CHICAGO (CBS) — Comparing herself to a mother who won’t simply turn the car around if her kids are acting up, but one who will make them walk home, Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Wednesday warned the city is “dangerously close” to possibly going back to Phase 3 of reopening, following a recent rise in new COVID-19 cases, particularly among young people.
“The last thing I want to do is have to take steps back. I certainly don’t want to be like other places in the country where we’re shutting down commerce and business,” she said. “If we continue to see this uptick in cases, we’re going to have no choice but to go back into Phase 3. That means shutting businesses down. That means imposing more restrictions on your mobility. No one wants to go back there, but we will have to go back there if people continue to ignore the public health guidance.”
Since June 15, nearly 30% of all new virus cases in Chicago are among people between the ages of 18 and 29, the mayor said.
“This should be all the proof that you need. If you are in the 18 to 29-year-old cohort, you are catching COVID-19, you are getting sick, and you’re not only putting yourself at risk, you’re putting every single person that you come into contact with at risk as well,” she said.
The mayor has repeatedly warned that, if Chicago’s virus numbers take a turn for the worse, she won’t hesitate to reinstate stricter public health requirements.
“Some of you have joked that I’m like the mom who will turn the car around when you’re acting up. No friends, it’s actually worse, I won’t just turn the car around, I’m going to shut it off, I’m going to kick you out, and I’m going to make you walk home. That’s who I am. That’s who I must be for you and everyone else in the city to make sure that we continue to be safe,” she said. “I don’t want to be that person if I don’t have to, but I will if you make me, and right now we are on the precipice. We are dangerously close to going back to a dangerous state of conditions.”