Coronavirus cases are soaring again around Chicago, a city where thousands of people have already died from the virus. Officials are pleading with residents to stay home.

New limits on gatherings, along with a nonbinding stay-at-home advisory, took effect in the city on Monday. State-ordered restrictions, like those on indoor dining, have so far failed to stop the runaway spread of the virus across Illinois.

“We’re in for a very difficult next few months,” said Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who has warned that a mandatory stay-at-home order could be issued soon if conditions don’t improve.

More than 8,700 new cases are appearing on an average day in the Chicago metro area — more than in any whole state other than Illinois, California or Texas. Cook County, which includes Chicago, has reported more than 500 coronavirus-related deaths just since Nov. 1.

And even though there has been encouraging news about potential vaccines in recent days, Mayor Lori Lightfoot warned that help was not imminent.

“I don’t expect that there will be a mass-produced amount of vaccine until deep into next year,” said Ms. Lightfoot, who predicted that most Chicago residents would not be vaccinated until the second or third quarter of 2021.

The surge in Chicago comes at a time when conditions are unraveling across the Midwest. Every state in the region has set a weekly case record in the last few days. Nebraska, Wisconsin and Minnesota have reported record numbers of deaths. North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa have the country’s highest rates of new cases relative to their populations.

As the outlook worsens, several Midwestern governors have imposed new restrictions and issued stark warnings.

“If Iowans don’t buy into this, we lose,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said Monday as she expanded mask rules and put new limits on businesses and gatherings. “Businesses will close once again. More schools will be forced to go online. And our health care system will fail, and the cost in human life will be high.”


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