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GOVERNOR'S DAILY BRIEFING – Stay at Home Order announced

Gov. Pritzker today announced that he has issued an order to all Illinoisans to stay at home beginning tomorrow (3/21/20) at 5 p.m. until April 7.

IDPH Dir. Ngozi Ezike said the current number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has risen to 585 cases in 25 counties. Another woman, from Cook County, has died of the virus.

Pritzker stressed that for many Illinoisans who have already taken the step to remain at home and practice social distancing, this will change little. Of note:

  • Groceries, pharmacies, gas stations, laundromats, and other businesses deemed essential are to remain open.
  • He specifically said restaurants that are already providing curb-side or delivery will also remain open.
  • The order does not ban residents from leaving their homes for activities such as walking the dog or going for a hike.

He was asked about consequences/enforcement and said this order basically boils down to calling on people to use their best judgement. An arrest for reckless conduct would be a “last resort.”

“We anticipate people will follow this order,” Pritzker said, adding that “we’re asking people to do what they know they ought to.”

Acknowledging the hardship this could mean for everyone, Pritzker said, nonetheless, that "All non-essential businesses must stop operating. If you can work from home and are not doing so, now is the time when you must."

Pritzker announced that municipal leaders have been directed to issue orders halting all evictions during this period. Brad Cole of the Illinois Municipal League offered his support for these measures at the press conference. He said efforts to help the homeless are also moving forward.

Emily Landon, an epidemiologist with the University of Chicago, offered comments clarifying the dire situation Illinois will face if we do not take measures to prevent wide transmission of the disease.

"All of us in the field of infectious diseases are united in our efforts and agree with this course of action," she said. "We all acknowledge this is the only way forward. There is no vaccine or readily available anti-viral. All we have to slow the spread is distance. If we let every single patient with this infection infect three more people ... there won't be a hospital bed for when my mother can't breathe or when yours is coughing too much."

COVID-19 Links

Illinois Department of Public Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Illinois Department of Employment Security - Unemployment Benefits

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