Chicago coronavirus: CPD conducts 3 nights of checkpoints as warm weather complicates social distancing measures

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Tuesday was the warmest day in Chicago since October 2019, complicating efforts to get residents to stay home during the coronavirus pandemic.

The changing of the seasons is likely to increase the challenges officials face in getting people to stay home and distance themselves, and Chicago police announced Tuesday night they will begin conducting checkpoints.

The checkpoints, described by police as "Roadside Safety and Informational Check Points," will be held in each police district from April 7 to April 9 between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. They will last for about 45 minutes, police said.

Police said the checkpoints will focus on traffic safety and providing information on the state's stay-at-home order. Each driver will begiven an informational flyer about the order at each checkpoint.

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Temperatures at O'Hare topped out at 79 degrees Tuesday, and a cold front moving in brings the potential for thunderstorms this evening, with parts of the Chicago area under severe weather watches and warnings.
RELATED: Severe Thunderstorm Watch issued for north suburbs, parts of Wisconsin

City and state officials strongly warned people to stay home Tuesday despite the unseasonably warm temperatures, but residents confined to their homes couldn't help but come out for air.

"This is kind of our once-a-day," said Chicago resident Rand Tucker.

"This is very crucial. Having the ability to come out in green space and get some oxygen," said Dr. Carolyn Miller. "A lot of people don't have 1,200-plus feet of space."

Tuesday was the warmest day in Chicago since October 2019, complicating efforts to get residents to stay home during the coronavirus pandemic.

A cold front moving in brings the potential for thunderstorms this evening, with parts of the Chicago area under a Severe Thunderstorm Watch until 9 p.m.

RELATED: Severe Thunderstorm Watch issued for north suburbs, parts of Wisconsin

City and state officials strongly warned people to stay home Tuesday despite the unseasonably warm temperatures.

In Wicker Park people seemed to keep their distance, and Buckingham Fountain was surrounded by wide-open space. But police had to break up an impromptu football game at 61st and Stony Island, and a basketball game went on as normal near 29th and Calumet.

"I feel like some people are out here just to have fun and not really abiding by recommendations," said Chicago resident Aaron.

It was also the first warm day since infectious disease experts recommended everyone wear a mask while out in public Some people complied while others didn't.

"Watching the numbers, it does frustrate me passing people who don't have any protection," said Chicagoan Izzy Schroeder. "You don't know if you have it."

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Tuesday was the warmest day of the year so far and has city and state health officials urging residents to stay home amid the COVID-19 pandemic.



The golf courses were deserted, closed for social distancing, but that didn't stop Brad Thyfault from working on his short game in the forest preserve.

Despite the stay-at-home restrictions, many were out getting some fresh air and sunshine anyway. A group of women soaked up the sun and caught up, sitting a good 10 feet apart. Plenty of others were cycling or walking.

Coronavirus Illinois Update: Latest news on COVID-19 cases, Chicago area impact
In Humboldt Park a dog enjoyed the weather while getting a ride on his owner's motorcycle. But one of the biggest outdoor attractions in Chicago, the lakefront, remained empty, as did the 606 trail. Both were shut down by Mayor Lori Lightfoot in an effort to keep people at home.

"The issue isn't going outside or getting a walk or exercise, or walking a dog, it's congregating. That is the problem," Mayor Lightfoot said.

Liz Greganto and Dawn Furio have been walking buddies for over 15 years. Their chosen trail is inside DuPage County's Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve, but they have had to adjust their routine.



"We both have been really conservative and, you know, do the social distancing," Greganto said. "It's really nice wide paths so we stay on either side of the path."

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"We've been coming out to this path and watching everybody along the way and everybody as they're walking, they really are you know, they stay wide apart," Furio said.
The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County Has kept the DuPage Forest Preserves open as long as visitors have been strictly adhering to the CDC's social distancing and public health guidelines to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

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"We have law enforcement officers out there that are part of our forest preserve and our rangers continue to educate the public," said Tony Martinez, director of communications for the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. "If we do have signage out there and our signage does indicate that violators can be fined for the different restrictions that we have throughout our forest preserves. "
On Friday, the Forest Preserve District closed Rocky Glen Waterfall at Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve to stop visitors from congregating in the area and that spot remains off limits.

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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