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COVID-19: Pritzker will extend stay-at-home order until May 30 with modifications

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced new modifications to the extended stay-at-home order.

At his press briefing on Thursday, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced that he will sign an executive order next week to extend the state’s stay-at-home order through Saturday, May 30, with some adjustments. 

The extension, effective May 1, will include new modifications that will require any resident over the age of 2 to wear a face-covering in a public space where they cannot maintain a six-foot distance from others. 

Starting May 1, retail stores that are non-essential will be allowed to take orders online and over the phone for curbside pickup, as well as make deliveries. Some state parks will begin a phased reopening so that individuals can hike, bike and fish while also social distancing, including boating with two occupants or less.

In addition, postponed elective surgeries will begin to reschedule while also preserving medical supplies for COVID-19 patients. 

Pritzker said that based on new models created by researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the Chicago and Illinois Department of Public Health, the University of Chicago and Northwestern School of Medicine, the peak of deaths per day in Illinois would occur between late April or early May.

“If we lifted the stay-at-home order tomorrow, we would see our deaths per day shoot into the thousands by the end of May and that would last well into the summer,” Pritzker said. “Our hospitals would be full and very sick people would have nowhere to go.”

Pritzker acknowledged that the model’s predictions may change as the projected numbers are replaced with actual numbers. He also said that additional modifications might be made toward the end of May. However, he stressed that Illinois residents would have to continue to abide by the order and social distancing.

“For every person who wants to go to dinner or hang out with their friends at a park or swing open their salon doors, there is a family mourning the death of someone they love,” Pritzker said.

Illinois reports 36,934 total cases this week; Peoria area sees the largest single-day increase 

At Thursday’s press briefing, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) confirmed 1,826 new positive cases of COVID-19 in Illinois along with 123 new deaths since Wednesday. Since April 17, Illinois has reported more than 100 deaths in a 24-hour period three times (April 18, 21, 23).

At Thursday’s press briefing, IDPH reported the total number of cases has reached 36,934. The number of deaths as a result of the disease has totaled 1,688. 

Illustration by The Scout
Illustration by The Scout

The greater Peoria area reported its largest single-day increase on Thursday with 12 new cases: seven in Peoria County and five in Tazewell County. No new deaths were reported and no new cases were reported in Woodford County.

This brings the total number of cases in the Tri-County region to 96 along with six deaths: 53 total cases and two deaths in Peoria County; 32 total cases and three deaths in Tazewell County and 11 total cases and one death in Woodford County. In Peoria County, 32 of those cases have recovered. 

Illustration by The Scout

Peoria City-County Health Department administrator Monica Hendrickson said six cases in Peoria County were identified through the Heartland Health Service drive-thru clinic that opened earlier this week. The clinic is expected to test nearly 150 individuals each day.

“Such increased testing is imperative to … understanding the scope of COVID-19 in our community,” Hendrickson said.

Peoria will also be receiving two more testing sites. One outside the Peoria City-County Health Department building tomorrow, that is expected to test 150 individuals a day, and another located at John H. Gwynn Park that will begin testing on April 27.

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