Pritzker modifies, extends stay-at-home order through May


Photo Courtesy of Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks Sunday, April 19, 2020 at the Thompson Center during the coronavirus pandemic.

By Amrita Bhattacharyya, Staff Writer

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has extended the statewide stay-at-home order until May 31 with several modifications.

Beginning May 1, any person over 2 years old “and able to medically tolerate a face-covering or mask” will be required to wear one in public places where they can’t maintain 6 feet of social distancing, according to Pritzker. 

Surgi-centers and hospitals will be able to schedule non-life-threatening surgeries. They will have to meet specific criteria set by the Illinois Department of Public Health, such as having proper personal protective equipment and ensuring overall bed availability for COVID-19 patients. 

Retail stores will also be able to offer pick-up and delivery. Greenhouses and garden centers may remain open with social distancing measures. 

Some state parks will be reopened, although social distancing must be maintained and boating with more than two people is not allowed.

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“These changes are what the data says we can offer the people of Illinois without risking so much viral transmission that our hospitals become overrun,” Pritzker said.

As of April 23, Illinois has had 36,934 people test positive for COVID-19 with 1,688 virus-related deaths.

Pritzker warned that if people violate the order, he will bring back the restrictions. “I’m hopeful we won’t need to do that,” Pritzker said. 

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