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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Issues New Stay-At-Home Advisory Amid Virus Surge

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Adam Barnes Contributor
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Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued a new stay-at-home advisory Thursday as COVID-19 cases rise throughout the city.

The latest advisory, which will take effect Oct. 16 at 6 a.m., is a part of the “Protect Chicago” plan to mitigate the spread of the virus, ABC7 reported. Lightfoot’s announcement comes at a point when Chicago is reporting nearly 1,900 new cases per day with some areas experiencing 25% test positivity rates, the report continued.

“Chicago has reached a critical point in the second surge of COVID-19, demanding that we undertake this multi-faceted and comprehensive effort to stop the virus in its tracks,” Lightfoot said.

 

“The gains we have made this past year have been the result of our willingness to work together. Even in this difficult moment, we will continue to unite as we always have for our city in order to halt the rise we’re seeing, shake out of the fatigue we’ve been experiencing, and make the crucial difference in what our future is going to look like,” she said. (RELATED: Chicago Mayor Imposes 10PM Curfew On Non-Essential Businesses)

Lightfoot’s advisory requests residents only leave the house for essential purposes, like getting groceries, picking up prescriptions or getting food for takeout, according to ABC 7. The mayor is also asking residents to cancel traditional Thanksgiving gatherings; she is recommending virtual attendance instead.

Health officials reported 12,702 new COVID-19 cases and 43 deaths Thursday, according to ABC7.

“The data are troubling, and I’m very concerned we could be looking at tens of thousands of more cases, which would overwhelm the healthcare system and lead to hundreds more deaths,” said Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D. “But we know what works and what we need to do to bend the curve. We did it once and I know we can do it again.”

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office reportedly sent refrigerated trailers to some hospitals due to rising deaths.

“It’s something that we did during the first surge and they were definitely utilized unfortunately,” said Natalie Derevyanny, Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office spokesperson, according to ABC7. “We anticipate that they will need to be utilized during this surge as well.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health asked in a new guidance Wednesday that Illinois residents only leave their home for essential activities for the next two weeks, NBC 5 reported.

“We ask employers to make accommodation for this,” a release from the department said. “Our goal is to reduce transmission as we head into the holidays so businesses and schools can remain open.”

“In our current situation, with a rising prevalence of the virus, attending even small gatherings that mix households, or traveling to areas that are experiencing high rates of positivity, is not advised and is potentially dangerous,” the release states. “Please, travel only if necessary.”