Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced COVID-19 capacity restrictions will end June 11, opening the door for Chicago to fully reopen for the busy summer months.
The remarks came during a live Q&A with Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), broadcast on social media June 3. Lightfoot said the decision to reopen the city came due to low COVID-19 numbers within the city.
Chicago is currently averaging 129 COVID cases per day, has a 1.9 percent positivity rate, and has 86 ICU beds occupied by COVID patients, according to CDPH.
“Both these cases and these tests are at the lowest they’ve been since the pandemic started back in March,” Dr. Awady said. “Our hospital bed capacity ICU capacity are all in that lower risk category and continuing to decline.”
Under Phase 5 of the Illinois reopening plan, all capacity restrictions due to COVID-19 are lifted. Currently, capacity limits are in place, which depend on the venue and whether the event is outside or indoors. For example zoos, amusement parks, retail stores, museums, sporting events and theaters are all at 60% capacity.
Those who are fully vaccinated don’t count towards the capacity limit if the venue can confirm vaccine status. Dancing at private events is also allowed, provided all are vaccinated, according to CDPH.
While Lightfoot celebrated the declining numbers, she also advised caution and encouraged vaccinations.
“Before people uncork the champagne and have beers all around, a note of caution; COVID is still here, still with us,” Lightfoot said. “Why we are able to do what we’re doing no doubt is as a result of the vaccinations. We want to get to that 70% threshold that the President has challenged all of us to get to. We got a lot more work that we need to get done so keep pushing the vaccine, but we’re on the right track.”
Mask requirements on public transit, in healthcare facilities and in schools would remain, Lightfoot said.
Nearly 52% of adults in Illinois are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of June 4, while 62% have received at least one shot, according to the Illinois Department of Health. In Chicago, 52% of the population has received at least one vaccine while 42% has been fully vaccinated, according to the CDPH.