CHICAGO – A video going viral on social media reportedly shows people attending a crowded house party in Chicago early Sunday in violation of the state’s stay-at-home order.
Posted live to Facebook by Tink Purcell, the video appears to show people partying and listening to music while standing shoulder-to-shoulder inside a home in the early hours of Sunday morning.
While some people in the video are wearing masks, most are not, and everyone in it is breaking social distancing recommendations issued by the state to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Chicago Police Department could not confirm the exact location of the party, but many residents told WGN it possibly took place on the West Side. On Sunday afternoon, CPD issued the following statement:
“We are aware of a video circulating on social media depicting a large house party inside of an alleged Chicago residence. While we cannot authenticate the nature or location of the gathering, we want to remind everyone of the social distancing requirements in place. CPD will disperse crowds in violation of social distancing requirements, and if necessary, issue citations or as a last resort, enforce via arrest.”
The video quickly went viral after it was posted, garnering more than 1.4 million views and 60,000 shares as of Sunday afternoon. As it has spread, it even caught the attention of Illinois Governor JB Pritzker.
Asked about the video during his daily press conference Sunday, Pritzker said he hadn’t seen it but did hear about it. He said going to a crowded party and not social distancing could lead to the spread of COVID-19, especially since many people spread it while they’re not showing any symptoms.
“You’re literally putting everyone around you in danger, you are, they are putting you in danger, and very importantly, all of those people are putting their families and their friends who are not there with them in danger,” Pritzker said.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot called the party “utterly unacceptable” on Twitter.
“While most Chicagoans are doing their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19, reckless actions like these threaten our public health and risk erasing the progress we have made. We will hold those responsible accountable,” Lightfoot said.
Chicago’s West Side has been hit particularly hard by the spread of the coronavirus disease, statistics from the State of Illinois show.
Other communities with large minority populations have also been disproportionately impacted, prompting Lightfoot to form a special “Racial Equity Rapid Response Team” to address COVID-19 in those areas.
While African Americans make up just over 30 percent of Chicago’s population, they account for more than 50 percent of coronavirus-related deaths.