Chicago bars and restaurants get midnight curfew as new coronavirus cases rise
CHICAGO - Chicago's newest restrictions on coronavirus-related cases now will involve bars and restaurants closing everything down as of midnight, even on the weekends.
It's been two weeks since Phase four went into effect in Illinois, allowing for indoor seating once again. But the state is now starting to see a slight increase in the number of cases.
Of those, the biggest increase is to a younger population, those aged 18 to 29. In Chicago, they comprise 30 percent of all new cases.
For the first time since June 5, the number of new cases in Illinois is over 1,000, reaching 1,018 on Thursday and 1,317 on Friday. That brings the total number of cases in Illinois to more than 151,000.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot's new rules for Phase four will require bars and restaurants to be closed by midnight each night. They've already been told to stop selling alcohol by 11 p.m.
University of Chicago epidemiologist Dr. Emily Landon talked about whether a rise in cases is expected at this point, now two weeks after Phase four began.
"So the first week, you start to see a few more cases, and then those sort of ballooned into double the number of cases and then double the number of cases again and that could take four or five six weeks," Landon said. "I mean, we're now seeing in Arizona, California, well maybe not so much California, we're now seeing in Arizona, Texas and Florida, the impact of the reopening too soon in May and June. It can take a while for these things to filter through and really develop into a bigger outbreak in a community."
Lightfoot is stressing again to operators of restaurants and bars if you don't follow the rules, there could be a $10,000 fine waiting for you.