Governor J.B. Pritzker announced he will sign an extension of Illinois’ stay-at-home order through May 30.
The extension will include a new requirement that residents over the age of two will need to cover their faces while out in public places where social distancing is difficult.
“We are in possibly the most difficult part of this journey. I know how badly we want our normal lives back. Believe me if I could make that happen, I would,” said Pritzker at today’s COVID-19 press briefing.
“We have the opportunity to prevent the pain of loss from touching the lives of thousands,” he added.
Some restrictions, however, have been relaxed. Pritzker said surgical centers and hospitals will be able to schedule elective surgeries that were delayed due to COVID-19. Patients will need to be tested for the virus before the surgery.
Retail stores that were not on the list of essential businesses will be allowed to take orders online and over the phone and offer pickup and delivery options.
Some state parks will reopen for hiking, fishing, and boating for no more than two people at a time. Golf will also be permitted under strict safety guidelines.
Greenhouses and garden centers will be allowed to open as long as social distancing is possible. Animal grooming services may also reopen.
Some, including Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico, have stated that Illinois needs to start reopening its economy and allowing certain businesses to reopen if they can maintain social distancing while at work. Chirico advocated for May 1 as a target date for the first wave of businesses reopening.
More Testing Being Done
Wednesday saw the state’s largest single-day increase of COVID-19 cases, though Pritzker attributed that to broader testing. A drive-thru testing site was recently opened at Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora.
Original Executive Order
The stay-at-home order was originally enacted on March 21 and was put in place through April 7. That was then extended to April 30 before this most recent extension.
State law allows the governor to extend an executive order for up to 30 days, meaning this most recent action is the maximum extension allowed at one time.
What is a Stay-At-Home Order?
Under the stay-at-home order, also called shelter-in-place, residents should remain home unless they have an essential reason to go out. Those reasons include going to the grocery store, hospital, pharmacy, and gas station.
Food can still be picked up from restaurants. Residents can also take walks outside, though they should still maintain social distancing of at least six feet when out.
All local and state roads and tollways will also remain open.
Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.
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