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Daily Journal
     March 23, 2020      #42-83 KDJ

Questions about the shutdown? We've got

Daily Journal staff report

Illinois residents are under a shelter-in-place order as announced Friday by Gov. J.B. Pritzker. But what exactly does that mean? Below are answers to questions readers are frequently asking:

Can I leave the house?

Residents are allowed to leave their home for ordinary functions such as seeking medical attention and to acquire necessary supplies and services, including groceries, medicines and supplies that enable them to work from home.

People also can leave their home to take care of others and to perform certain types of work providing essential products and services at essential businesses and operations.

What is considered an essential activity?

Essential activities include health care and public health operations, including veterinary care and the manufacturing and distribution of medical equipment; human services operations such as nursing homes that provide care to the frail, elderly and disabled; essential infrastructure such as food production and distribution, certain kinds of construction and operating public utilities; and essential government functions.

What is considered an essential business?

Essential businesses include such things as grocery stores and pharmacies; food, beverage and cannabis production; agriculture; organizations that provide charitable and social services; banks; newspapers, television, radio and other media services; gas stations and other businesses needed for transportation; financial institutions; and hardware and supply stores.

Critical trades are essential and include plumbers, electricians, exterminators, cleaning and janitorial staff for commercial and governmental properties, security staff, operating engineers, HVAC, painting and moving and relocation services.

Shelters and laundry services also may remain open.

Are day cares considered essential businesses?

Day cares for children of workers exempted by the order may remain open.

What must close?

The order temporarily shutters movie theaters, parks, playgrounds, salons, non-grocery retail stores, carnivals, theme and water parks, aquariums, zoos, museums, arcades, fairs, bowling alleys, concert and music halls, country clubs and social clubs. Any nonessential business that must close its physical workplace may continue operating with employees working exclusively from home if possible.

Will the order be enforced?

State and local law enforcement officials will have authority to enforce the order. In most cases, that would involve officers telling people to disburse and go back home. If they don’t, they could be cited for disorderly conduct or other municipal offenses, according to Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who acknowledged that resources aren’t available to police all individual behavior. He encouraged, though, that residents be “good members of their communities, and good citizens, working together to keep each other safe.”

Will roads be shut down?

Local roads — including interstate highways, tollways Interstates and bridges — will stay open. Public transit, will remain open and operating as well.

What is the limit on gatherings now?

The executive order decreases the previously set limit of 50-person gathers to no more than 10 people.

Can I travel?

Yes, with “essential travel” including traveling into or out of the state if necessary for maintaining essential business operations. Also allowed is travel to work deemed essentially necessary; to care for an elderly person, minors and dependents, someone with disabilities or other vulnerable people; travel required by law enforcement or court order; travel to return to one’s residence, including out of state; and travel to a school or other educational center to obtain distance learning materials or meals.

Can I exercise outside?

Residents are allowed to leave home for outdoor activities such as walking, jogging, running or walking their dog, provided they maintain at least a 6-foot distance from others. Playgrounds, however, were ordered closed.

Will restaurants be open?

Per the order, bars and restaurants will still be allowed to offer carry-out, curbside pickup and delivery, and mail and shipping operations will continue as well.

What if I’m not safe in my own home?

Victims of domestic violence are not only allowed by urged to leave their home and go to a safe location.

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