LOGAN SQUARE — Tuesday is expected to hit 70 degrees — and officials are begging Chicagoans to ignore the warm weather and stay inside.
Recent bouts of warm, sunny days have led to people going outside; late in March, Chicagoans crowded the lakefront on a 50-degree day, and Mayor Lori Lightfoot shut down the lakefront and major trails as a result. But even nicer weather is expected Tuesday, when the city could hit 73 degrees despite cloudy skies, according to the National Weather Service.
Officials are worried that will mean people head outside, crowding parks and sidewalks despite the pandemic.
“The forecast says tomorrow will be our warmest day in many areas of the state. Please stay home,” said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, head of the Illinois Department of Public Health, during a Monday briefing on coronavirus. “I assure you, if people congregate tomorrow, we will set the state back in our fight against COVID-19.”
Officials have repeatedly asked Illinoisans to stay home as much as possible during the coronavirus crisis. Staying home and, when forced to go out, practicing social distancing guidelines — like staying 6 feet from people and for only short periods of time — can help slow the spread of coronavirus.
Gov. JB Pritzker echoed Ezike’s words, asking people to stay home despite the weather.
“Please do not head to the lakefront. Please do not congregate in the park,” Pritzker said.
You can go outside for a walk or in your backyard, Pritzker said, “but do not go meet people. Do not.”
Chicago Police are cracking down on people congregating in parks. Those who don’t abide by the state’s stay at home order or don’t practice social distancing can be fined up to $500 per violation and even arrested.
Eleven citations were issued and three people were arrested between March 25 and Sunday, a police spokesperson said.
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