South Side parks shut down after young people continue to gather at them

Chicago's liquor store curfew began Thursday to try and cut down on the COVID-19 spread, and it's not the only action city leaders are taking to get people to stay home.

One council member on Chicago’s South Side made a similar call to shut down several parks.

“You can’t reason with people that are hell bent on going against all the advice of medical professionals. Implore them to stop because the life they save may be their grandmother,” said Alderman Howard B. Brookins Jr.

A group of young people in Auburn Gresham clearly did not think about the possibility that they could catch coronavirus and take it home. They were captured in a photo not social distancing and ignoring the stay-at-home order. The crowd gathered on the basketball court at O'Hallaren Park in Alderman Brookins’ ward. So he made the call to shut it down, along with Foster Park, parks in Brainerd and even West Chatham – which are all in his ward.

The 21st Ward has one of the highest numbers of coronavirus cases in the city, with 216 residents testing positive for the potentially deadly disease.

The basketball hoop rims were also taken from the parks and will be returned once the governor's stay-at-home order is lifted.

Thursday marked the first day that liquor stores had to shut down at 9 p.m. Mayor Lori Lightfoot made the decision and said too many people were gathering at liquor stores in the evenings.

Police can fine, or arrest, anyone who does not comply with the curfew and stores can lose liquor licenses if they ignore it.

“They don’t need to be open until 2 a.m. We need to encourage people to be in the house as best we can. I think it was a smart move that the mayor made, to shut the liquor stores down early,” said Brookins Jr.

"We are not messing around with this and we will not hesitate to take even further action as needed,” Mayor Lightfoot said.