(NOTE: Daily press conferences from Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot will be streamed live in the player above. Check back for updates.)
The city of Chicago on Monday reopened some parks and libraries Monday for the first time in months.
The reopenings came one day after Illinois health officials reported the lowest single-day increase in coronavirus cases since early April.
Here are the latest developments on the coronavirus crisis today (June 8):
Chicago Reopens Some Parks, Libraries
Chicago announced Sunday that several city services would be up and running Monday, including the reopening of some parks and libraries.
Though the Lakefront Trail will remain closed, all lakefront parks west of Lake Shore Drive will be reopened to the public, city officials said. That includes Lincoln Park, Grant Park, Burnham Park, Harold Washington Park and Jackson Park, as well as the Jackson Park Golf Course and Diversey Driving Range.
Many of the Chicago Public Library’s neighborhood branches — along with the Harold Washington Library Center in the Loop — will reopen Monday as well, with new social distancing and safety guidelines that include guided paths and restricted capacities, officials said.
Also, the city will be reopening the City Hall Payment Center at 400 W. Superior St., officials said, though residents are still encouraged to use kiosks or the online portal. Drivers with unpaid tickets who weren’t penalized before March 18 will be notified of due dates for their fines.
Lake County Fair Canceled
The 92nd Annual Lake County Fair has been canceled, organizers announced Monday. The fair was scheduled to take place July 29 through August 2 in north suburban Grayslake.
“We feel under the circumstances of uncertainty, this is the right decision for the health and safety of fairgoers, supporters, volunteers and the surrounding community,” the Lake County Fair Association said in a statement.
Organizers said virtual events would take place and that the fair would continue in 2021.
Illinois Sees Lowest Number of New Cases Since April
Health officials in Illinois confirmed 867 new cases of coronavirus statewide Sunday, the lowest single-day uptick in cases since all the way back on April 2, when 715 cases were reported.
In all, Illinois has now confirmed 127,757 cases of the virus since the pandemic began. An additional 43 deaths were reported Sunday, bringing the statewide total to 5,904.
State testing numbers continue to hold steady as well, with 20,700 tests reported over the previous 24 hours. The statewide total for tests now stands at 1,042,774, and the rolling seven-day positivity rate on tests is at 5%, another sign that Illinois has flattened the curve.
Lightfoot Releases Reopening Guidelines for Chicago Churches
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced new reopening guidelines for city churches Saturday with Chicago in Phase Three of its reopening plan.
Under the “Be Safe. Places of Worship” guidelines, churches are required to allow no more than 50 congregants per room or 25% of a room’s capacity as long as social distancing can be maintained.
Churches will also need to protect congregants by maintaining healthy interactions, safe spaces and conditions, operational resiliency and travel guidelines. See the full guidelines here.
Illinois Could See Uptick in Coronavirus Cases in 2-3 Weeks Due to Protests: Pritzker
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker admitted on Friday that he’s worried about an uptick in coronavirus cases in the next two to three weeks following recent protests statewide with many demonstrators apparently ignoring social distancing.
Pritzker said, if the cases were to significantly increase, the uptick would be reflected by a changed hospitalization rate in the next two to three weeks.
As in recent days, the state’s positivity rate held around six percent Friday — well under the 20% threshold required to move onto Illinois’ next reopening phase.