It seemed like it would never come, but Chicago plans to enter into the second to last stage of returning to “normal,” tomorrow, June 26th, when the city will move to reopen into phase 4. No longer will social distancing guidelines be restricted to a 10-people max. Now 50 people max will be allowed to gather. Although the city of Chicago moving into this new phase shows high hopes for a quicker recovery, the only way to move into phase 5 is to have an effective vaccine, treatment available, or some kind of immunity developed.
Here’s a list of what’s allowed to reopen in phase 4:
- Shopping Centers (limited to 50 percent of its capacity)
- Restaurants and Bars (limited to parties of up to 10 people)
- Haircuts and Personal Care
- Health Clubs
- Museums and Zoos (limited to 25 percent capacity)
- Entertainment venues
- Games and recreation
- Meetings and conventions (limited to 50 people or 50 percent of capacity)
- Health Care
- Child care, Schools, Summer Camps
- Offices (50 percent capacity)
According to nbcchicago.com, since May 29th Gov. J.B. Pritzker has been confident in his decision to move Chicago forward into phase 4 of the states five-phased plan. “Here, we have been gradually restoring business and leisure activities in a highly deliberate manner, guided by doctors’ advice. Illinoisans are following the mitigations that we can each do ourselves, like wearing face coverings, keeping six feet distance between us, and washing our hands frequently. It’s because of the people of Illinois that we’re seeing a trajectory of relative success where other parts of the country are not,” Pritzker said in a statement.
According to nbcchicago.com, the announcement comes as Illinois reported nearly 900 new infections and more than 40 additional fatalities Thursday. At the same time, the state set a single-day testing record, crossing 30,000 for the first time since coronavirus testing began.
Hopefully Illinois continues to show improvement and growth so that we can aid in the search of a vaccine or treatment for COVID-19. If not, we could potentially be stuck in phase 4 into the year 2021.
Although phase 4 still has necessary precautions of limited capacity and guidelines, there are a few go-to spots for teens and young adults to finally visit!
The Escape Game Chicago, Escape Artistry, and Fox in a Box – Chicago: Now that we’ve finally escaped from phases 1-3 of reopening Illinois, take this same energy to the escape rooms of Chicago with family and friends to enjoy! Not only do you bond with your friends by figuring out how to break out of your confined space, you can release any additional stress from quarantine as you put your focus towards something fun.
Maggie Daley Park: I’m definitely an adrenaline junkie and I love anything competitive, so if you’re like me, this might be the perfect place for you and your friends to take a load off. You can scale an outdoor rock climbing wall that reaches a maximum height of 40 feet as well as rollerblading and mini golf.
Chicago River Canoe Kayak: I’m not a big outdoors person, but due to the long months of quarantine, I appreciate nature way more than I used to. Take this opportunity to try new things like kayaking with your friends and family.
Skydeck Chicago: This is on my list of places to go in July! On the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower is a spectacular view of the city in a clear box. It almost feels as though you’re walking on air. For people who aren’t afraid of heights, this is definitely for us. I can’t even imagine how beautiful it must look when the sunsets and at night.
Saturday Night Live The Experience: This is definitely another experience I have on my list of to-do’s for phase 4. For all my SNL fans and broadcast journalism junkies, expose your friends and family to the world you love with this intricate experience. This is an interactive exhibit at the Museum of Broadcast Communications and this is only available until the end of the year!
Eat On A Patio: Now is the time to get out and enjoy a meal at one of your favorite restaurants with a friend. Even though we can now eat inside of restaurants it’s still a good idea to opt to sit outdoors when possible. The fresh air, good food, and people-watching will nourish your body and feed your spirit.
Now get out the house and enjoy yourself, even if it’s just a little. Remember to still practice social distancing when possible and always wear your mask when in a public place.
By Kori Barnes, Junior, UNLV