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Police clear lakefront on North Side amid social distancing concerns

The sweep came hours after Mayor Lori Lightfoot threatened to shut down Chicago parks, the downtown Riverwalk and the entire lakefront if people continued to ignore Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s order to stay home.

Chicago Police cleared portions of the Lakefront Trail Wednesday evening after some residents refused to heed the mayor’s warning on social distancing.
Chicago Police cleared portions of the Lakefront Trail Wednesday evening after some residents refused to heed the mayor’s warning on social distancing.
Won J. Park/For the Sun-Times

Chicago police officers began clearing the city’s lakefront Wednesday afternoon, hours after Mayor Lori Lightfoot threatened to shut it down in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

At 5:54 p.m., officers started clearing people from beaches and the Lakefront Trail, beginning at Oak Street and heading north, after receiving reports about large crowds, according to Chicago police.

Chicagoans made their way to the lakefront earlier Wednesday as temperatures in Chicago climbed into the 50s.

Chicago police hit the Lakefront Trail Wednesday evening, moving joggers and walkers off it to encourage social distancing.
Chicago police hit the Lakefront Trail Wednesday evening, moving joggers and walkers off it to encourage social distancing.
Won J. Park/For the Sun-Times

The sweep came hours after Lightfoot threatened to shut down Chicago parks, the downtown Riverwalk and the entire lakefront if people continued to ignore Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s order to stay home in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19.