After Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced that new coronavirus restrictions would take effect in Chicago on Friday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot called on the governor to reconsider, saying she was concerned the new mitigation measures could have dire business consequences. who is fighting against the backdrop of an ongoing pandemic.
“I’m not sure we’re getting the right people with the restrictions that will be imposed by the state, and that’s my concern,” she said.
Speaking to PBS’s NewsHour, Lightfoot said her office was “very concerned” about the new regulations and said it could have a huge impact on the city̵
“If the governor’s order comes into force, it really effectively closes a significant part of our economy at a time when these same businesses are really hanging out,” she said. “So we will try to continue our commitment with the governor and his team, but that does not look good.
“If we fail to convince him that other indicators should be applied, then the exclusion will unfortunately take effect on Friday,” she added.
The new restrictions will end the city’s indoor dining and bar, as well as limit the total number of people legally allowed to attend city meetings.
Lightfoot was asked if she disagreed with the Pritzker administration’s decision, and while she did not say directly that the new restrictions were wrong, she said the governor’s office should consider other indicators to help determine where to go. new restrictions are introduced.
“I think we need to look at our performance,” she said. “There is no doubt that in some cases we are seeing an increase, and we are also seeing an increase in positivity (percentages), but hospitalizations are not at the breaking point, as we feared in the spring, and I think that is an important indicator. We have to be very surgical in the way we impose these new restrictions. “
The city of Chicago currently has a positivity rate of 7.8%, which is below the state’s threshold for imposing new restrictions. While hospitalizations have increased in the city in seven of the last 10 days, the availability of hospital beds in the event of an increase in patients with COVID-19 has increased slightly in recent days, now at 25%.
While Pritzker and IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike presented a study showing that bars and restaurants are one of the main places where the coronavirus spreads, Lightfoot warned that the bigger challenge is what people do in their own homes. .
“The truth is that where we see the biggest challenges is in people’s homes, in social circles that are not public,” she said. “It’s harder to regulate to be sure, but at least in Chicago we see the challenges. Two-thirds of people who test positive and talk to our investigators tell us that they received it from someone they knew and that they received it in a home or other social environment that is not public. “
Lightfoot says her administration is seeking to “take further steps” to address concerns about resettlement in residents’ homes.
In a statement issued Tuesday night, the Pritzker office said it did not intend to “make exceptions” to its mitigation strategy and said it would continue to work with businesses to secure access to millions of grants through emergency.
“Unfortunately, the virus does not make exceptions and it would be inappropriate to make exceptions to the rules we introduce as the best mitigation measures to stop the spread,” the statement said. “As the CDC noted, bars and restaurants are the main places at risk of transmission. We will continue to support businesses that are heavily affected by our $ 630 million grant.”