Gov. Pritzker issued a stay-at-home order. What does that mean?

Gov. Pritzker issued a stay-at-home order. What does that mean?

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Gov. JB Pritzker announces during a news conference in Chicago an executive order that will keep most Illinoisans indoors and at home, except for certain essential purposes, as part of the latest effort to control the spread of COVID-19. Public health officials on Friday announced 163 new cases of the disease and one additional death.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday issued a stay-at-home order, the most strict statewide action he’s taken to date in the effort to prevent further spread of the new coronavirus. Pritzker’s order follows statewide schools closures, restrictions on the size of gatherings and an order for bars and restaurants to suspend dine-in service.

Here’s what the new action means:

When does the order take effect and how long will it last?

The order takes effect at 5 p.m. Saturday. It will be in effect until the end of the day Tuesday, April 7.

Can I leave my home?

Yes, under the order people can leave their homes to get exercise outdoors and walk their pets. Local roads, including interstate highways and tollways, as well as public transit, will remain open and operating.

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What are the other key exceptions to the order?

The directive is aimed at getting people to stay in their homes, but a number of essential needs are exempt, including going to the grocery store, putting gas in their cars and going to the pharmacy. Those businesses are not being ordered to close. Restaurants will be able to continue offering carry-out service. Pritzker ordered dine-in service closed as of Monday evening, through March 30.

Agriculture, the press, veterinarians, plumbers, laundromats and banks will not be ordered closed or to stop doing business, but non-essential businesses must stop operating and if people are able to work from home and they aren’t already doing so, “now is the time when you must,” Pritzker said.

“The fundamental building blocks that keep our society safe and steady will not be closing down,” Pritzker said. “You can still pick up dinner from your local restaurant, pick up your prescriptions and just spend time with your family.”

How will the order be enforced?

Law enforcement agencies will monitor for violations and take action when necessary, but “that is not an option that anyone prefers,” Pritzker said.

Pritzker acknowledged the resources don’t exist to “police every individual’s behavior,” and said he is relying on Illinoisans to be “good members of their communities, and good citizens, working together to keep each other safe.”

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