Coronavirus Chicago: House party video surfaces allegedly showing big group violating COVID-19 rules; Pritzker responds

CHICAGO (WLS) -- After a video surfaced allegedly showing a large house party in Chicago, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker warned that those violating social distancing guidelines are "literally putting everyone around you in danger."

Gov. Pritzker responded to the reports of the house party at his daily COVID-19 briefing Sunday.

"I want to remind everyone that by doing that, by standing together, not social distancing, many people not wearing masks, you're literally putting everyone around you in danger. You are," Gov. Pritzker said. "They are putting you in danger. And very importantly, all of those people are putting their families and their friends who are not there with them in danger."

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Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker responded Sunday to reports of a large house party in Chicago violating social distancing guidelines.

In the video, dozens of people are seen packed shoulder to shoulder inside what is believed to be a Chicago home. While some guests are wearing masks, most are not.

The Facebook Live video was recorded around midnight Saturday, and it's gone viral with over 1 million views already.

Chicago police issued a statement about the social media video, saying they are aware of its existence. But the department hasn't been able to pinpoint the location of the party, even though toward the end of the video someone appears to yell that police are on the way.

"We are aware of a video circulating on social media depicting a large house party inside of an alleged Chicago residence. While we cannot authenticate the nature or location of the gathering, we want to remind everyone of the social distancing requirements in place. CPD will disperse crowds in violation of social distancing requirements, and if necessary, issue citations or as a last resort, enforce via arrest," a CPD spokesman said.

According to comments made on the Facebook Live video, the party may have taken place somewhere on the city's West Side.

Police said that even if officers were called to break it up, it's possible no paperwork was filed.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot also weighed in on the issue Sunday.

"What was depicted on the video was reckless and utterly unacceptable," Lightfoot said in a statement on Twitter. "While most Chicagoans are doing their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19, reckless actions like these threaten our public health and risk erasing the progress we have made. We will hold those responsible accountable."

The mayor encouraged residents to anonymously submit tips about any house parties at

"The fewer people who comply with the 'Stay At Home' Order, the sicker our residents will get and the harder it is for us to recover," she said.

From March 25 to April 23, Chicago police officers have broken up 4,673 gatherings, arrested 12 people and have written 17 citations.

Gov. Pritzker recently extended the stay at home order, which bans public and private gatherings of more than 10 people who are not members of the same household.

State Rep. La Shawn Ford called the large party disappointing, saying the hours of fun could come with life-altering consequences.

"We should do everything we can to protect the people we love and protect ourselves by staying home and wearing masks," Rep. Ford said.

Illinois' coronavirus death toll reached just under 2,000 over the weekend.

Illinois health officials announced 2,126 new COVID-19 cases and 59 additional deaths on Sunday. There are now 43,903 cases confirmed in the state, including 1,933 deaths.

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Illinois is cutting back on beds for COVID-19 patients at the McCormick Place alternative care facility.

Gov. Pritzker is pointing to some signs of encouragement in the fight against COVID-19.

The state is cutting back significantly on beds for COVID-19 patients at the McCormick Place alternative care facility.

According to state officials, they no longer need so many beds due to the slow growth of coronavirus cases in the state.

The governor said they're going to move some of the hired staffing for that facility to other areas.

Across Illinois, there are about 4,600 people in the hospital for COVID-19. Nearly 1,300 of those patients are in the ICU.

The state has touted an increase in testing over the past few days.

On Friday, Gov. JB Pritzker announced that Illinois surpassed its goal of conducting 10,000 COVID-19 tests in a day for the first time. It's a critical milestone in the state's marathon battle against coronavirus

Coronavirus in Illinois: Latest news on COVID-19 cases, Chicago area impact

In total, Illinois has conducted more than 214,000 COVID-19 tests. But not every type of test is supported by the state.

State health officials confirmed Saturday that there's been a spike in calls to the Illinois Poison Center after President Donald Trump suggested injecting disinfectant to fight COVID-19.

Ezike urged residents to listen to scientists and health experts about how to stay healthy during the pandemic.

"Injecting, ingesting, snorting household cleaners is dangerous. It is not advised and can be deadly," Ezike said over the weekend.

Trump recommended disinfectants as a possible treatment for the virus during Thursday's White House briefing. On Friday, he walked back his remarks, claiming he was being sarcastic.

But poison centers across the country are reporting a spike in calls, including in Illinois, where it's up 60% compared to the same time frame last year.

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Gov. JB Pritzker gives update on Illinois' COVID-19 cases on April 25, 2020.

"Some recent examples is the use of the detergent solution for a sinus rinse and gargling with a bleach and mouthwash mixture in an attempt to kill coronavirus," Ezike said.

Dr. Michael Wahl of the Illinois Poison Center said, "When we think of cleaning products designed to clean your bathroom, they are going to be caustic. They are going to cause damage and injury to the tissues whether it is in your lungs, or in your nose or in your mouth."

The makers of Clorox and Lysol are telling consumers not to consume their products.

Separate from this issue, the Illinois Poison Center has seen an overall uptick in calls since March. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urge consumers to read instructions on product labels. Poison control specialists are available 24/7 to help with concerns at 1-800-222-1222.
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