Editor's Note: The University has released additional guidance for students in light of Mayor Lightfoot's stay-at-home advisory. For updated information, click here.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot (J.D. ’89) announced a new stay-at-home advisory today, effective Monday, November 16. The mayor’s advisory urges Chicagoans to “only leave home to go to work or school, or for essential needs such as seeking medical care, going to the grocery store or pharmacy, picking up food, or receiving deliveries.”
Lightfoot’s order urges Chicagoans to limit meetings and social events, both indoor and outdoors, to ten people. It also advises against hosting guests, traditional Thanksgiving celebrations, and nonessential travel.
Existing restrictions based on Governor J. B. Pritzker’s executive orders remain in place, including the 11 p.m. curfew on non-essential businesses, and a ban on indoor dining, though restaurants may continue serving customers via outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery.
The COVID–19 restrictions currently in place remain less stringent than they have been earlier in the year, though Pritzker has indicated that he may take more dramatic action if the situation does not improve. Under the advisory set to begin on Monday, nonessential retail stores may remain open at 40 percent capacity, where an April executive order from the governor did not allow indoor shopping at such businesses. Likewise, bars may continue to operate without indoor service, while they were required to close earlier in the pandemic.
Pritzker praised the mayor’s stay-at-home advisory at a press conference today, but indicated that if the COVID situation in Illinois continues to deteriorate, he could institute a state-wide, mandatory stay-at-home order.
UChicago originally planned to host in-person classes next week, with meetings proceeding until Friday, November 20. Those plans have not changed, and the school plans to continue to host in-person classes for the week of November 16–20, according to University spokesperson Jeremy Manier. Manier noted the text of the order, which says that “residents are advised to only leave home to go to work or school,” in his statement.
Manier was unable to provide any additional guidance regarding potential changes to UChicago Forward policies, residence halls, or future plans as of Thursday afternoon. Manier said further information will be forthcoming by the week’s end.
The advisory comes on the heels of a spike in hospitalizations and deaths from COVID–19 in the state of Illinois and will last at least 30 days.