Increased COVID-19 Positivity Rate In Chicago Prompts Mayor's Warning That Ballparks, Bars Could Be Closed

Chicago's COVID-19 positivity rate has grown rom 2.8% on March 1 to 4.5% at the end of the month. The mayor is calling the increase a "quantum leap." With that comes a warning from the city's Office of Emergency Management about the upcoming baseball season -- if cases continue to rise ballparks and bars around them will be closed.

Video Transcript

- COVID cases in Illinois, climbing up again. New numbers just in to us. Take a look. More than 2,500 new cases. That's 200 more than yesterday.

Another number to pay attention to in Chicago, the positivity rate is 4.5% up from 2.7% earlier this month. Numbers like that force the city to sound an alarm. The Cubs home opener is tomorrow with fans. But if COVID cases continue to rise, ballparks and bars around them will be closed. CBS 2's Suzanne Le Mignot is outside Wrigley Field. Suzanne, this is potentially bad news for the neighborhood.

SUZANNE LE MIGNOT: You know, Erica, the business owners that we spoke to say when at a time that they're allowed to have more customers come back in to hear that news, that would just be devastating.

Non-stop beer deliveries are taking place at the bars and restaurants in Wrigleyville. So are the deep cleaning's inside the businesses.

JASON FELSENTHAL: We wipe down all the tables.

SUZANNE LE MIGNOT: Jason Felsenthal is the owner of HVAC, a live music pub here in Wrigleyville. Felsenthal says, to say he's happy about the Cubs home opener on Thursday would be an understatement.

JASON FELSENTHAL: It's exciting. I mean, you know, it's being able to actually have fans in the stadium and be able to have people at the bars.

SUZANNE LE MIGNOT: Felsenthal says, other than a small, private party here at HVAC on St. Patrick's Day, this is the first welcome burst of revenue for his pub since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic a year ago. He says there's been a lot involved to make this moment happen.

JASON FELSENTHAL: Sanitizing tables, making sure everything is six feet apart, keeping the same amount of occupancy that we're allowed to have, which is 50 people per floor.

SUZANNE LE MIGNOT: The rules and regulations are what Mayor Lori Lightfoot wants to make sure all business owners are following with both the Cubs and White Sox home openers. She had this stern warning.