CHICAGO — Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday that he simply does not know when schools will reopen or how long his stay-at-home order will remain in effect.
"We just don't know," Pritzker said. "There is so much we don't know, and we're trying to evaluate everything every day. There's really new information coming every day. ... I would say that it's something that we have to consider, whether to extend and if we did, for how long.
"I promise you, as I have every day -- stood up here and told you what I'm thinking -- I'll let you know as soon as that order will change."
Both orders -- the one that keeps more than 2 million children home from school and the one that keeps residents in their homes unless they have to go out for essential work or groceries -- remain set to expire April 7.
Pritzker made the remarks during his regular daily news conference to provide updates on the spread of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 cases in Illinois.
The governor has been repeatedly pressed in recent days for more information on how long schools will be closed and when the state's shelter-in-place rules will be lifted.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who has authority over Chicago Public Schools, has shut down that system until April 21.
Illinois officials reported 461 new cases and eight COVID-19 deaths on Monday, bringing the state's total to date to 5,057 cases and 73 deaths.
"The truth is the number of cases will continue to increase, unfortunately, as will the deaths, said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health.
"While our response to the coronavirus pandemic has been aggressive and robust, we must all continue to do what science has told us works: social distancing, washing our hands, staying home," Ezike said. "Please continue to stay home as much as possible. We have to all do our part to end this pandemic."
One of the deaths reported Monday includes an incarcerated man from Stateville Correctional Center. Twelve men who were incarcerated at Stateville are now hospitalized, including several requiring ventilators. There are 77 more incarcerated individuals with symptoms who are isolated at the facility. Eleven staff are also being isolated.
COVID-19 cases are now being reported in 52 of the state's 102 counties.
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