Chicago and Illinois, along with the rest of the nation and world, are seeing massive closures of public buildings and cancellations of public events due to the continued attempts to contain the novel coronavirus outbreak.
On Thursday, local officials announced that all gatherings of more than 1,000 people would be banned for at least 30 days, and strongly urged anyone organizing an event with more than 250 people to also cancel or postpone.
“We have seen what works and what doesn’t work,” Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said at a joint evening press conference with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “Don’t be fooled into thinking your community is immune, it is not. I’m not going to hesitate to take the most aggressive measures possible.”
According to the latest figures from the Illinois Department of Public Health, 32 people in the state have tested positive for COVID-19. The latest seven cases are three people from Cook County a man in his 50s and two women in their 70s, a Chicago woman in her 40s, a Kane County man in his 70s, and a McHenry County man in his 60s. A young child in Chicago also tested positive this week, but officials said no details would be released about that case.
“While older adults appear to be suffering more severe illness, the young child in Chicago is a reminder that anyone can be infected with this virus,” said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the state’s director of the public health department.
While Chicago Public Schools remained open on Friday morning, many other schools across the city and state are closing. The Archdiocese of Chicago announced Friday it would cancel all classes beginning Monday, as well as suspending Catholic mass indefinitely. Weddings and funerals scheduled this weekend will not be postponed so far, but will be limited to 250 people or less. Churches will remain open for private prayer at the discretion of pastors.
All major sporting events have been cancelled until further notice.
University of Illinois, DePaul, Northwestern, and Illinois State University will suspend all in-person classes.
Museums. Shedd Aquarium will close for at least two weeks beginning Friday. The Illinois State Museum, Lincoln Park Zoo and the Museum of Science and Industry will also temporarily close. The Field Museum and National Museum of Mexican Art will be closed starting tomorrow through March 29. The Chicago Botanic Garden, on apparent consultation with the CDC, will keep their outdoor spaces open to visitors, but will cancel all classes and events, including the closing weeks of the Brilliance Orchid Show. The Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art and the American Writers Museum are also closing through late March.
The Black Women’s Expo, 2020SheBelieves Summit, Chicago Flower and Garden Show, Shamrock Shuffle, and Family Pet Expo have all been cancelled or postponed.
The CME Group will suspend trading after the end of business on Friday.
Theater productions. Most Chicago theaters are canceling or suspending productions for the next few weeks or without a specified restart date. If you have theater tickets, please check with the venue and/or producing company to see if the show will go on. These are the theaters from which we have received cancellation notices as of this afternoon: Apollo Theater, Broadway in Chicago, Court Theatre, The Den Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre, Factory Theater, Goodman Theatre, Greenhouse Theater Center, Griffin Theatre, House Theatre, Idle Muse Theatre, Kokandy Productions, Lifeline Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre, The New Colony, Northlight Theatre, Paramount Theatre, Porchlight Music Theatre, Raven Theatre, A Red Orchid Theatre, Second City, Trap Door Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, Writers Theatre. In addition, Cirque du Soleil has announced it will not present Alegria in Chicago this June.
This list will be updated as more cancellations and closures are announced.