• Greg Hinz On Politics
  • Greg Hinz On Politics

    Pritzker orders shutdown of public events with more than 1,000 people

    The ban adds 14 more cancellations at McCormick Place, bringing the total number of scuttled events to 20. That means a loss of 197,000 attendees and 255,000 canceled hotel room nights.

    A.D. Quig

    J.B. Pritzker addresses the media Thursday evening

    79彩票注册网址

    79彩票注册网址The state and city this evening moved to shut theaters, sports stadiums and other public venues that hold more than 250 people, the latest step to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

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    At a joint press conference, with Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Gov. J.B. Pritzker ordered the cancellation of all public events with more than 1,000 people for 30 days and urged organizers to call off private and public gatherings of more than 250 people to attempt to curb the spread of the virus. 

    The ban adds 14 more cancellations at McCormick Place, officials said, bringing the total number of scuttled events to 20 total cancellations. That means a loss of 197,000 attendees and 255,000 canceled hotel room nights.

    The officials also said next week’s scheduled primary elections would go on as planned, though with difficulty.
     
    79彩票注册网址 They announced no action to close public schools, at least yet, even though other states such as Ohio and Maryland have taken such steps.

    The Thompson Center will close effective Monday to those without official state business.

    Meanwhile, public health officials announced at the press conference that the state is now up to 32 confirmed cases of the virus—seven more than yesterday. All were confirmed in the Chicago area.

    “I am not going to hesitate to take the most aggressive steps necessary to protect the public health,” Pritzker declared, saying police will break up large gatherings if need be if they are improperly held. “We need to reduce social contact in order to reduce the spread of the virus.”

    Even without the order, sports owners have agreed to shut their venues in Illinois until at least late April, the governor indicated.

    The new emergency health rule will apply to churches and other religious facilities, Pritzker said, suggesting that large congregations break up their services into smaller gatherings.

    While private employers are not subject to any new rules beyond meeting size, Pritzker urged companies to let their workers work from home for the foreseeable future.

    Lightfoot stressed that schools would be directed to reduce large gatherings, too, especially for sporting events, but insisted that, “At this time, CPS will remain open.”

    “Shutting down the schools has lots of cascading effects,” since many children having working parents that at gone most of the day. Beyond that, young people have been relatively lightly affected by this disease so far, with seniors in the highest-risk group for serious complications.

    79彩票注册网址The Chicago Transit Authority also will remain open for now. “We don’t see any rationale to shut down public transportation,” the mayor said.

    And despite gripes from election officials, “I feel very confident we will have the resources” to open the polls on Tuesday, she said. Lightfoot conceded that her administration is scurrying to find space in firehouses, schools and other public buildings to house polling places that have been evicted by private landlords, and said city workers have been asked to replace election judges, many of them elderly, who have asked to be excused because of coronavirus.

    The elections board says it now is short of polling places in 94 precincts, but has extended early voting over the weekend from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

    Pritzker once again complained of a lack of test kits and other equipment from Washington. He said he was assured personally by Vice President Mike Pence a few days ago that help was on the way. But, “We’re still waiting."

    Preckwinkle said the County Board would continue to meet but on an abbreviated schedule and less frequently, with the public not allowed to attend.  Board meetings are streamed on the county’s website.

    Crain's reporter Danny Ecker contributed.

    The number of attendees and canceled hotel room nights has been corrected in this updated story.

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    A.D. Quig

    79彩票注册网址Lori Lightfoot addresses the media

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