Illinois to reopen museums, gyms with restrictions this week

Chicago News USA

CHICAGO (AP) – Illinois is poised to enter its next phase of reopening Friday, allowing museums, gyms, performance venues and zoos across the state to open their doors with restrictions in place.

Health officials, including in Chicago, said Monday that health metrics required for reopening under state and city plans have been met, with a continuing decline in COVID-19 cases. Previously, Chicago’s reopening had been on a slower pace than Illinois with stricter standards than the state.

At the end of the week, restaurants and bars can offer indoor seating at 25% capacity, with similar occupancy restrictions for other businesses. Indoor gatherings will be limited to 50 people, up from 10. Outdoor gatherings will be capped at 100 people, up from 50 people.

Some venues, like the Lincoln Park Zoo, will require online reservations to prevent people from being turned away at the gate. Gyms will face other safety measures, including spacing out machines.

“Although we have been making good progress, we have only just moved out of the high risk level for COVID-19,” Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Department of Public Health, told reporters.

Illinois has had more than 136,000 coronavirus cases and 6,647 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

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Follow Sophia Tareen on Twitter: https://twitter.com/sophiatareen.

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