CHICAGO (CBS) — The Illinois Department of Public Health on Saturday reported 11,028 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours, along with 166 deaths over the last two days.
Those numbers come on the heels of a stay-at-home advisory from Mayor Lori Lightfoot, which is set to start on Monday.
As CBS 2’s Jeremy Ross reported, the advisory is likely to have an impact on some of Chicago’s biggest attractions.
Overall, businesses that are handling the pandemic with great caution will not see much change. The advisory is more like an official suggestion rather than strict laws.
But starting up a new museum in all of this is certainly complicated.
“Lots of people are looking to get out and enjoy themselves,” said Stacy Stec of Chicago’s Museum of Illusions. “Fusing fun and entertainment together you can create a memorable and meaningful experience.”
Ross on Sunday had a look at the optical enigmas, holograms, and science perspectives of the new Museum of Illusions, located in the downtown commercial building at 25 E. Washington St.
“We had intentions of opening earlier in 2020,” Stec said.
But COVID-19 shifted that reality. Stec said the museum’s summer start was pushed back to this weekend.
“We wanted to be proactive and plan with the pandemic in mind,” she said.
The delay allowed the museum to better perfect temperature checks and a one-way traffic flow for social distancing, and to install a special air purification system. The museum is looking to reassure families and also to allow better for hands-on interactivity.
“Guests are coming in in their own small family groups,” Stec said.
Ross asked about the idea of encouraging people to touch and play with things in the era of COVID-19.
“You know, I understand that’s a concern for many. I’m a parent as well,” Stec said. “We have staff members wiping things down constantly. As soon as somebody touches a surface. we have a staff member there to wipe it down.”
Shannon Wagner and daughter Harper visited the Shedd Aquarium on Saturday. Wagner described it as taking similar sanitation and social distancing measures.
“The kids are getting very restless at home,” Wagner said. “We’re trying to be safe, but yeah, we’ve got to get out. Otherwise, they’re going to go crazy.”
This all comes as Chicago prepares for Monday’s stay-at-home advisory. But the advisory does not mean everything is closing.
A stone’s thrown from the Shedd, the Field Museum of Natural History said since it is such a large, well-ventilated space, the Mayor’s office has encouraged it and other museums to remain open as places to visit safely during the COVID-19 surge.
But the same office has also argued this week that people should only be leaving their homes for essential things.
“This is not an essential place in terms of the mayor,” Stec said. “We do encourage people to make the best decisions for themselves, and we understand people are cautious – and if you’re cautious and you don’t feel comfortable. That’s OK.”
The Museum of Illusions plans to be a fixture long after COVID-19. The hope is there will not be more significant restrictions in the days ahead.
But that is all up to the COVID-19 trends, and those trends are going the wrong way.
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