CHICAGO (CBS) — The big question in Chicago: When will more businesses reopen?
CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov has new details on who will be open their doors…and who still has to stay closed.
Only out a week or 10 days will separate Governor JB Pritzker’s Phase 3 reopening plan from the mayor’s plan for Chicago. Early June is the target. A specific date to come.
“I’ve got to do the thing that is right and not the thing that is popular.”
It is Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s simple explanation for why Chicago won’t be entering reopening Phase 3 on May 29 like the rest of the state. Chicago’s COVID-19 metrics just aren’t there yet.
But then, there’s good news.
“For the first time, seeing a decline in cases here in Chicago. It’s early, but it’s the most important metric,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health.
“I am pleased to announce that we are preparing for Chicago to take the first step in early June. All the sectors that we are announcing today, need to be prepared to open,” Lightfoot said.
The exact date, said the mayor, still to be set. When it is, Lightfoot said childcare centers, libraries, parks and facilities west of the lake can reopen, along with non-essential stores, salons, barbershops, offices and some outdoor attractions west of the lake, including golf courses.
Restaurants with outdoor patios can begin serving diners. And City Hall will open, too. All with limitations.
“The reason we can’t give an exact date is because we are focused on the public health data. And we’re going to be dictated by that. And we’ll certainly give people advance notice. ”
While good news for many business and restaurants, it’s a mixed blessing to Guillermo Alvarez. He and his wife own Cuba 312 and Mima’s Taste of Cuba. Alvarez said his small dining patio, with social distancing, wouldn’t generate enough income to help his bottom line.
“To be honest with you, it’s going to take the green light,” Alvarez said.
He get some good news in that regard. The mayor sad she wants to have more discussions with the governor about opening up indoor dining in some capacity, possibly later in Phase 3.
What will remain closed until later in the phase? The lakefront, churches and summer programs.