As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to sweep over the world, the state of Illinois has become one of many across the United States to establish a stay-at-home order. Governor J.B. Pritzker strongly advised residents to follow the order, which went into effect on March 21 and will last until April 30.
The governor, who also called for the White House to implement a nationwide stay-at-home order, assured residents every decision he has made has been with safety first in mind.
“My priority through each and every one of these decisions has been and continues to be saving as many lives as possible,” Pritzker said at his March 31 daily briefing. “That’s the one goal that I will put above all others, every time.”
So far, Illinois has seen over 12,000 cases with over 300 deaths from the virus. The numbers are increasing every day.
Pritzker also made it clear on March 29 that Illinois has not yet seen its peak in cases or deaths. “No, we have not hit the peak here in Chicago or in the state of Illinois,” he said. “We’re going to continue to see an increase, unfortunately, of cases and, likely, deaths.”
The governor does not expect improvement any time soon.
The stay-at-home order expects residents to simply stay at home unless visiting grocery stores, pharmacies, medical offices, hospitals or gas stations. They can still go running or walk their dogs. Schools will remain closed until the end of April, at minimum.
All the while, people are expected to comply with the “social distancing” rule recommended by the CDC. This rule asks people to maintain at least a six feet distance from others and avoid crowded spaces.
Essential businesses, such as grocery stores and pharmacies will remain open to the public, with restricted hours. Restaurants will also remain open, but only for pick-up or delivery. Nonessential businesses, such as shopping malls and libraries, will be closed throughout this time.
The stay-at-home order was initially set until April 7, but has now been aligned with the CDC’s recommended extension of the social distancing rule, also lasting until April 30.
The United States reported its first case of COVID-19 on Jan. 21, 2020 in the state of Washington.
Despite the president’s claims that the situation was “totally under control,” all 50 states have reported cases of the infection. The total number of cases in the nation rose to over 300,000 and over 10,000 deaths. Trump is now facing a push to rewrite his early narrative on COVID-19.
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses common in animals, including bats, camels, and cows, and can sometimes be transmitted to humans. The first coronavirus case was reported in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, and has since made its way into nearly every country in the world. This coronavirus was identified as a respiratory illness which can be spread from person to person.
Most people who catch the infection will experience mild to moderate symptoms and recover without requiring special treatment. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.”
To help protect yourself and those around you, please follow the CDC’s guidelines.