SPRINGFIELD — On Friday afternoon Gov. J.B. Pritzker directed residents to begin sheltering in their homes beginning at 5 p.m. on Saturday to slow the spread of the coronavirus in Illinois, instructing residents and "nonessential" businesses to shelter-in-place.
Essential services, such as groceries, gasoline stations and pharmacies would remain, and residents would be allowed to travel to these locations to get necessary items. Residents also will be able to walk their dogs outside, run and other activities, according to the report.
“There is no need to run out and hoard food, gas and medicine,” the governor said Thursday. “Buy what you need within reason. There is enough to go around, as long as you do not hoard.”
Order Begins 5 p.m. Saturday
Governor Orders Local Governments to Halt Evictions, Bans Gatherings of More Than 10 People
Chicago — Following the advice of leading public health experts around the globe, Governor JB Pritzker announced today has signed a statewide stay at home order, aiming to keep new cases of COVID-19 from rapidly increasing and ensure the state’s health care system remains fully operational to treat patients in need of urgent care.
The order takes effect 5 p.m. Saturday, March 21, 2020. In addition to the stay at home provisions, it also orders all local government units across the state to halt all evictions and bans gatherings of more than 10 people.
“We are doing all that we can to maintain as much normalcy as possible while taking the steps we must to protect our residents,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “I fully recognize that in some cases I am choosing between saving people’s lives and saving their livelihoods. But ultimately, you can’t have a livelihood without a life. This will not last forever, but it's what we must do to support the people on the front lines of this fight, and the people most vulnerable to its consequences.”
“This action underscores the seriousness of the situation and reinforces what many people all across Illinois are already doing to protect themselves, their neighbors and the community at large,” said Senate President Don Harmon (D-Oak Park). “Please, take this seriously, stay inside, limit your travel and be responsible for not just your own health, but everyone else’s, too.”
“During these unprecedented times, it is important we do what we can to prevent the spread of this virus. Simply staying home and following these best practices will help ensure our families, our neighborhoods and our communities remain safe,” said Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady (R-Bloomington). “It is also important that we not panic. Essential businesses and services will remain open and available. We will get through this if we all work together.”
“I commend Governor Pritzker and Mayor Lightfoot’s leadership, and join them in urging people to adhere to this ‘stay at home’ order to help flatten the curve and ultimately save lives,” said House Speaker Michael J. Madigan (D-Chicago). “We should all rest assured that we will continue to have regular access to groceries, medication, gas and other essential services. We will get through this together by following the advice of experts and giving doctors, nurses and first responders a chance to fight this disease. I want to extend my full gratitude to the frontline medical personnel working hard to save lives. By adhering to this order and following best medical advice, we can stand with them in this fight.”
“This is a critical time for our state and our nation, and we must take any and all steps, including the governor's action today, to reduce the number of those affected by this virus so that we can return to our normal way of life as quickly as possible,” said House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R- Western Springs)
“Every action we’ve taken so far is based on the latest science and data from health officials as we combat the dynamic spread of COVID-19, and this is no exception,” said Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. “This decision was not an easy one, but Governor Pritzker’s order for Illinois residents to stay at home is the right thing to do to ensure we are protecting the health and wellbeing of our residents. We strongly encourage our residents to follow the guidelines and ensure the safety of their neighbors as we work to confront this crisis together.”
Over the last several months, the Governor has consulted with medical experts, epidemiologists, mathematicians and modelers to understand the progression of COVID-19 and the measures needed to keep Illinoisans safe.
The administration has looked closely at the trajectory of coronavirus in countries like Italy and China. It is clear that left unchecked, cases in Illinois will rise rapidly and mirror the consequences experienced by other countries. Hospital systems would be overwhelmed, protective equipment would become scarce, and there would not be enough health care workers, hospital beds, or ventilators for the influx of sick patients.
In consulting with these experts, it is clear the most effective strategy available to Illinois is mitigation. That means limiting the increase in cases to ensure our healthcare system has capacity to treat those who become ill. The most aggressive form of this strategy is a stay at home order, which the administration is now implementing.
STAY AT HOME ORDER
All first responders, emergency management personnel, law enforcement personnel, health care workers and others working to support Essential Businesses and Essential Government Functions like grocery stores and pharmacies are exempt from this stay at home order.
The governor’s action today formalizes his calls this week for Illinoisans to stay home as much as possible, aside from meeting their basic needs. In that regard, the stay at home order permits a range of activities that will allow Illinoisans to get their necessities while maintaining social distance from others, which include but are not limited to:
For health-related inquiries, contact the Illinois Department of Public Health by calling 1-800-889-3931 or visiting IDPH.illinois.gov.