You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Illinois governor issues order requiring residents to ‘stay at home’ starting Saturday

Chicago Tribune logo Chicago Tribune 3/20/2020 By Dan Petrella, Gregory Pratt, Stacy St. Clair And Jamie Munks, Chicago Tribune

UP NEXT
UP NEXT
Video by CBS Chicago

CHICAGO — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a “stay at home” order for the entire state starting Saturday at 5 p.m. through April 7.

Residents can still go to the grocery stores, put gas in their cars, take walks outside and make pharmacy runs, the governor said at a Friday afternoon news conference. All local roads, including the interstate highways and tollways, will remain open to traffic, as well.

“For the vast majority of you already taking precautions, your lives will not change very much,” Pritzker said.

Slideshow by photo services

Still, he urged patience in the fast-evolving health crisis.

“We don’t know yet all the steps we’re going to have to take to get this virus under control,” said Pritzker, who added that the state “would rise to this occasion.”

Suburban Oak Park also issued a shelter-in-place order as of 12:01 a.m. Friday, after two emergency room physicians at Rush Oak Park Hospital tested positive for COVID-19. Residents have been ordered to stay in their homes except for “essential” travel as outlined by village ordinance. They can go to work, for example, if their businesses remain open, especially if they have essential jobs such as first responders, sanitation workers or health care providers.

Pritzker, a Democrat, laid down the groundwork for a potential order Thursday, telling parents to prepare for the statewide school closure to extend past March 30. Though the governor acknowledged he has discussed imposing more stringent rules on the general public, he said that no matter what he decides, interstate highways, gas stations, grocery stores and pharmacies would remain open.

“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.”

Though the governor activated the Illinois National Guard earlier this week to help combat the virus, the service members will have no role in enforcing any potential order. Instead, 60 service members will be deployed to establish drive-up testing sites, help with food delivery to disadvantaged families impacted by school closures and possibly prepare closed hospitals to reopen.

The vast majority of currently activated troops are health care professionals — doctors, nurses, medical technicians — who would not be tapped for an law-enforcement assignment.

“We have never even discussed a quarantine mission for the Illinois National Guard,” Lt. Col. Bradford Leighton said. “It’s never come up.”

Leighton said he understands anxieties are high amid the pandemic, but the Guard is not the boogeyman.

“We are your friends, neighbors and co-workers,” he said. “We’re fellow worshippers at your church, synagogue, mosque or wherever you worship. We are part of the community. We are you. We are not going to invade Chicago. We are here to help.”

a store inside of a train station: A shopper looks at almost empty shelves for frozen pizzas at a Jewel-Osco store in the Lincoln Park neighborhood on March 16, 2020, in Chicago. Concerns about COVID-19, or coronavirus, has led to high-volume purchases of certain food items, resulting in a shortage at area grocery stores. © John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/TNS A shopper looks at almost empty shelves for frozen pizzas at a Jewel-Osco store in the Lincoln Park neighborhood on March 16, 2020, in Chicago. Concerns about COVID-19, or coronavirus, has led to high-volume purchases of certain food items, resulting in a shortage at area grocery stores. The city is not sleeping. It is keeping safe and quiet, filled with the sounds of birds and the hope for sunshine.

What does shelter in place mean? While the specifics for a shelter-in-place order might be different if one is issued here, San Francisco provides an idea of what the rules could look like.

In the San Francisco area, six counties are on lockdown until at least April 7, with only people with essential jobs or government functions allowed to work outside their homes.

Jobs deemed essential there include: Health care workers, grocery store employees, pharmacists, hardware store workers, plumbers, electricians, day care providers, bank tellers and roles that are essential to a business’s operations such as payroll and security. Police, firefighters, paramedics and sanitation workers will not be quarantined.

Like Illinois, San Francisco has shut down schools and bars, moving all restaurants to takeout or delivery only. Gyms and theaters have been closed, but gas stations, laundromats, dry cleaners, banks, supermarkets, pharmacies and convenience stores have remained opened per the order.

Bay Area residents are allowed to leave their homes to care for the elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities or other vulnerable persons. People also can engage in outdoor activities such as hiking, running or walking as long as they maintain a social distance of 6 feet.

They also may venture out to get food for their families and their pets.

“These measures will be disruptive to day-to-day life, but there is no need to panic,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed said Monday.

There were 412 confirmed coronavirus cases in the San Francisco area as of Thursday, including four deaths in Santa Clara County attributed to the virus.

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon