Coronavirus Illinois: Large summer events may be canceled to stop spread of COVID-19, Pritzker says


CHICAGO (WLS) — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker is suggesting that all large summer events such as Lollapalooza be canceled to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The COVID-19 pandemic has emptied Chicago’s streets and tested residents’ resolve as it claimed more than 500 lives. But weeks into the fight, we may be turning the tide.

“I ask you to stay the course,” said Illinois Dept. of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “We are headed in the right direction because of all the tremendous efforts by all of you.”

The rate of infection seems to have leveled off but is not yet trending downward, so Pritzker said it is unlikely the stay-at-home order will end early.

“And indeed, as we approach April 30th, we will be thinking about what are the restrictions or rules that we need to set going forward after April 30,” Pritzker said.

Could this be a stolen summer, with the baseball games, street festivals and outdoor concerts we long for all year suffering the same fate as St. Patrick’s Day?

“I think everybody needs to think seriously about canceling large summer events,” Pritzker said. “I just, from my perspective today, I do not see how we are going to have large gatherings of people, again until we have a vaccine which is months and months away.”

In a statement, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office said: “Plans for summer programming and events remain under discussion … our department and the city team will continue to work closely with our partners at the State.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health has created a hotline at 1-800-889-3931. More information can be found at the IDPH website

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