Governor Issues Stay At Home Order

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Friday afternoon Gov. JB Pritzker issued a statewide “stay at home” executive order, effective beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday, March 21.

The order lasts through April 7, and postpones the potential resumption of school until April 8.

“We are doing all that we can to maintain as much normalcy as possible while taking the steps we must to protect our residents,” the governor said. “I fully recognize that in some cases I am choosing between saving people’s lives and saving their livelihoods.  But ultimately, you can’t have a livelihood without a life. This will not last forever, but it’s what we must do to support the people on the front lines of this fight, and the people most vulnerable to its consequences.”

Locally, at noon on Friday Christian-Montgomery County EMA Director Greg Nimmo announced that a Christian County resident had tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus. The Montgomery County Health Department reported Sunday afternoon 15 pending tests, ten negative tests, and still no positive tests.

Statewide, the number of confirmed cases continues to escalate.  The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported 296 new cases in the state on Sunday, including an infant, and three more deaths taking the state’s total up to nine. In total, IDPH reported 1,049 confirmed cases in the state on Sunday, up from 288 on Wednesday, and 8,374 people tested.

All first responders, emergency management personnel, law enforcement personnel, health care workers and others working to support essential businesses and essential government functions like grocery stores and pharmacies are exempt from the governor’s stay at home order, which permits a range of activities that will allow Illinoisans to get their necessities while maintaining social distance from others, which include but are not limited to:

• For health and safety: seeking emergency services, obtaining medical supplies or medication or visiting a health care professional

• For necessary supplies and services: obtaining groceries and food, household consumer products, supplies they need to work from home, and products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences

• For outdoor activity: walking, hiking, running or biking – including going to public parks and open outdoor recreation areas, except for playgrounds

• For certain types of work: Providing essential products and services at Essential Businesses or Operations or otherwise carrying out activities specifically permitted in the order, including Minimum Basic Operations

• To take care of others: Caring for or transporting a family member, friend or pet in another household

Essential Businesses 

And Operations

• Healthcare and Public Health Operations: Working at or obtaining services from hospitals; clinics; dental offices; pharmacies; public health entities; healthcare manufacturers and suppliers; blood banks; medical cannabis facilities; reproductive health care providers; eye care centers; home healthcare services providers; mental health and substance use providers; ancillary healthcare services — including veterinary care and excluding fitness and exercise gyms, spas, salons, barber shops, tattoo parlors, and similar facilities

• Human Services Operations: any provider funded by DHS, DCFS or Medicaid; long-term care facilities; home-based and residential settings for adults, seniors, children, and/or people with disabilities or mental illness; transitional facilities; field offices for food, cash assistance, medical coverage, child care, vocational services or rehabilitation services; developmental centers; adoption agencies; businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services and other necessities of life for needy individuals — excluding day care centers, day care homes, group day care homes and day care centers

• Essential Infrastructure: Working in food production, distribution and sale; construction; building management and maintenance; airport operations; operation and maintenance of utilities, including water, sewer, and gas; electrical; distribution centers; oil and biofuel refining; roads, highways, railroads, and public transportation; ports; cybersecurity operations; flood control; solid waste and recycling collection and removal; and internet, video, and telecommunications systems

• Stores that sell groceries and medicine

• Food, beverage and cannabis production and agriculture

• Organizations that provide charitable and social services

• Media

• Gas stations and businesses needed for transportation

• Financial institutions

• Hardware and supply stores

• Critical trades, including plumbers, electricians, exterminators, cleaning and janitorial staff for commercial and governmental properties, security staff, operating engineers, HVAC, painting, moving and relocation services, and other service providers that maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences, Essential Activities, and Essential Businesses and Operations

• Mail, post, shipping, logistics, delivery and pick-up services

• Educational institutions, for purposes of facilitating distance learning, performing critical research, or performing essential functions

• Laundry services

• Restaurants for consumption off-premises

• Supplies to work from home

• Supplies for Essential Businesses and Operations

• Transportation, for purposes of Essential Travel

• Home-based care and services

• Residential facilities and shelters

• Professional services

• Day care centers for employees exempted by this Executive Order

• Manufacture, distribution, and supply chain for critical products and industries

• Critical labor union functions

• Hotels and motels, to the extent used for lodging and delivery or carry-out food services

• Funeral services

All non-essential business and operations must cease, aside from minimum basic operations. Business can continue with employees working from home. Minimum basic operations includes the minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of inventory, preserve plant and equipment condition, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits and facilitate employees working remotely. 

The order also closes licensed child care centers and all childcare homes serving more than six children. The Pritzker administration is working to expand the availability of child care for essential workers, while protecting the health of the children and child care teachers and home providers. 

Only essential travel is permitted at this time and must be done in accordance with social distancing requirements. That includes travel related to:

• Performing Essential Activities, Essential Governmental Functions, Essential Businesses and Operations or Minimum Basic Operations

• Caring for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities or other vulnerable persons

• Receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and any other related services from an educational institution

• Returning to a place of residence from outside the jurisdiction

• Following the direction of law enforcement or court order, including to transport children pursuant to a custody agreement

• Returning to a place of residence outside the state for non-residents

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