CHICAGO — Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced the state will extend its stay-at-home order through May 30 on Thursday, although the modified order will slightly ease some restrictions while implementing new ones as well.
The new order will take effect May 1. One of the biggest changes requires anyone who’s more than two years old to wear a face-covering or mask in public situations where they’re unable to maintain a distance of six feet from others.
Also under the order: garden centers and animal groomers can reopen, retailers can allow pickup, and some state parks will reopen to the public.
Scroll down to see the full list of changes coming to the state’s stay-at-home order.
Pritzker’s announcement comes as state health officials confirmed 1,826 new COVID-19 cases and 123 new coronavirus-related deaths. In total, there are 36,934 COVID-19 cases in Illinois, and 1,688 total deaths.
“This is the part where we have to dig in, and we have to understand that the sacrifices 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,” Pritzker said.
When asked about easing restrictions for gatherings in groups of greater than 10 for things such as wedding receptions or graduations, he said a decision could come sometime later in May.
Here are some of the modifications that will be included in Pritzker’s stay-at-home order, which takes effect May 1-30:
- PARKS REOPENING: Some state parks will reopen starting May 1, 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: Golf will be permitted under “strict safety guidelines,” so long as proper social distancing is followed on the course.
- NEW ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES: Greenhouses, garden centers and nurseries may re-open as essential businesses. Animal grooming services may also re-open. In addition to following social distancing requirements, they must require employees and customers to wear a face covering.
- NON-ESSENTIAL RETAIL: Retail stores not designated as essential businesses and operations may re-open to fulfill telephone and online orders through pick-up outside the store and delivery.
- FACE COVERINGS: Beginning May 1, individuals who are over two years old and medically able will be required to wear a face-covering or a mask when in public indoor spaces like stores, or any other public place where they can’t maintain a six-foot social distance.
- ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES AND MANUFACTURING: 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. This will include occupancy limits for essential businesses and precautions such as staggering shifts and operating only essential lines for manufacturers.
- SCHOOLS: Educational institutions may allow and establish procedures for pick-up of necessary supplies or student belongings. Dormitory move-outs must follow public health guidelines, including social distancing.
- HOSPITALS AND SURGERY CENTERS: Surgi-centers and hospitals will be allowed to offer certain elective surgeries for non-life-threatening conditions, starting on May 1. Facilities will need to meet specific criteria, including testing surgery patients to ensure they don’t have COVID-19.
Pritzker said the modified stay-at-home order was developed by consulting with top academic institutions and researchers about the state’s current trajectory.
The governor said Illinois is projected to see a peak or plateau of deaths per day between late April and early May, as the state continues to “flatten the curve” of infections.
The order only goes until May 30 — instead of May 31 — because the Illinois Constitution only allows the governor to issue disaster proclamations for 30 days. He can issue another 30 day disaster proclamation beginning May 31, if he chooses.