Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what happened June 10 with COVID-19 in the Chicago area

Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what happened June 10 with COVID-19 in the Chicago area
·9 min read

Illinois and Chicago are scheduled to fully reopen on Friday, marking an emotional turning point in the pandemic for many who have endured loss and a lack of connection in public life.

Among Friday’s milestones: The Cubs’ home game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field will mark the first time a Chicago baseball game will be played in front of a full crowd since the beginning of the pandemic. The White Sox plan to open to full capacity on June 25.

Meanwhile, Illinois public health officials on Thursday reported 366 new and probable cases of COVID-19 and 18 additional deaths. The seven-day statewide positivity rate is 1.0%.

There were 62,268 doses of the vaccine administered Wednesday and the seven-day rolling average of daily doses is 49,572. Officials said 68% of Illinois adults have received at least one vaccine dose and 51% of adults are fully vaccinated.

Here’s what’s happening Thursday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area:

7:20 p.m.: Archdiocese of Chicago updates COVID-19 protocols as state prepares to enter final reopening phase

With the state and city moving to the final phase of reopening from pandemic-related restrictions Friday, the Archdiocese of Chicago will be cutting back on most of its COVID-19 mitigation protocols.

These changes will affect restrictions such as mask requirements, physical distancing and capacity limits.

The new guidelines will also have an effect on school activities, mission trips and summer camps. A dispensation from the Catholic Church’s requirement that the faithful attend Mass every Sunday is still in effect, a spokeswoman said.

Here are the changes going into effect Friday. —Tatyana Turner

4:45 p.m.: Elevators. Fitting rooms. Salad bars. Where are COVID-19 restrictions lifting, and what’s still off limits, as Illinois enters phase 5?

Illinois is expected to enter phase five of its reopening Friday, lifting all pandemic capacity restrictions on businesses for the first time in roughly 18 months.

But not all COVID-19 health and safety measures are disappearing. Businesses are still advised to allow for social distancing and can require additional precautions.

From salad bars to grocery store samples to museum reservation systems, here’s what to expect. —Lauren Zumbach

3:10 p.m.: Chicago will occasionally close three of downtown’s busiest streets this summer, clearing the Mag Mile, LaSalle and State for dining, entertainment

Some of downtown’s busiest streets will become concert halls, restaurants and shops this summer as the city tries to recapture the energy it lost to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On some Tuesdays this summer and fall, people will be able to eat lunch on the street at the southern end of the LaSalle Street canyon of office towers, in an area closed off to traffic in front of the Chicago Board of Trade Building, the city announced Thursday.

A stretch of State Street will be closed to traffic for as many as 12 upcoming Sundays, to make way for music, dancing and other entertainment, and the North Michigan Avenue shopping corridor will offer a variety of family events and entertainment in the months ahead.

“The reason these street activations are important is that it will bring foot traffic and create the vibrancy that people are aching for coming out of the pandemic,” Deputy Mayor Samir Mayekar said. “Art, culture, dining, fitness. … There will be many levers pulled to reimagine the public realm.”

Details are scarce on the plans for LaSalle and the Mag Mile, though, including which restaurants, retailers or other groups might be involved.

Read more here. —Ryan Ori

2 p.m.: Reopening day: Illinois on Friday to take biggest step yet back to normalcy after more than a year of COVID-19 restrictions

On a Saturday in late March of last year, employees walked out of public libraries carrying plants and boxes of personal items, parents and young children took one last chance to run around in playgrounds, and the streets began emptying.

Chicagoans were preparing for the state’s stay-at-home order, which officially took effect at 5 p.m. on March 21, 2020.

More than a year later, Illinois and Chicago are scheduled to fully reopen on Friday, marking an emotional turning point in the pandemic for many who have endured loss and a lack of connection in public life.

Among Friday’s milestones: The Cubs’ home game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field will mark the first time a Chicago baseball game will be played in front of a full crowd since the beginning of the pandemic. The White Sox plan to open to full capacity on June 25.

Though the city and state have moved through different phases of curtailing and restoring activity since the initial stay-at-home order, Friday’s reopening also will be the first time there are no capacity restrictions or social distancing mandates for businesses and personal gatherings.

“I have gotten together with my family and I have to say, that’s a wonderful feeling to be connected again to people,” said Dr. Susan Bleasdale, an infectious disease physician at the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System. “I think this is exciting as long as we are careful and cautious and continue to follow data.”

Read more here. —Madeline Buckley and Josh Noel

12:15 p.m.: 62,268 vaccine doses administered, 366 new cases and 18 deaths reported

Illinois public health officials on Thursday reported 366 new and probable cases of COVID-19 and 18 additional deaths. That brings the state’s totals to 1,386,628 cases and 23,014 deaths.

There were 42,403 tests reported in the previous 24 hours and the seven-day statewide positivity rate is 1.0%.

There were 62,268 doses of the vaccine administered Wednesday and the seven-day rolling average of daily doses is 49,572. Officials said 68% of Illinois adults have received at least one vaccine dose and 51% of adults are fully vaccinated.

—Chicago Tribune staff

11 a.m.: 5 Chicago museums will be open late Friday to celebrate city’s reopening

Some of Chicago’s museums are helping celebrate Chicago’s reopening Friday with late-night hours, staying open until 9 p.m. or 10 p.m.

In a celebration announced by Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office, five Chicago museums will participate to mark the June 11 Open Chicago initiate, when the city follows the State of Illinois in entering phase five of the pandemic recovery, or full reopening.

“One of the best ways we can celebrate our city’s reopening is by spending time at our renowned museums, which have undergone so many challenges over the course of this past year,” said Mayor Lightfoot in the announcement. “That’s why I am thrilled that so many of our most iconic museums will be opening their doors until late this Friday night to give residents and visitors a head start on returning to a sense of normalcy.”

Here’s a look at the Chicago museums that will participate. —Doug George

10:15 a.m.: Offices are reopening, but business isn’t rebounding at dry cleaners: ‘It’s kind of a dying service’

As Chicago looks to put the COVID-19 pandemic behind it, residents are quickly returning to the businesses they used to frequent. But for many, the city’s dry cleaners are no longer part of the weekly routine.

The pandemic has diminished the use of professional and formal attire, leaving the dry cleaning business well below 2019 levels and causing cleaners to worry that COVID-19 has permanently altered the viability of their industry, which has struggled ever since non-iron shirts become popular. It’s a decline that hits particularly hard in the Korean American business community, which owns the majority of the dry cleaners in the state.

Shin Kim, manager of Chicago Cleaners in the Noble Square neighborhood, said that while more customers are starting to drop in with clothing for special events — suits, dresses, tuxedos — the overall volume of clothing he’s cleaning is way down thanks to a lack of day-to-day items like dress pants and dress shirts.

Before the pandemic, Kim said the average monthly income at Chicago Cleaners was between $8,000 and $10,000. Now it’s closer to $4,000.

“Because of the pandemic, it’s kind of a dying service or business you could say,” Kim said.

Read more here. —Denny Jacob

8:17 a.m.: Aon Center’s $185 million observatory is delayed again

There’s a second delay in the project to add a $185 million observation deck and thrill ride to the top of the Aon Center.

The office tower’s owner, 601W Cos., initially planned to start building the tourist attraction overlooking Millennium Park in the fall of 2020. The latest delay means the observatory won’t break ground until next year, Aon Center general manager Matt Amato said.

“Due to COVID, we’ve had to slow down on the observatory,” Amato said. “We have not pulled the plug on the project.”

In June 2020, a few months into the public health crisis, the landlord and its partner, tourist attraction operator Legends, told the Tribune they were pushing back the start of construction until the second quarter of this year.

Now, as that deadline looms, Amato said the New York-based partners are unlikely to kick off work on the project until some point in 2022. That means it wouldn’t open until 2024, he said.

An overhaul of the Aon Center’s large outdoor plaza, which is unrelated to the observatory plan, is on track to open by September, Amato said.

“Our focus right now has been getting tenants back into the building and completing the $6.5 million plaza renovation,” said Amato, of Jones Lang LaSalle.

The building is in the process of gradually ramping up from a pandemic low of 300 workers per day in the office tower toward the pre-pandemic standard of 8,000 employees in the months to come, Amato said.

Read more here. —Ryan Ori

6 a.m.: We asked readers what they’re planning to do when the state reopens. Here’s what they told us.

After months of restrictions, the time has come. If new coronavirus deaths, cases and hospitalizations remain low and if vaccinations continue to increase, Illinois will fully reopen with no COVID-19 restrictions Friday.

That’s a lot of ifs, but Chicagoland residents are already making plans, counting on the state lifting remaining capacity limits, social distancing requirements and health screening mandates. Illinois will be fully open for the first time since Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order went into effect March 21, 2020.

The Chicago Tribune asked readers to share the plans they’re making for the state’s reopening.

Find out what they told us here. —Darcel Rockett, Hannah Herrera Greenspan, Maya Mokh and Karen Ann Cullotta

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting