Last Call: Lightfoot Pauses Indoor Drinking

bebarnes | PixabayWith COVID-19 cases in Illinois still on the rise, there doesn't seem to be an end to social distancing in sight — much to people's disappointment.

Just three weeks after Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot eased restrictions on bars, she announced new limits on indoor drinking once again. 

In a press conference Oct. 22, Lightfoot said Chicago bars that don’t serve food will have to halt indoor service beginning Oct. 23, and all liquor sales — in bars and stores — must stop at 9 p.m. each night. 

Restaurants will have to close at 10 p.m. each night and stop serving drinks at 9 p.m., Lightfoot said. Non-essential businesses are also required to close from 10 p.m. – 6 a.m.

The announcement comes as the city sees a spike in COVID-19 cases — an average of 682 COVID-19 cases are confirmed daily as of Oct. 23, according to Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard.

Lightfoot also restricted all gatherings to a maximum of six people and emphasized the importance of keeping personal bubbles small. 

The mayor specifically addressed young people, ages 18-39, whose rate of increase she said is “alarming.”

The number of Illinoisans in the 20-29-year-old and 30-39-year-old age groups infected with COVID-19 is on the rise, according to charts from the Illinois Department of Public Health. The groups saw a notable spike in September and have continued to increase since. 

“You are simply not immune from COVID-19,” Lightfoot said. “You can and you are getting it and your numbers of infections are going up again.”

Loyola has seen an increase in cases over the past few weeks, and reported 30 COVID-19 infections as of Oct. 23, according to the university’s COVID-19 dashboard

Cases reported by the university are limited to tests done at Loyola testing centers and exclude any self-reported infections confirmed by a third-party testing site, The Phoenix previously reported

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