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Daily Journal
     April 24, 2020      #67-115 KDJ

Pritzker extends "stay at home" mandate until May

Daily Journal staff reports

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has announced the extension of the state’s “stay-at-home” mandate until May 30.

Also, through a new executive order that will go into effect May 1, individuals will be required to wear a face-covering or a mask when in a public place where they can’t maintain a 6-foot social distance. Face-coverings will be required in public indoor spaces, such as stores.

This new requirement applies to all individuals over the age of 2 who are able to medically tolerate a face-covering or a mask.

“The modified order will strengthen the state’s social distancing requirements while allowing residents additional flexibility and provide measured relief to non-essential businesses in the safest way possible,” a press release said.

Also in the press release, Pritzker said that decision to extend the “stay at home” mandate was made “based on data from scientists and health experts and after consulting with stakeholders across the state.” He said the extension and new requirements will “continue the life-saving progress made over the last month.”

“Make no mistake, Illinois has saved lives,” Pritzker said. “By staying home and social distancing, we have kept our infection and death rates for the months of March and April thousands below the rates projected had we not implemented these mitigation strategies.

“I know how badly we all want our normal lives back,” he continued. “But this is the part where we have to dig in and 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.”

In conjunction with today’s announcement, Pritzker released modeling that shows the state is projected to see a peak or plateau of deaths per day between late April and early May.

The new executive order also includes the following modifications effective May 1:

• Outdoor recreation: State parks will begin a phased re-opening under guidance from the Department of Natural Resources. Fishing and boating in groups of no more than two people will be permitted. A list of parks that will be open on May 1 and additional guidelines can be found on the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website

Golf will be permitted under strict safety guidelines provided by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and when ensuring that social distancing is followed.

• New essential businesses: Greenhouses, garden centers and nurseries may re-open as essential businesses. These stores must follow social distancing requirements and must require that employees and customers wear a face covering. Animal grooming services may also re-open.

• Non-essential retail: Retail stores not designated as non-essential businesses and operations may re-open to fulfill telephone and online orders through pick-up outside the store and delivery.

• Essential businesses and manufacturing: Essential businesses and manufacturers will be required to provide face coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain 6 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.

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