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Illinois governor issues statewide 'stay at home' order


The directive goes into effect Saturday evening

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D)/(Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) issued a statewide "shelter-in-place" order on Friday, requiring residents to stay out of public spaces unless making essential purchases for necessities such as groceries or gas amid the continued spread of the coronavirus.

The directive is set to run from Saturday at 5:00 p.m. through April 7.

What are the details?

The Chicago Tribune reported that Gov. Pritzker said he decided to issue the order after consulting with "some of the best medical experts, epidemiologists, mathematicians and modelers."

"I've asked every one of these experts, 'What action can I take to save the most lives?'" Pritzker said. "Well, they've all come back to me with one inescapable conclusion: To avoid the loss of potentially tens of thousands of lives, we must enact an immediate stay-at-home order for the state of Illinois."

When asked how the order would be enforced, the governor replied, "To be honest, we don't have the resources, the capacity, or the desire to police every individual's behavior."

He added, "I've instructed law enforcement to monitor for violations and take action when necessary, but that is not an option that anyone prefers."

According to WGN-TV, "the order will mean residents can still go to the grocery stores, put gas in their cars, take walks outside and make pharmacy runs. All local roads, including the interstate highways and tollways, will remain open to traffic, as well."

Illinois currently has 585 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, and five residents have died from the virus. WGN-TV reported that health officials in the state "estimate as many as 3,400 people may test positive for the COVID-19 virus within a week if current trajectories continue," which would mean a 700% spike.

Anything else?

Pritzker's move makes Illinois the third state in the U.S. to impose a stay-at-home order in reaction to the COVID-19 crisis, after California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) issued a shelter-in-place directive for his state on Thursday and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) did the same on Friday morning.

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