Chicago Sun-Times - - TOP NEWS - | @fspiel­man BY FRAN SPIELMAN, CITY HALL RE­PORTER fspiel­man@sun­times.com

Kansas on Tues­day be­came the 18th state on Chicago’s 14-day quar­an­tine list — and Wis­con­sin could be next.

“Wis­con­sin is get­ting very close to be­ing on this list. They could be added as soon as next week,” said Chicago Health Com­mis­sioner Dr. Al­li­son Ar­wady.

“When I talk to folks in Wis­con­sin — whether that’s the state epi­demi­ol­o­gist, whether that’s peo­ple just on an anec­do­tal level — we know that peo­ple are not wear­ing masks there at the level that they are here in Chicago.”

The 14-day quar­an­tine or­der that now ap­plies to any­one ar­riv­ing in Chicago from 18 states is not be­ing strictly en­forced. Com­pli­ance is vol­un­tary. No ci­ta­tions have been is­sued.

Even so, adding Wis­con­sin to the list would al­most cer­tainly make Chicagoans think twice be­fore tak­ing day trips to Lake Geneva or va­ca­tion­ing in Door County or the Wis­con­sin Dells.

Ar­wady is­sued the warn­ing af­ter join­ing Mayor Lori Light­foot to en­list Chicago sports teams to con­vince young peo­ple re­spon­si­ble for a re­cent uptick in coro­n­avirus cases to stop their risky be­hav­ior.

At a news con­fer­ence at Guar­an­teed Rate Field, home of her beloved White Sox, Light­foot donned a Sox jersey and hat to un­veil the mar­ket­ing cam­paign she called “We Are All One Team.”

The goal is to con­vince young peo­ple obliv­i­ous to the dan­gers of COVID-19 to start wear­ing face masks, stop so­cial­iz­ing in large groups and main­tain so­cial dis­tance to avoid putting them­selves and their older and more vul­ner­a­ble fam­ily mem­bers at risk.

Peo­ple ages 18 to 29 make up 30% of new Chicago COVID-19 cases since June 15.

The cam­paign will use the star power of play­ers and mas­cots from the Bears, Black­hawks, Bulls, Cubs, Sox, Fire, Red Stars and Sky to drive home the mes­sage on so­cial me­dia chan­nels and on bill­boards city­wide.

The “on-the-ground” por­tion of the cam­paign will de­ploy “street teams of young adults to hot spots,” in­clud­ing bars, restau­rants and parks. The am­bas­sadors not only will re­mind their peers to fol­low health guid­ance but also dis­trib­ute face masks, hand san­i­tizer, but­tons and fly­ers to pro­mote so­cial dis­tanc­ing and mask-wear­ing.

Light­foot has tried just about ev­ery­thing to get through to young peo­ple — some of whom, she has said, be­have as if they’re obliv­i­ous or in­vin­ci­ble.

She closed the lake­front, re­opened it only for run­ning, bik­ing and walk­ing and kept the beaches closed. She cut off city­wide liquor sales af­ter 9 p.m. and drove around the city per­son­ally, break­ing up large groups.

She warned of a roll­back, only to have young peo­ple con­tinue their risky be­hav­ior, forc­ing her to retighten reg­u­la­tions on bars, restau­rants, gyms and sa­lons.

Now, she’s try­ing the ed­u­ca­tion ap­proach and hop­ing sports celebrity can carry the mes­sage over the goal line.

She also makes no apolo­gies for pro­hibit­ing bars from serv­ing cus­tomers in­doors.

“Bars are a source of po­ten­tial spread. Young peo­ple in the 18-to29 and 30-to-39 age range gather in those places. Polic­ing that and get­ting com­pli­ance in bars where peo­ple are con­gre­gat­ing — that’s what bars are about. That’s the so­cial at­mos­phere that is cre­ated,” the mayor said.

“That’s why this new cam­paign ... is so im­por­tant. We need to make sure that we are all in this to­gether be­cause COVID-19 is ruth­less. It doesn’t spare any­one. And young peo­ple, you’re not im­mune. You’re not in­vin­ci­ble. Not when it comes to this disease.”

Ar­wady pointed to what hap­pened at a hair salon in Mis­souri when two stylists wear­ing face masks “found out they had COVID” while serv­ing cus­tomers who were also wear­ing masks.

“They had been in close con­tact with 140 peo­ple. How many peo­ple got COVID? Zero. Largely be­cause those masks help to limit the spread,” Ar­wady said.

“This is one of the eas­i­est things that you can do and that all of us can do as Chicagoans as part of one team.”


Young peo­ple gather at Lake Michi­gan this month. A spike in Chicago’s COVID cases in the 18-to-29 age group has prompted re­newed re­stric­tions on bars — and a new out­reach cam­paign by City Hall.


Chicago Mayor Lori Light­foot stands with Sky Guy, mas­cot of the WNBA’s Chicago Sky, dur­ing a news con­fer­ence Tues­day at Guar­an­teed Rate Field.

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