Health and Science

Chicago mayor asks residents to cancel Thanksgiving plans and stay indoors as Covid cases rise

Key Points
  • Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot asked all residents to cancel Thanksgiving plans and stay at home unless they need to go to work or school or to tend to essential needs such as a doctor's appointment or grocery shopping.
  • "This is serious life and death," Lightfoot said during a press conference discussing the state-at-home advisory, adding that the city is "doing what is necessary" to slow the spread of the virus.
In this March 24, 2019 photo, Chicago mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot participates in a candidate forum. Lightfoot won a runoff election April 2, 2019, to become the city's first black female mayor.
AP Photo | Teresa Crawford

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Thursday asked all residents to cancel Thanksgiving plans and stay at home unless they need to go to work or school or to tend to essential needs such as a doctor's appointment or grocery shopping.

Chicago said it was issuing the 30-day stay-at-home advisory, asking people to refrain from traveling, having guests in their home or leaving for nonessential business "in response to the rapid rise of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the city."

"This is serious life and death," Lightfoot said during a press conference discussing the state-at-home advisory, adding that the city is "doing what is necessary" to slow the spread of the virus. "We are sounding the alarm that we are at this inflection point where we have to do more than we've already done."

The announcement comes as the virus continues to rapidly spread across the state. Illinois hit a record high in average daily new cases Wednesday, with cases now up more than 60% compared to a week ago, according to CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

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The state reported more than 12,700 new cases on Thursday, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Lightfoot said Chicago is averaging around 1,900 new cases a day.

In a tweet, Lightfoot said if the city continues on its path officials estimate it will lose "1,000 more Chicagoans to this virus by the end of the year."

"This is not the flu or the cold," Lightfoot said at the conference. She added the city is seeing an uptick in people going to work even though they feel sick.

"We are a long way from where we need to be. We have to commit, recommit, to the fundamentals that got us past the first surge," she said, adding people need to wear masks, wash their hands and maintain their distance from others.

Late last month, Illinois Gov. Jay Pritzker announced Chicago bars and restaurants would no longer be allowed to serve customers indoors in an effort to control the coronavirus' spread in the region. Gatherings would also be limited to 25 people or 25% of overall room capacity.

Correction: This article was updated to reflect that Chicago issued a stay-at-home advisory.