Thanksgiving typically means two things: lots of food and lots of family time. But this year, with Covid-19 numbers soaring, the city of Chicago would prefer if its residents nixed the latter.
As cases of Covid-19 continue to rise in the city, Chicago has issued a stay-at-home advisory — encouraging residents to stay home and only leave for school, work or other essential needs, according to a news release issued Thursday. That includes seeking medical care, grocery shopping and picking up food.
The order, which begins Monday, extends through Thanksgiving festivities. Residents are “strongly advised” to not have guests in their homes outside of essential workers — even family and close friends.
“Chicago has reached a critical point in the second surge of COVID-19, demanding that we undertake this multi-faceted and comprehensive effort to stop the virus in its tracks,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot in the release.
“The gains we have made this past year have been the result of our willingness to work together. Even in this difficult moment, we will continue to unite as we always have for our city in order to halt the rise we’re seeing, shake out of the fatigue we’ve been experiencing, and make the crucial difference in what our future is going to look like.”
The advisory, which will remain in place for 30 days, also imposes a limit on in-person meetings and social events, restricting them to just 10 people both inside and outside.
Chicago has 122,712 total cases since the start of the pandemic, according to the city’s Covid dashboard. The most recent 7-day positivity rate is now at 14.1%, up from 10.9% the previous week.
And Chicago isn’t alone. Across the country, Covid-19 numbers are continuing to reach record highs, as hospitalizations and deaths accelerate and alarming rates. With the holiday season approaching, providing incentive for folks to gather, these numbers are only expected to continue to rise, health experts have said.
More than 110,000 additional people in the US are projected to die from Covid-19 in just the next two months, according to the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.