Gov. J.B. Pritzker has ordered the state's residents to remain in their homes except for essential needs, joining similar efforts in California and New York to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Pritzker's order announced Friday will still allow the state's 12.6 million residents to seek essentials including groceries and medicine. The order will take effect at 5 p.m. Saturday and last through April 7. Pritzker says the move could potentially prevent tens of thousands of deaths.
He says people can continue to shop for groceries, visit pharmacies and gas stations, exercise outdoors and pick up meals from restaurants.
The governor said the decision was not made lightly.
“I fully recognize that in some cases, I am choosing between saving people’s lives and saving people’s livelihoods. But ultimately, you can’t have a livelihood if you don’t have your life," Pritzker said.
Pritzker has also called for a temporary halt to evictions to allow residents to remain in their homes.
“During these unprecedented times, it is important we do what we can to prevent the spread of this virus. Simply staying home and following these best practices will help ensure our families, our neighborhoods and our communities remain safe,” said Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady, R-Bloomington. “It is also important that we not panic. Essential businesses and services will remain open and available. We will get through this if we all work together.”
SCHOOL CLOSURES EXTENDED
Schools, including Unit 5 and District 87, will remain closed through April 7.
Unit 5 school district says it will send families additional information about remote learning and other important topics next week.
"We hope to continue eLearning during this time and we will share more info soon. Thank you to everyone in this community for stepping up to take care of our children," District 87 tweeted.
Unit 5 and District 87 schools were going to be closed next week anyway, for spring break.
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