In the months since Gov. J.B. Pritzker lifted the state’s coronavirus stay-at-home order, Chicagoans and other residents of Illinois have seen a gradual tightening of restrictions as COVID-19 cases spiked well past levels seen in the spring.
Pritzker in the spring issued a stay-at-home order that was in effect into June, but the state has never fully reopened, and officials have continued to require people to practice such precautions as wearing a face mask covering both nose and mouth when going out in public.
With more than 10,000 deaths and more than 500,000 known cases reported in Illinois, event organizers, businesses and religious institutions here have reacted to the local transmission of the virus. Starting Nov. 16, Chicago and Cook County went under stay-at-home advisories, and more restrictions could be coming at the state level, as Pritzker has warned the state could be headed for another general shutdown.
Here are Chicago-area cancellations, closings and modifications prompted by the pandemic:
There are many holiday events planned for November and December in the suburbs, all of them adapted to deal with the coronavirus.
Chicago’s Christkindlmarket and many other events have been canceled or moved online this year, including the city’s Christmas tree-lighting ceremony and the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival.
Many theaters throughout the state remain closed, although they can be open under limited circumstances.
Roman Catholic churches in the Archdiocese of Chicago are still holding services under limited-capacity guidelines put in place in June and the archdiocese advised parishes, agencies and its main offices to reinforce current work-at-home advisories, while limiting non-worship gatherings to 10 people.
Many other places of worship also remain open, with restrictions, but many are streaming their services.
Many Chicago-area 12-step recovery meetings were suspended or moved because of coronavirus-related precautions, according to the websites of the local affiliates of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.
Museums and parks
The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago announced Nov. 16 it is closing down for two weeks as COVID-19 rates climb rapidly in Illinois and across the country.
Most Chicago-area museums continue to operate under restrictions, requiring visitors to make reservations and capping attendance.
The Garfield Park Conservatory has had its outdoor grounds open, but the Lincoln Park Conservatory has remained fully closed. Although the Chicago Park District has online and some in-person programs, its offerings are limited.
The Illinois secretary of state’s office is closing its facilities from Nov. 17 through Dec. 7.
Other state government bodies are holding meetings online and may have their operations affected by COVID-19 restrictions. Check the state’s website for individual departments and boards.
Many public bodies have canceled meetings or gone to partially online meeting formats or are allowing public access to meetings via conference call. Chicago’s City Council held its first online council meeting April 15. For more information, check the city clerk’s website. Individual city departments also may have some functions affected by coronavirus restrictions; check each department’s page on the city’s website for details.
The Illinois Supreme Court is holding oral arguments online still; they are open to the public via YouTube.
Will County courts are running on a limited schedule and have coronavirus restrictions.
Cook County Circuit Court jury trials have been postponed, criminal misdemeanor hearings are happening only online, and many other hearings are online only.
Many DuPage County court hearings are being held online, with criminal defendants often not required to appear if their attorney is present for a hearing.
Many suburban and city libraries remain open, but with coronavirus restrictions and more online access.
Many Kane County and Aurora governments have canceled public events and programs.
Many Lake County governments have scaled back their operations and canceled public events, including park district programs and all forest preserve programs.
Many Chicago-area hospitals are again restricting visitors because of the spread of the coronavirus, after relaxing rules over the summer.
On Nov. 16, Advocate Aurora Health said it was delaying half of elective surgeries because of surging COVID-19 cases.
Under the state’s coronavirus plan, restaurants throughout the state are limited to outdoor dining, carryout or delivery, with limited hours. Bars have limited hours and can’t have indoor service.
Chicago is limiting the hours of what it deems nonessential businesses, requiring they stay closed between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Taverns and restaurants must stop serving alcohol at 11 p.m. and businesses that sell packaged alcohol must stop selling at 9 p.m. Restaurants may sell food via delivery, takeout or curbside pickup “at all hours,” according to the advisory order.
As the state has put in place coronavirus restrictions in all regions, the Illinois Gaming Board has restricted activity at video gaming locations and gambling operations.
The Tribune is keeping a running list of restaurants that have permanently closed because of the pandemic.
Chicago’s public schools remain on remote learning. CPS has talked about starting in-person learning for some groups of students, but that may be derailed by spiking cases.
The Archdiocese of Chicago’s schools remain open for in-person instruction, with a portion of students choosing online instruction.
Many colleges and universities are following a hybrid model, with some students on campus and others at home, along with some classes in-person and others remote.
Models for suburban schools vary from district to district, and many have been pulling back from in-person instruction, as school boards feel heat from people on both side of the debate over whether to hold in-person classes. Some of the districts' decisions include:
Glenbrook North and South high schools have joined local elementary schools in going back to remote learning.
Lincoln-Way High School District 210, Bremen High School District 228 and Homer Elementary District 33C have all gone back to remote learning.
Lake Forest and Lake Bluff schools have shifted back to remote learning.
Park Ridge-Niles School District 64 has returned to remote learning.
Naperville School District 203 has announced it will keep most students remote for the rest of the semester.
Kaneland School District 302 was to move to remote learning starting Nov. 18.
District 63 schools have stopped classroom instruction while D207 and D64 in Maine Township were looking to expand it.
Barrington schools are staying with remote learning for now.
Norridge School District 80 went back to in-person instruction briefly, but then returned to remote learning because of the number of people testing positive for COVID-19.
Schaumburg School District 54 halted in-person instruction as hundreds of students and teachers were quarantined.
Elmhurst District 205 is remaining in online learning at least until Thanksgiving.
Indian Prairie schools were to continue with remote learning through November.
Check back for updates.
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