Coronavirus Chicago Update: School closings, events canceled amid COVID-19 outbreak

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Friday, June 26, 2020
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CHICAGO (WLS) -- Coronavirus concerns have led to a number of closings and cancellations as more COVID-19 cases are reported in Illinois.

Gov. JB Pritzker announced a five-phase plan to reopen the state, called "Restore Illinois." The plan breaks the state up into four regions and sets milestones to move from phase to phase, ending with a widespread treatment or vaccine that will allow large gatherings to resume.

Due to progress by the state in reducing the number of cases, number of hospital and ICU beds in use, and the positivity rate of each region, the whole state of Illinois is set to move into Phase 4 of the reopening plan on June 26. That means that restaurants and bars will be allowed to open limited indoor seating, movie theaters and performance spaces can open with restrictions, as can gyms and other indoor spaces, all with restrictions. Outdoor gatherings of up to 50 people are now allowed as well. Click here for more information on Phase 4 updates and to read the full Restore Illinois plan.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Chicago will move on to Phase 4 of reopening along with the rest of the state.

Illinois moves into Phase 4 of reopening June 26. What does that mean?

Starting May 1, it is mandatory for all residents over the age of 2 to wear a mask in public places, such as stores and other spaces where it's not possible to maintain 6 feet of distance. Retail stores that are not designated as essential businesses may take orders online and by phone and offer pick-up and delivery, greenhouses and garden centers may open with social distancing measures, and there will be a phased-in reopening of state parks. Pritzker will also allow hospitals to resume some elective surgeries. Many hospitals have lost revenue, resulting in some furloughs and layoffs.


Gov. JB Pritzker announced on April 17 all Illinois schools will remain closed for the remainder of the academic year. It was not yet clear in early May if the 2020-2021 school year would have in-person classes.


  • The University of Illinois is planning to resume face-to-face instruction beginning in the fall of 2020.The plan is contingent on the university having an adequate testing apparatus in place and that the state has moved into Phase 4 of reopening by August 24. The state is set to move to Phase 4 on June 26.Read about U of I's reopening plan.
  • Northwestern University will transition completely to remote instruction for the remainder of the spring quarter. A decision has not yet been made on the graduation ceremonies scheduled for June.
  • DePaul closed all university libraries and labs, effective March 18. It also decided March 27 not to hold in-person graduation ceremonies.
  • Both Northwestern and DePaul have released plans to reintroduce in-person learning in the fall. Northwestern released a six-part plan, while DePaul released guidelines for limited in-person learning. Click here for more information.
  • Indiana University is postponing spring commencement ceremonies on all campuses that had been scheduled for May.
  • Northern Illinois University decided March 17 to discontinue all face-to-face classes for the remainder of the semester and replace them with virtual instruction.
  • The University of Illinois is suspending face-to-face instruction for the rest of the spring 2020 semester. The school said it intends to resume instruction using alternate delivery methods beginning March 23. The U of I System also announced that commencement ceremonies in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield will not be held this May. Diplomas will instead be mailed to graduates, and the university system is considering rescheduling or holding virtual events to honor the Class of 2020.UIC will hold a virtual graduation celebration for the Class of 2020 on May 16. The celebration is not a replacement for the traditional UIC commencement ceremony, which will be rescheduled once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides and health officials have deemed it is safe for public gatherings to resume. Schools will share links to the virtual celebrations with their graduating students.
  • Lewis University is suspending all in-person classes and moving to online instruction for the spring and summer 2020 semesters. The school's May 2020 commencement ceremony has been postponed, as have all other public activities. Residence halls remain closed through the end of the summer 2020 semester.
  • North Park University in Chicago has announced it will extend its spring break three days through March 18 for students (no classes), and move all classes to virtual instruction (distance learning) beginning March 19. The commencement scheduled for May 9, 2020 will also be held virtually.
  • Waubonsee Community College will finish the spring 2020 semester and hold summer class online. Classes that start on May 18 have been confirmed to be online-only. The college said it will make determinations about classes set to begin in June and July in the future.
  • City Colleges of Chicago said no classes and no student services will be offered in person through the end of the spring semester. Most classes are available online, as are most student services. Visit for more information on virtual student services.
  • Elmhurst College has closed its campus to all but essential personnel and remaining students through at least May 30. All classes have moved to virtual instruction. Undergraduate and graduate commencement ceremonies planned for May have been postponed to an as-yet-determined date.
  • Joliet Junior College has moved all classes online through the summer semesters, and is waiving fees for regular and online classes for the summer semester only.
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago is extending it spring break from March 16-March 29. All classroom instruction will then be moved online, starting April 6 through the end of the semester.
  • Loyola University suspended all in-person classes effective March 13, with classes being moved online.
  • Judson University in Elgin has made the decision to move to digital learning for the remainder of the spring semester for the traditional, adult and graduate programs.
  • The University of Chicago is moving to remote learning for all undergraduate and graduate classes for the entire spring quarter for 2020, beginning March 30. It will delay the start of Spring Quarter by one week, from Monday, March 30 to Monday, April 6 for most units on campus. The Law School will still begin Spring Quarter on Monday, March 30, to ensure adherence to accreditation guidelines.
  • Illinois State University is expanding its spring break for students until March 23. Classes will then transition from face-to-face teaching to online instruction.
  • Wheaton College has decided to end face-to-face instruction for the rest of the school year.
  • Naval Station Great Lakes has suspended guest attendance at graduation ceremonies over concerns of potential spread of COVID-19. Graduations will continue and will be livestreamed on the US Navy's online platforms, including their Facebook page. Liberty will also be cancelled for graduates and they will report directly to their follow-on assignments.

  • Little Village's 26th Street Mexican Independence Parade and Fiestas Patrias Festival have been cancelled. Both were scheduled for the weekend of Sept. 11-13.
  • Schaumburg canceled its Septemberfest Labor Day festival, which was scheduled for Sept. 5 to 7.
  • The village of Romeoville canceled RomeoFest, scheduled for Aug. 6 to 9.
  • The annual Lollapalooza music festival will not be taking place in Grant Park. The city and organizers said it will be re-imagined as a livestream event.
  • All city special events, including the Taste of Chicago, Blues Festival, Jazz Festival, the Chicago Air and Water Show and more, have been canceled through Labor Day. Click here for more information.
  • Grant Park Music Festival canceled its 2020 music season, scheduled to run from June 10 to August 15 in Millennium Park.
  • Ravinia canceled its 2020 music season.
  • The Exchange Club of Naperville, organizers of the 33rd annual Ribfest, announced the July festival would be canceled amid health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Andersonville Midsommarfest 2020 has been postponed until the weekend of August 21-23. It was originally scheduled to be held in June.
  • The 36th annual Printers Row Lit Fest in Chicago has been postponed until Labor Day weekend, Sept. 5 and 6. It was originally scheduled for June.
  • The 39th annual Chicago Music Awards scheduled for May 17 has been postponed to May 16, 2021, and for the first time in its history will combine Chicago's best artists from two consecutive years - 2019 and 2020.
  • The city of Whiting canceled its Fourth of July festivities, including the annual July 3rd Party in the Park and Fireworks Show at Whiting Lakefront Park as well as Whiting's 2020 July 4th Parade.
  • The Whiting Robertsdale Chamber of Commerce said April 8 it is postponing this year's Pierogi Fest. Pierogi Fest 2021 will be held July 23, 24 and 25.
  • The Old Town Art Fair and its sponsoring organization, the Old Town Triangle Association announced April 3 the decision to cancel the perennial kick-off to Chicago's summer art festival season. The fair was scheduled for June 13 and14, always the second full weekend in June.
  • City of West Chicago cancelled Blooming Fest, the downtown garden festival scheduled for Saturday, May 16, 2020.
  • The 2020 Sweets & Snacks Expo, originally scheduled for May 18-21 in Chicago, has been canceled.
  • Milwaukee's SummerFest music festival has been postponed until September due to the coronavirus outbreak. The festival is now scheduled for the weekends of Sept. 3-5, 10-12 and 17-19. All tickets that have been purchased will be honored for the new dates.
  • Lisle's Eyes to the Skies festival, which is typically held over the Fourth of July holiday, was canceled March 20. Organizers said the fest would be back in 2021 on July 2, 3 and 4.
  • Digestive Disease Week 2020 and all associated events, scheduled for May 2 to 5 in Chicago, have been canceled.
  • The 2020 Run to Remember, put on by the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, has been changed to a virtual event.
  • Komen Chicago has decided to postpone their Mother's Day Race for the Cure, which is annually held at Montrose Harbor in Chicago. Komen Chicago is working closely with the city to secure a date and location for Race for the Cure in Fall 2020. Additionally, Komen Chicago's Metastatic Breast Cancer Conference has been postponed from April 3-4 to August 21-22, 2020 at the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab.
  • The DOC10 Film Festival has been postponed. The festival will be reaching out to ticket holders to arrange refunds.
  • Lyric Opera of Chicago has canceled all performances of Wagner's "Ring" cycle, set to begin on Monday, April 13 with performances through May 3. Additionally, the two performances of Gtterdmmerung that were scheduled for April 4 and April 11 have been canceled, along with all Ring festival programming.
  • The Chicago Critics Film Festival, scheduled for May 1-7 at Music Box Theatre, is postponed until further notice.
  • The New Colony has canceled its world premiere of "Under the Tree" schedule to play from April 1 to May 3 at The Den Theatre in Wicker Park.
  • Ramenfest, scheduled to be held on March 29 at Time Out Market, has been postponed. The rescheduled date will be announced as soon as possible, organizer said.
  • Cirque du Soleil announced it will not perform its Alegria performances in Chicago scheduled from June 5 to June 28.
  • The inaugural Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony planned for March 29 at the Illinois Rock and Roll Museum on Route 66 in Joliet has been postponed. A new date has not yet been announced.
  • The Second City is suspending all Chicago performances until further notice.
  • The Chicago Council on Global Affairs has canceled or postponed all events until further notice.

  • The Morton Arboretum will begin a phased reopening to the public on June 15 with timed-entry tickets, reduced hours and reduced capacity. The Troll Hunt exhibition, which was scheduled to close in June, will remain through early 2021.
  • Evanston beaches will remain closed to swimming until further notice. Gatherings on the sand are permitted with social distancing rules followed and in accordance with Restore Illinois reopening guidelines.
  • Public pools in Aurora and Elmhurst will be closed for the 2020 summer season.
  • Lake County, Illinois Forest Preserves canceled or modified all special events, concerts, and in-person education programs and camps scheduled for this summer and fall. A few other programs are canceled through the end of the year. Some activities at Independence Grove are canceled for the summer season.
  • Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot closed the lakefront, adjacent parks, 606 Trail and Riverwalk to the public until further notice March 26.
  • The Lake Bluff Park District and the Library closed facilities and offices to the public on March 13 until further notice.
  • Chicago Public Libraries closed March 21 until further notice.
  • Chicago Park District closed its facilities March 20 until further notice.

  • Illinois Secretary of State offices are open to serve new drivers, customers with expired driver's licenses/ID cards and vehicle transactions. Face masks are required. The Secretary of State has extended expiration dates for driver's licenses/ID cards and vehicle registration stickers until Oct. 1, 2020. This extension also covers those who have June and July expiration dates. As a result, expired documents will remain valid until Oct. 1st so customers do not need to rush into a facility.
  • NOTE: The Schaumburg Drivers Services Facility (1227 E. Golf Rd.) will be closed until July 2 due to a situation involving COVID-19.

  • All of the Illinois Lottery's claim centers closed to the public on March 17 until further notice.
  • All local Social Security offices closed to the public for in-person service on March 17 until further notice. Online services remain available here.
  • The Illinois EPA closed all vehicle emissions testing stations in Illinois on March 21. The Illinois Air Team Call Center will remain open and available to address motorist emissions testing inquiries. Motorists with questions may call 844-258-9071 Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Saturday from 7:30 AM to 1:00 PM or visit the Illinois Air Team website.
  • All of the Illinois Lottery's claim centers closed to the public on March 17 until further notice.
  • The Cook County Assessor's Office closed its downtown and suburban branch offices to the public on March 13 until further notice to ensure it remains able to offer exemptions, appeals, and other services, while safeguarding the health of both its staff and the public.
  • The Cook County Treasurer's Office closed on March 13, and will remain closed indefinitely, Treasurer Maria Pappas said.
  • The Will County Health Department will be continuing operations but closed its doors to both clients and staff on March 30. In addition to the WCHD main building at 501 Ella Ave. in Joliet, WCHD staff at 323 Quadrangle Dr. in Bolingbrook and 5601 W. Monee-Manhattan Road in Monee will also be working remotely. The Community Health Center locations at 1106 Neal Ave. in Joliet, and 323 Quadrangle Dr., Suite 335 in Bolingbrook, will continue to see patients. If patients do not have an appointment, they are asked to call 815-727-8670 ahead of time. They will be screened at the door, and evaluated on whether or not an appointment is deemed necessary for that day. The health department will continue to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, with epidemiology staff continuing their work from remote locations, as well. Residents in need of essential services can contact the Will County Health Department answering service at 815-727-8480. The Will County Health Department will also continue to operate a COVID-19 Hotline, which can be reached at 815-740-8977.
  • The Will County Clerk's Office said March 19 most requests can only be made by phone or appointment.
  • Algonquin closed all of its municipal offices on March 16 until further notice.
  • The City of Highland Park closed all municipal buildings to the public effective March 16.
  • Schaumburg Village President Tom Dailly declared a state of emergency in the Village of Schaumburg on March 20 and announced the closure of public village facilities on March 23.

    The YMCA announced that they are permanently closing three facilities: Niles, Des Plaines and Naperville.

  • The Shedd Aquarium remains closed to the public until further notice. All scheduled events and programs are canceled but may be rescheduled.
  • The Museum of Science and Industry remains closed until further notice. During this time, the museum encourages families to discover science at home with activities, experiments, games and videos available here
  • Lincoln Park Zoo remains closed until further notice.
  • The Garfield Park Conservatory closed on March 17 until further notice.
  • The Chicago History Museum closed to the public on March 15. The museum said it will review the decision to close on a week-by-week basis.
  • Six Flags Great America is delaying its opening until mid-May or as soon as possible thereafter, the park said.
  • The Chicago Architecture Center closed on March 14 until further notice.
  • Chicago's Museum of Broadcast Communications closed on March 15 until further notice.
  • The Chicago Children's Museum is closed to the public until further notice.

    The Illinois Department of Public Health has created a hotline at 1-800-889-3931. More information can be found at the IDPH website and the Chicago Department of Public Health website.

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