Chicago Mayor asks residents to cancel Thanksgiving plans and stay indoors as Covid cases rise

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Thursday asked all residents to cancel Thanksgiving plans and stay at home unless they need to go to work or school or to tend to essential needs like the doctor's office or grocery store.

Chicago said it was issuing the 30-day stay-at-home advisory, asking people to refrain from traveling, having guests in their home or leaving for non-essential business "in response to the rapid rise of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the city."

"This is serious life and death," Lightfoot said during a press conference discussing the state-at-home advisory, adding that the city is "doing what is necessary" to slow the spread of the virus. "We are sounding the alarm that we are at this inflection point where we have to do more than we've already done."

The announcement comes as the virus continues to rapidly spread across the state. Illinois hit a record high in average daily news cases Wednesday, with cases now up more than 60% compared to a week ago, according to CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The state reported more than 12,700 new cases on Thursday, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Lightfoot said Chicago is averaging around 1,900 new cases a day.

"This is not the flu or the cold," Lightfoot said. She added the city is seeing an uptick in people going to work even though they feel sick.

Last last month, Illinois Gov. Jay Pritzker announced Chicago bars and restaurants would no longer be allowed to serve customers indoors in an effort to control the coronavirus' spread in the region. Gatherings would be also be limited to 25 people or 25% of overall room capacity.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

Correction: This article was updated to reflect that Chicago issued a stay-at-home advisory.

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