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Additional coronavirus measures underway in Illinois: What you need to know
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Additional coronavirus measures underway in Illinois: What you need to know

The coronavirus restrictions and precautions Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Friday started at 5 p.m. today. 

Here's what to know about the "Stay at Home" order:

How long will it last?

It will be in effect until the end of the day Tuesday, April 7.

Can I leave my home?

Yes, under the order people can leave their homes to get exercise outdoors and walk their pets. Local roads, including interstate highways and tollways, as well as public transit, will remain open and operating.

What are the other key exceptions to the order?

The directive is aimed at getting people to stay in their homes, but a number of essential needs are exempt, including going to the grocery store, putting gas in their cars and going to the pharmacy. Those businesses are not being ordered to close. Restaurants will be able to continue offering carry-out service. Pritzker ordered dine-in service closed as of Monday evening, through March 30.

Agriculture, the press, veterinarians, plumbers, laundromats and banks will not be ordered closed or to stop doing business, but non-essential businesses must stop operating and if people are able to work from home and they aren’t already doing so, “now is the time when you must,” Pritzker said.

“The fundamental building blocks that keep our society safe and steady will not be closing down,” Pritzker said. “You can still pick up dinner from your local restaurant, pick up your prescriptions and just spend time with your family.”

SEE THE FULL LIST OF EXEMPTIONS HERE 

How will the order be enforced?

Law enforcement agencies will monitor for violations and take action when necessary, but “that is not an option that anyone prefers,” Pritzker said.

Pritzker acknowledged the resources don’t exist to “police every individual’s behavior,” and said he is relying on Illinoisans to be “good members of their communities, and good citizens, working together to keep each other safe.”

— Chicago Tribune


VIDEO: Illinois imposes stay-at-home order


Pritzker issues plea to retirees as 6th virus death reported

CHICAGO — Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a plea Saturday for retired health care workers to "join the fight" against the coronavirus as IIlinois' health care system braced for a surge of patients amid the pandemic that has now killed six state residents.

Illinois confirmed 168 new cases Saturday of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, boosting its total number of cases to 753. A sixth death was also reported, a Cook County man in his 70s, said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Ngozi Ezike.

Pritzker pleaded for retired health care workers, including doctors, nurses and physicians assistants to "come back and join the fight against COVID-19" hours before the state entered his "stay-at-home" order that will continue through April 7.

"We're in the middle of battle and and we need reinforcements," the governor said during a Saturday afternoon briefing.

Pritzker said the state would expedite licensing and waive fees to usher retired health care workers heeding his call back into the health care system. And workers whose licenses will soon expire will be automatically extended through September, he said.

"This is hero's work, and all of you have our deepest gratitude for your willingness to serve," Pritzker said.

The state's coronavirus cases could reach 3,400 within a week, the governor's office said.

For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

As of 5 p.m. Saturday, Pritzker's order requires Illinois residents to remain in their homes except for essentials, joining similar dramatic efforts in California and New York to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Residents can still go to the grocery stores, put gas in their cars, take walks outside and make pharmacy runs under the order.

"What's important now is to try to reduce the further spread and prevent the healthcare system from being overwhelmed," Ezike said.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot urged residents to stay calm and shop responsibly during a Saturday morning news conference.

"There's absolutely no need for people to rush to grocery stores or hoard any food or supplies," Lightfoot said. "We are in constant communication with major retailers to maintain a strong food supply. And they have and they will. Everything will remain stocked and available."

— Associated Press


WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover.

Here are the symptoms of the virus compared with the common flu.

One of the best ways to prevent spread of the virus is washing your hands with soap and water. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends first washing with warm or cold water and then lathering soap for 20 seconds to get it on the backs of hands, between fingers and under fingernails before rinsing off.

You should wash your phone, too. Here’s how.

— Associated Press

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