Chicago Mayor Thinking About Closing City Trails, Parks

Mar 26, 2020

People enjoying warm weather with a stroll along the Lakefront Trail Trail near North Avenue Beach, Wednesday afternoon, March 25, 2020, in Chicago, despite a stay-at-home order from Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker during the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.
Credit Ashlee Rezin Garcia / Chicago Sun-Times via AP

  Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Wednesday that the sight of crowds along Lake Michigan despite a statewide stay-at-home order to slow the spread of the coronavirus has her considering shutting down the city’s parks.

“When we have masses of people out there as I just saw ... it’s a problem,” Lightfoot said. “We know what happens when we don’t social distance.”′

Experts urge people to keep their distance from each other and establishments ranging from post offices to markets have put up signs reminding the public to do so.

Stay at home orders around the country allow people to go outside, but they do not allow people to gather in large groups. Lightfoot said it appears that the large “packs” of people she saw along the lakefront are, in effect, doing just that.

Chicago’s interim police superintendent, Charlie Beck on Wednesday said his officers will issue one warning to people violating state and city orders and then issue citations to people who don’t comply.

“If you violate it, you are subject to a citation, a fine of up to $500 and if you continue to violate it, you will be subject to physical arrest,” Beck said.