LIVE: Lightfoot announces ‘business curfew’ in Chicago as COVID-19 cases rise

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CHICAGO — Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a business curfew will begin Friday in the city of Chicago.

Citing a “surge” in coronavirus cases in the city of Chicago, Lightfoot said indoor bar service will be suspended and non-essential business will close nightly at 10 p.m.

Liquor sales will end at 9 p.m.

Gatherings will be limited to six people or less.

She and city health officials held a news conference Thursday with an update on COVID-19 in Chicago.

Lightfoot joined Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr Allison Arwady and Commissioner at Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Rosa Escareno for a news conference at 1 p.m. Thursday.

According to a statement from the mayor’s office, they “will provide an update on the City’s COVID-19 reopening framework.” No other information was provided.

On Monday, Lightfoot warned residents that some coronavirus restrictions could return in Chicago if the number of COVID-19 cases in the city continue to rise.

City health officials said cases have risen by more than 50 percent over the past two weeks, increasing at a rate last seen in March and April. The 7-day average of cases has continued to rise, reaching 645 cases per day as of October 20, the highest level seen since late May.

While this increase coincided with a rise in testing to a 7-day average of more than 11,000 a day as of October 15, the percent of tests which came back positive over that period also rose to 6.4 percent, according to City data.

There has also been an increase in hospitalizations, which are up 25 percent for non-ICU COVID patients and suspected cases since September 22.

“The data is clear – we are now in a second surge of COVID-19 and I am extremely concerned,” Lightfoot said Monday. “Now is the time to double down on what we know works and come together as a city to flatten the curve once again.”

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