations triggered the city’s reopening to be scaled back based on the governor’s plan. In addition to shutting down indoor dining, the new restrictions will also limit all public gatherings to 25 people.

“We are seeing a national surge of coronavirus, and Illinois is not immune,” Pritzker tweeted ahead of a press conference Tuesday. “Indeed our neighboring states of Missouri, Iowa, and Wisconsin all have positivity rates and hospitalizations that are soaring.”

“No matter where in Illinois you call home: as you go about your daily life, remember that this is not over,” he added. “There seems to be a COVID storm coming, and we have to get prepared. It’s time to go all in, Illinois.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The city will become the seventh of 11 regions in Illinois to backtrack on reopening plans, the Chicago Tribune reported

Chicago has a seven-day average of 797 new COVID-19 cases per day, to reach the total of 94,344 cases throughout the pandemic, according to city data. Public health commissioner Allison Arwady said Tuesday that 400 per day is cause for concern and under 200 was where the city aims to be, the Tribune reported.

The city saw a 7.8 percent test positivity rate as of Saturday, the most recent data from the Illinois Department of Public Health, compared to 6.7 percent a week prior. 

Pritzker’s reopening plan requires areas to rollback reopening if they see an increase in their seven-day rolling positivity rate and either a seven-day increase in hospital admissions for coronavirus or a reduction in hospital capacity that could cause “surge capabilities,” according to the Tribune. 

Last week, Chicago Mayor Lori LightfootLori LightfootDemocratic figures accused of hypocrisy on COVID-19 precautions Chicago mayor says COVID-19 vaccine faces 'reluctance' among African American communities McEnany hits Democratic leaders for not following their own COVID-19 restrictions MORE (D) put a ban on indoor service at places without food licenses and asked gatherings to be limited to six people.