CHICAGO, Ill. (KWQC) – Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Thursday he will sign an order extending the state’s stay-at-home order through May 30 with some modifications.
The modifications will include:
- Surgery centers and hospitals will be able to begin scheduling surgeries that had been delayed so the state can maximize statewide capacity for COVID-19 patients.
- Retail stores that are not currently on the list of essential businesses may take orders online and over the phone and offer pickup and delivery.
- The state will begin a phased reopening of some state parks under the guidance of the department of natural resources for activities, such as hiking and fishing, and boating with no more than two people. Social distancing must be maintained in all activities.
- Any individual over the age of two and able to medically tolerate a face covering or mask will be required to wear one when in a public place where they can’t maintain a six-foot social distance.
- There will be new requirements on social distancing and new caps on occupancy for all essential businesses, including manufacturers.
The new order takes effect on May 1.
“We are in possibly the most difficult parts of this journey,” Pritzker said. “I know how badly we all want our normal lives back. Believe me, if I could make that happen right now I would, but this is the part where we have to dig in and we have to understand that the sacrifices that we’ve made as a state to avoid a worst-case scenario are working. And we need to keep going a little while longer to finish the job.”
His original order was set to expire at the end of April. Earlier this month, Pritzker canceled in-person classes for students for the rest of the school year.
Pritzker said during a briefing Wednesday he was looking at extending the stay-at-home order but was watching the number of coronavirus infections before deciding how long to extend it.
On Thursday, public health officials announced 1,826 new confirmed cases, bringing the state total to 36,934.
They also announced 123 new deaths, bringing the state total to 1,688.
Pritzker said Thursday the state is now looking at a peak or plateau of deaths per day between late April and early May.