Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot announce a re-tightening of COVID-19 restrictions in response to a recent, rapid rise in cases and hospitalizations over the past two weeks.
Beginning Friday, October 23rd at 6:00 a.m., a business curfew will be in effect from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. for all non-essential businesses, and bars without a retail food license will no longer be able to serve customers indoors.
All Chicagoans are being asked to avoid social gatherings of more than six people and end all social gatherings by 10:00 p.m.
These restrictions and guidelines will be in effect for at least two weeks and are targeted to help Chicago manage an alarming recent rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
Over the past week alone, cases have risen by 54%, to over 640 per day.
While daily testing has increased to over 11,000 tests per day, the positivity rate has also risen to 6.4%, which means that that the increase in testing does not fully explain the rise in cases.
This is coinciding with a worrying increase in hospitalizations, which for non-ICU COVID patients and suspected cases are up 45% since September 22.
Under the State of Illinois guidelines, the Chicago region will face additional mitigation measures, including reduced capacity of all gatherings and closure of indoor dining, if the positivity rate rises above 8% for three straight days.
Effective for two weeks beginning Friday, October 23rd at 6:00 a.m., all non-essential businesses must close to the public from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.
Businesses that were deemed essential during the Stay at Home Order, such as grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations, may remain open during the business curfew hours.
Restaurants may continue operating for take-out or delivery, but indoor or outdoor consumption of food or alcohol must cease at 10:00 p.m.
Additionally, all bars, taverns, or breweries that do not have a Retail Food Establishment License will no longer be able to serve customers indoors at any time.
All establishments that serve alcohol for on-site consumption must end alcohol service at 9:00 p.m. before closing at 10:00 p.m. under the business curfew.
All other existing restrictions remain in place, including indoor capacity limits of 40% or 50 people within a room or space.
“We are at the critical moment in Chicago’s fight against COVID-19,” said BACP Commissioner Rosa Escareno. “The efforts of our business community have been essential to our COVID-19 response, and we must once more do what is necessary to save lives.”
BACP will enforce these new restrictions on businesses, with citations leading to fines of up to $10,000 and possible closure in the case of egregious violations.
To date, BACP has issued 60 one-day closure orders and ordered the long-term closure of four establishments. To help businesses understand the new regulations, BACP will hold an informational webinar on Friday, October 23rd at 2:00 p.m. – register at chicago.gov/businesseducation.
In addition to the new business restrictions, the City is calling on all residents to avoid social gatherings over six people and end all social gatherings at 10:00 p.m.