Pritzker mandates cancellation of all events of more than 1,000 people

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Flanked by other public officials, Mayor Lori Lightfoot (right) smirks as Gov. J.B. Pritzker decries the federal government’s response to the coronavirus during a press conference Wednesday at the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications headquarters
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, joined by other local health officials and office holders, has been holding regular briefings this week on the coronavirus outbreak. | Sun-Times file

Gov. J.B. Pritzker made the announcement at a Thursday press conference.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he was mandating that all events of more than 1,000 people be canceled and said he is encouraging event organizers around the state to consider cancelling or postponing any events of over 250 people in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Pritzker said that owners of all Illinois’ major sports teams agreed to cancel or postpone all games scheduled until May 1 as the coronavirus continues to spread across the state.

The cancellation of large gatherings and decision to shut down major sporting events across the state were among a series of directives Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced as the state responds to the COVID-19 crisis.

However, Pritzker did not call for the closure of schools across the state. Instead, he said schools will be monitored “on a day-by-day basis.”

Chicago Public Schools will not be closed.

However, Lightfoot said “CPS will begin scaling back large-scale events” and taking other actions.

“Community events of more than 1,000 are banned for the next 30 days in the city of Chicago,” said Lightfoot, adding that those events includes all concerts and conferences.

“No gathering takes priority over the health of any attendee,” she said.

In addition to nixing major events, Pritzker announced that the Thompson Center downtown would be closed starting Monday to “people who don’t have business with the state.”

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March 12, 2020 at 05:23PM

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