CHICAGO — The warmest day of the year is causing fears of a COVID-19 setback.
After a very dreary March, the warm temperatures Tuesday are likely to get people excited about going outside. But, city leaders are urging people to stay at home.
It’s been nearly two weeks now since Chicago shut down public spaces — like the lakefront, 606 trail, and parks — in an effort to keep people from congregating and spreading coronavirus.
So far in Illinois, there are 12,262 confirmed cases of the virus. Chicago alone accounts for more than 5,000 of those cases. The state provided a breakdown of the number of COVID-19 cases by zipcode, the greatest concentration coming from the north and south sides of Chicago.
The stay-at-home order aims to curb the number of new cases, and Chicago police said they will be out enforcing that.
Since the end of March, police officers have broken up more than 1500 groups in the city. They’ve issued several citations and made three arrests after people violated those orders.
At the daily briefing Monday, public health officials reminded people to stay home.
“Please do not head to the lakefront please do not go congregating in a park. It’s fine if you have a backyard to go into your backyard, if you want to walk outside of your home, of course a beautiful day, but do not go meet people. Do not,” Gov. JB Pritzker said.
Pritzker issued the Illinois stay-at-home order on March 21, as a measure to slow the read of COVID-19.
“Well we’re going to keep stepping up our enforcement efforts, and by and large people have been complying but we know that the parks continue to be an attraction. I want to be clear, people are not going out, and we want people to stay home, the issue is congregating, and that’s what we can’t tolerate,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.
In Illinois, 307 people have died as a result of COVID-19. 1/3 of those deaths have been residents of Chicago.