CHICAGO — A modified stay-at-home order for Illinois is now in effect until May 30 amid to the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the biggest changes in Gov. JB Prtizker’s May order, compared to last month, is the mask requirement. Beginning Friday, everyone over the age of 2 should wear a mask or face covering when they leave their home and cannot practice social distancing.
Some local grocery stores were even passing out free face masks to customers who showed up to shop Friday without one.
Pritzker also made a last-minute modification Thursday night to to slightly relax restrictions on religious services.
The order now allows that services can be held as long as they comply with social distancing requirements and limits gatherings to 10 people. It also encourages houses of worship to use online or drive-in services.
This comes after a church in northwest Illinois sued Pritzker, alleging that the goveror infringed on religious freedoms.
The complaint was filed by the Thomas More Society, a conservative law firm in Chicago. The firm said the lawsuit will continue.
Here are some of the other changes:
- Some state parks will reopen, although visitors will still need to follow social distancing guidelines. Fishing and boating in groups of no more than two people will be permitted. Here’s a list of which parks are reopening in Illinois.
- Golf will be permitted under “strict safety guidelines,” so long as proper social distancing is followed on the course.
- New essential businesses may reopen including greenhouses, garden centers and nurseries, as well as animal grooming services. In addition to following social distancing requirements, they must require employees and customers to wear a face covering.
- “Non-essential” retail businesses and operations may reopen to fulfill telephone and online orders through pick-up outside the store and delivery.
- Essential businesses and manufacturers will be required to provide face-coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain six-feet of social distancing, as well as follow new requirements that maximize social distancing and prioritize the well-being of employees and customers.
- Schools/education institutions may allow and establish procedures for pick-up of necessary supplies or student belongings.
- Surgi-centers and hospitals will be allowed to offer certain elective surgeries for conditions that are not life-threatening. Facilities will need to meet specific criteria, including testing surgery patients to ensure they don’t have COVID-19.