CHICAGO — It’ll likely be months before pro sports fans can watch their favorite teams in person, the city’s top doctor said Tuesday.
Fans of the White Sox, Bulls, Blackhawks, Bears, Cubs and other major teams haven’t been able to attend games in Chicago since the spring, when the coronavirus pandemic hit. That’s unlikely to change anytime soon, as the city is still trying to regain control of its COVID-19 outbreak.
“Where I think about fans in stands, that is months away, realistically,” Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said at a Tuesday news conference. “Certainly as we make progress both on case counts … as well as rolling out vaccine, I am certainly optimistic that we will be able to be reopening further, but we’re going to have to be doing that in a way that’s cautious.
“I really can’t predict months from now where we’ll be.”
While the Bears’ season has ended, the Blackhawks and Bulls are playing, though without fans allowed at the United Center. The White Sox, Cubs and Fire are expected to return to their stadiums in April.
Other states and cities have allowed pro sports teams to bring back fans, but Chicago and Illinois have used stricter rules to slow the spread of coronavirus.
And Chicago is still trying to recover after a second surge of coronavirus this fall, when deaths peaked at an average of 24 per day in the city. The city has made significant progress since then — recording an average of nine deaths per day from COVID-19 as of Tuesday — but it’s still not back to the low numbers seen over the summer.
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