CHICAGO - The governor of Illinois announced Sunday that all bars and restaurants to close as of Monday night through March 30. Drive thru, delivery and curbside pickup will be allowed.
"The time for persuasion and public appeals is over. This is not a joke. No one is immune to this. You have an obligation to act in the best intests of all the people in this state," Gov. JB Pritzker said, noting that crowds packed bars in Chicago on Saturday.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot also addressed the crowds on the streets for St. Patrick's Day on Saturday.
"I do not want to see hoards of people out on the streets," Lightfoot said.
The Illinois Restaurant Association offered support for the closure at Sunday's press conference.
"We want to protect the health of customers and team members," said Sam Toia of the Illinois Restaurant Association.
Similarly, the governor of Ohio announced that bars and restaurants in that state would be closing at 9 p.m. Sunday.
The governor and mayor are also outraged over the massive customs screening lines at O'Hare Airport. Passengers from international flights are waiting for hours in crowded conditions to be screened by federal officials for coronavirus.
The dangerous crowding and backups left both leaders apoplectic on Saturday night, with Lightfoot slamming President Trump for his incompetence, and Pritzker tweeting: "The federal government needs to get its s@#t together. NOW."
"Instead of being alerted by federal customs and border patrol, my administration learned through Twitter about the frankly dangerous stituation at O'Hare Airport," Prtizker said Sunday afternoon. "We worked through the night to demand immediate action from the White House."
Pritzker said that Vice President Mike Pence called this morning to acknowledge that "mistakes were made" and that staff at O'Hare would be doubled.
"Frankly, cooperation between Republican and Democratic stakeholders around Illinois has been incredible," Pritzker said. "But if getting mad on Twitter is what it takes for federal officials to act, I am absolutely going to do that."
Lightfoot went to O'Hare on Sunday morning to see firsthand what was going on. Some Chicago Fire Department EMTs will be deputized to work as screeners to help relieve the overcrowding.
"We don't need more ICE members, we need more screeners," Lightfoot said. "We are calling on the FAA to let passengers remain on planes instead of queueing in the passageway."
The state of Illinois also announced Sunday that there are 29 new cases of coronavirus in the state, bringing the total to 93 cases in 13 counties. Those counties now include Champaign, Clinton, Cook, Cumberland, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, Sangamon, Whiteside, Winnebago, St. Clair, and Woodford counties.
Across the United States, there are almost 3,000 confirmed cases, according to data being tracked by Johns Hopkins University. Around the world, COVID-19 has killed at least 6,000 people and made at least 162,000 sick since it was first identified in China in late 2019. There are now more cases outside of China than in it.