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Photograph: Cory Dewald

Chicago increases indoor dining capacity to 40 percent

Indoor dining restrictions have been loosened once again.

By
Morgan Olsen
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Effective immediately, Chicago restaurants, bars and events will be able to bump up indoor capacity to 40 percent or 50 people per room, whichever is fewer. This announcement comes less than a week after city officials shared their revamped reopening roadmap, which offers benchmarks for increasing indoor capacities.

As of Tuesday, Chicago's improving COVID-19 metrics have allowed the city to progress in its plan. Most notably, the average number of COVID-19 cases per day has dipped below 400 for the past three days. What's next? Officials will continue monitoring cases, positivity rate and available ICU beds over the next two weeks (or one incubation period) to determine if Chicago restaurants can soon increase capacity to 50 percent. However, the earliest that could happen would be the beginning of March.

"In recent days, we have made incredible progress in the ongoing effort to save lives and defeat this deadly virus," Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement. "I am thrilled that we have made enough headway to cautiously ease more regulations, but I once again want to remind all our businesses and residents that we are not out of the woods yet. Only by committing to what we know works will we be able to continue moving forward carefully and responsibly."

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