We hope everyone is staying safe and healthy.  While not all of our properties are in the City of Chicago we wanted to share this announcement with everyone since many other places are also asking for residents to practice the same precautions. For our suburban client’s many local Park Districts have also followed the City of Chicago and have closed lakefront access as well as parks and playgrounds.
Please take all of these precautions seriously to protect yourself and others.
Immediate Closure of The City’s Lakefront, Adjacent Parks, 606 & Riverwalk
As part of the City’s important Stay Home, Save Lives initiative in response to the evolving COVID-19 crisis. 
This guidance includes urging residents to continue to practice key social distancing techniques, shown to prevent the spread of the virus; as well as encouraging residents to take precautions outdoors, including ensuring that trips outdoors are brief, individual and avoiding congregate settings and close contacts, which could further spread transmission.

In response to the excessive gatherings of people along Chicago’s Lakefront, Riverwalk and 606 Trail this week, effective immediately, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot has issued an executive order closing these spaces to the public until further notice. These measures are designed to protect the health and safety of residents amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). 
The Mayor’s order bans lakefront access to all parkland in Chicago adjoining Lake Michigan, including walking, running and cycling paths, beaches and other recreational facilities. This includes all of Millennium Park. To keep these areas secured, the Chicago Park District is putting in place barricades and other security measures pursuant to the order. Please visit the Chicago Park District website for the full list of closures. https://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/

Residents need to limit their time outside to brief walks or runs around their immediate neighborhood. Currently, the District’s green spaces and parks remain open, and the City will monitor park activity in the event more closures are necessary to prevent large gatherings and congregations of people during the stay at home order. Furthermore, the order also prohibits contact sports, like basketball and football.

Many alternative routes will still be available to Chicago residents choosing to walk or bike to work during this time, and residents are encouraged to visit Chicago.gov/CDOT to view the city’s network of 248 miles of bike lanes.  

While the Chicago Police Department is empowered to enforce the Mayor’s new order through citations up to $500 and additional measures, the Department is primarily focusing on educating residents about the new order and providing warnings to individuals using these closed spaces. 
To further ensure compliance with the order, the Department will move forward with issuing citations if individuals don’t adhere to initial warnings from police officers. 

This virus spreads through droplets, meaning coughing and sneezing, which is why individuals need to socially distance themselves from others and remain at home. The City of Chicago is on track to have over 1,000 cases by the end of this week and 2,000 cases in the State of Illinois.

ALL PLAYGROUNDS ARE CLOSED – Dog-Friendly Areas remain Open

All Playgrounds are closed without exception, even though closed signs may not be displayed everywhere yet.
Playgrounds are not clean nor can they be sanitized. The virus can last for up to several days on surfaces, and if one child picks it up and passes it along, even if the child shows no symptoms, it can spread the disease to others.
Dog-Friendly Areas remain open, but it is critical that users practice social distancing by keeping at least 6-foot distances, continue hand washing for 20 seconds and please stay home if you feel ill.

This time may be stressful for many individuals and the outdoors provide a welcome break. Emotional reactions to this emerging health crisis are expected. Remind yourself, your family, and your friends that feeling sad, anxious, overwhelmed or having other symptoms of distress such as trouble sleeping is normal. If symptoms become worse, encourage them, and yourself, to reach out for support and help. The following are free mental health resources available to all Chicago residents: 

Tips on Managing Anxiety about COVID-19

 * Connect to free teletherapy services at Chicago Department of Public Health Mental Health Centers by calling 312-747-1020.  

* Connect to a NAMI Chicago Helpline mental health counselor by calling 311 or directly at 833-626-4244

Guidance for Parents in Talking to Children about COVID-19

For up to date information and additional resources, please visit the City’s Coronavirus Response Center website at www.chicago.gov/coronavirus, text COVID19 to 78015, or email coronavirus@chicago.gov

Below are links to more information about the coronavirus:

Centers for Disease Control  This CDC site includes information about COVID-19 and provides travel information that might be helpful to those planning trips

Illinois Department of Public Health is another good source of information