CHICAGO (WAND) - Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced a statewide stay-at-home order to help stop the spread of coronavirus, COVID-19.
The order will take effect Saturday at 5 p.m. through April 7.
The stay-at-home order requires Illinoisans to stay home aside from meeting basic needs.
What Illinoisans can leave home for:
- health and safety reasons, like visiting a doctor or emergency room
- needed supplies and services, like food and cleaning supplies
- outdoor activity, like jogging, walking, or biking
- to take care of someone else, like a family member in another household
Certain types of workers in essential businesses are able to go to work, like healthcare, government, and law enforcement employees.
All non-essential businesses will close, and can only have employees work from home. While restaurants and bars had already been ordered to close, drive thru service, delivery and curbside pickup were allowed. Governor Pritzker said that will continue.
The Governor also ordered all evictions be halted, and banned gatherings of 10 or more people.
The closure of schools will be expanded through April 8.
Interstates, highways, roads, and tolls will remain open.
Pritzker said he made the decision after consulting with numerous medical and health experts to understand the progression of COVID-19, and determined that to avoid rapid spread of the virus in Illinois that has occurred in other countries, drastic action must be taken to contain it.
"I don't come to this decision easily," Pritzker said. "I fully recognize that in some cases, I am choosing between saving people's lives and saving people's livelihoods. But ultimately, you can't have a livelihood if you don't have your life."
While rumors of this announcement spread prior to the 3 p.m. press conference, WAND News chose to wait to share this information until it was confirmed by Governor Pritzker.
There have been five deaths reported in the state of Illinois and 585 cases.
The fifth death was reported Friday and was a Cook County resident in her 70s.
Deaths have been reported in Will County, Cook County, and a Florida woman who died while being treated in Sangamon County.
The Florida woman was 71 years old and was being treated at Memorial Medical Center. She died Thursday. She was visiting the area when she became ill.
The first coronavirus related death reported in the state of Illinois was announced Tuesday. Governor JB Pritzker announced the patient was a Chicago woman in her 60s who had an underlying condition and lived in a nursing home. She had close contact with someone else with the virus. She was diagnosed earlier this month.
McLean County announced Thursday the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed there. A man in his 70s tested positive. He is being isolated. The health department is working to contact anyone he may have come in contact with.
Governor Pritzker announced Thursday essential businesses will not be ordered to close. Interstates, highways, and bridges will remain open. Pritzker said there is no need for people to hoard food, gas, medicine or other items.
Illinois health officials said they expect the number of confirmed cases to grow as more patients are able to be tested. There are some 3,151 possible cases in the state currently being investigated.
Counties with positive COVID-19 cases include Champaign, Christian, Clinton, Cook, Cumberland, DuPage, Jackson, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle, Madison, McHenry, McLean, Peoria, Sangamon, St. Clair, Washington, Whiteside, Will, Williamson, Winnebago, and Woodford.
There are cases in all 50 states.
Pritzker announced Tuesday there were 22 positive cases at a nursing home in DuPage County that included 18 residents and four staff members.
Wednesday, an additional 20 people at that long-term care facility tested positive, bringing the total to 42 (30 residents and 12 staff).
To assist in the state's response to COVID-19, Governor Pritzker is activating members of the Illinois National Guard. In a Facebook post Tuesday evening, the Illinois National Guard said, "Governor JB Pritzker has activated about 60 Illinois National Guard service members to assist with COVID-19 response. These include 43 Airmen from the Peoria-based 182nd Airlift Wing's Medical Group and 17 planners and liaison officers from both Army National Guard and Air National Guard units from across the state, including medical planners. The activation is to assist with anticipated need for logistical support and medical staffing."
Earlier Tuesday, Pritzker called the response by the federal government an "incredible failure." He said he had previously requested, and is now demanding, more tests be made available to the state.
"The federal government is monopolizing supplies and not providing them to the states. They set deadlines, and they blew through them," Pritzker said.
Tuesday marked the first day of the K-12 school closures in Illinois. It was also the first day bars and restaurants were required to close. Drive-thrus, delivery, and curbside orders had still been allowed.
Gov. Pritzker said price gouging of delivery fees or anything else will not be tolerated.
Pritzker said he was asked to reschedule Tuesday's Primary Election, but that is not within his authority to do so. He stressed the importance of continuing the election process. Ohio was also scheduled to hold its Primary Election Tuesday, but decided to delay it.
Most cases of COVID-19 have been mild, but people including the elderly and those with compromised immune systems are considered most at risk. However, cases reported in Illinois have included all age ranges.
People are being asked to follow social distancing measures, including working from home when possible, limiting the amount of time spent in the community and avoiding public transportation.
The number of cases with no clear connection to travel or a known positive COVID-19 case is rising, IDPH officials said.
Click here to learn more about how people, their school, workplace and community can prepare for COVID-19.