State Watch

Illinois governor announces shelter in place order

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) on Friday afternoon announced that the state will issue a “shelter in place” order starting this weekend and running through April 7.

The order takes effect Saturday at 5 p.m. and will require all 12.7 million residents to stay home with few exceptions as state officials seek to combat the spreading coronavirus.

Illinois joins New York and California in issuing statewide orders for residents to stay home.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Thursday ordered all 40 million state residents to stay home, while New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Friday called on all nonessential workers to stay home.

Residents in Illinois will be able to go to grocery stores, gas stations and pharmacies, and they will also be able to take walks, the governor said. Officials said that local roads, the interstate highways and tollways will stay open to traffic. 

Pritzker made the announcement at a press conference alongside Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D).

“For the vast majority of you already taking precautions, your lives will not change very much,” Pritzker said, adding that “to be honest, we don’t have the resources, the capacity, or the desire to police every individual’s behavior.”

Lightfoot requested residents hew to the rules. 

“You must stay home,” she said. “This is not a lockdown, or martial law.”

State officials reported 163 new cases of the virus on Friday, bringing the total since the start of the outbreak to 585. Pritzker also announced another coronavirus-related death in the Chicago area: a woman in her 70s, who became the state’s fifth death associated with COVID-19.

The news was first reported by the Chicago Tribune.

Updated: 5:01 p.m. EDT

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