Illinois orders residents to 'stay at home' starting Saturday

Grocery stores, gas stations and pharmacies can remain open.

Eric Sykes
March 20, 2020 - 2:23 pm
Governor JB Pritzker

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KMOX/AP) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker ordered residents to remain in their homes except for essentials, joining similar dramatic efforts in California and New York to limit the spread of the coronavirus, government officials said. Pritzker also announced another death in the state due to COVID-19.

Pritzker’s order takes effect Saturday at 5 p.m. and stay in place through at least April 7. The state’s 12.6 million residents will still be permitted to seek essentials including groceries and medicine.

Click here to listen to Gov. Pritzker explain what residents will and won't be allowed to do under the "stay at home order."

According to Pritzker, grocery stores, gas stations and pharmacies will remain open as well as interstate highways and tollways. People will also be able to leave their homes to go "running, hiking and walk your dog," Pritzker says.

What will be shutdown he explains are "nonessential businesses" and anyone who can work from home, "must."

On Thursday, Pritzker hinted at a statewide order to stay at home and told parents to prepare for an extension of the statewide school closure past march 30. 

“Grocery stories, pharmacies, gas stations, these sources of fundamental supplies will continue to operate,” he said. “There is no need to run out and hoard food, gas, or medicine. Buy what you need within reason. There is enough to go around as long as people do not hoard.

“We will never shut these services down.”

Related: Missouri bans gatherings of more than 10 people; 2nd COVID-19 death

As of Thursday afternoon, 4 people had died in Illinois and 422 people had tested positive for COVID-19 across 22 counties. Forty-two cases, including 30 residents and 12 staff members, are linked to a nursing home in DuPage County, which is just west of Cook County.

Earlier this week, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a similar order for the entire state.

The "stay at home" order went into effect Thursday evening and ordered all residents to 'stay at home' and only allowed 'essential services' to remain open such as grocery stores, pharmacies, take out and delivery restaurants and banks. 

On Thursday, Pritzker tried to stop people from hoarding essential items and urged his residents to only buy what is needed.

"Buy what you need within reason. There is enough to go around, as long as you do not hoard,” the governor said

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as information is provided. 

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