Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a 10-person limit on social gatherings in the nation’s third-largest city Thursday, fresh restrictions aimed at fighting a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Lightfoot implored Chicagoans to “cancel the normal Thanksgiving plans,” saying the skyrocketing cases show no signs of slowing and urgent steps are needed immediately.
The limitations on gatherings take effect Monday and are part of a stay-at-home advisory urging city residents to venture out only for essentials, including work and groceries. Chicago is already under an order barring indoor restaurant dining.
“If we continue on the path we’re on, and you and me and others don’t step up and do more, our estimates are that we could see 1,000 more Chicagoans die from this virus by the end of the year,” she said at a news conference.
A month ago, Chicago was reporting 500 daily cases on average. Now, the city is averaging roughly 1,900 daily cases. In the same time period, the rate of positive tests has nearly tripled to 14%.
Illinois health officials on Thursday reported 12,702 new COVID-19 cases statewide, including 43 more deaths. Overall, Illinois has reported 536,542 cases. The death toll is 10,477 people.