Chicagoans gather on a closed Montrose Beach July 2, 2020. Credit: Bob Chiarito/Block Club Chicago

CHICAGO — It’s going to be a steaming hot week in Chicago — but don’t plan on cooling down on the beach.

As coronavirus cases spike in places like Texas and Florida, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday Chicago won’t be opening beaches “any time soon.”

Late last month when announcing plans for Phase 4, Lightfoot and Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said beaches will stay closed until at least Independence Day weekend.

When asked about beaches again Monday, however, Lightfoot was not ready to reopen them, saying beaches and public pools are magnets for congregation.

“We don’t see the beaches opening up anytime soon,” Lightfoot said. “The challenge with the beaches, and with swimming pools, …  is that they are rife for congregate gathering and not social distancing.”

To beat the heat, the city has opened several cooling centers, is rolling out mobile cooling centers and will reopen splash pads in public parks, Lightfoot said. Check out the list of cooling centers below.

Lightfoot said she’s delaying the opening of beaches to avoid “taking any step backwards” in the city’s coronavirus recovery.

Still, some Chicagoans are not listening. Ald. Maria Hadden (49th) has called on the city to bring lifeguards to some beaches since families are still in the lake. Last week, employees hired by the city to enforce social distancing on the lakefront attempted to get people to leave Montrose Beach — but they didn’t have much luck.

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