Illinois parties continue despite stay-at-home order

As Cook County deals with a high number of COVID-19 deaths and cases, people are still ignoring the stay-at-home order.

People were seen this past weekend hanging out in massive groups at homes and on the streets of Chicago. Now, leaders have had enough.

Police had to tell close to 1,000 crowds across the city to pack it up and go home, and video shows a full on twerk fest on the West Side during the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is an issue all over the city. It's not just in black and brown communities. I had somebody reach out to me via email talking about some issues that were happening in in Lakeview,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.

As the weather warms up, city leaders are worried that large parties may lead to a delay in flattening the curve for coronavirus.

On Saturday night in Homan Square, near Albany and Lexington, people partied in the streets without masks and without regard for social distancing.

“In the 18 to 29 year old category, almost 3,500 people have contracted the disease and those numbers here are just growing by leaps and bounds,” Lightfoot said.

In images of crowds gathering at parks on the North Side, some people did not bother to social distance and many did not wear masks.

Looking at data from the SARS outbreak, Doctor Royce Lee, who is an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Chicago, says the longer the coronavirus pandemic goes on, anxiety, depression, and rule-following behaviors change.

“I think it’s reasonable to say that everything we can do to make information trustworthy, that’s really important right now. As time goes by and as uncertainty increases, we would expect more rule breaking to increase as stay-at-home orders continue,” he said.

Six citations were handed out over the course of the entire weekend. The citations carry a fine of up to $500. No one was arrested.

“We are asking them to disperse. We don’t want people to get sick. It’s not our intent to throw people into jail. If people are persistently defiant, then they can be arrested. I am not insisting that happens, but it is an option for local law enforcement,” Governor JB Pritzker said.