Lori Lightfoot is personally cracking down on social distancing violators.
During a Wednesday press conference, the Chicago mayor urged the public to abide by Illinois' stay-at-home order to prevent further spread of coronavirus. And those who fail to adhere to the mandate could risk getting reprimanded by the mayor herself. Lightfoot told reporters she had spent Tuesday patrolling the city's streets, breaking up groups of people and telling them to increase their physical distance.
"I personally drove around yesterday, and I was up on the North Side, in the 50th Ward, and I’ll continue to do that," Lightfoot said, as reported by the Chicago Tribune. "I told people that I saw gathering in clusters not abiding by the social distancing rules to break it up. Yes. And I’ll continue to do that. I mean what I say: We have to protect ourselves. We have to be smart about what we’re doing in the course of this pandemic. And if it means that I drive around and check whether people are in compliance, I’m happy to do it."
Lightfoot expanded on her efforts during a recent Connected to Chicago interview, which is set to air this Sunday. The mayor said many of the violators she confronted were a little surprised to see she was taking matters in her own hands.
"Most people do a double-take and are like, wait, is that the mayor? And then as we roll away, you’ll hear somebody saying, ‘Hey, that was the mayor. Hey, that was Lori Lightfoot,'" she said in the interview with Connected to Chicago. "The other night I think we literally broke up an underage drinking party. There were some young folks that were in a garage with the door up, it was a beautiful night, we pulled by and I told the driver, 'Back up,' rolled down the window and said, 'Hey, you’re too close. Separate yourself. Social distancing!' And we heard one person, I won’t repeat the expletive but they said, 'Oh,' and you can figure it out. So we had a little fun with it."
Illinois' stay-at-home order was issued on March 20 and will remain in effect until April 30. As of Saturday, the state had a total of 19,180 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 677 deaths.