After announcing the fifth death in Illinois due to COVID-19, a Cook County resident in her 70s, Gov. JB Pritzker issued a “stay-at-home” order starting Saturday at 5 p.m. until April 7.
As of Friday afternoon, Illinois has reported 585 positive cases of COVID-19 in 25 counties.
In the Tri-County area, both Peoria County and Woodford County have three and two cases, respectively, unchanged since yesterday. In the Bloomington area, McLean County now reports four cases of COVID-19.
Pritzker said that during this “stay-at-home” order period, residents can still go to grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and banks. Residents can still do everyday activities like running, hiking or walking their dogs, all while maintaining a 6-feet social distance.
The order will only allow health providers, first responders, media and other essential businesses to operate on-site. The state government is working to provide shelters to homeless populations during this order.
Pritzker also postponed the re-opening day for all schools to April 8 at the briefing.
“I wish I could stand up here and say that everything will go back to normal, but the truth is that we don’t know yet,” Pritzker said. “All the steps we’re going to take to get this virus under control.”
Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot attended the briefing in support of Pritzker’s decision and announced that all public park facilities and libraries will also be closed in Chicago starting at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Both Pritzker and Lightfoot emphasized the importance of not hoarding goods and advised state residents to be rational when it comes to stocking up groceries.
Illinois is working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Wal-Mart and Walgreens to set up drive-thru testing sites in the hardest hit areas of the state. These facilities will focus on senior citizens, first responders, and health care workers.