Coronavirus Illinois: What is and isn't allowed during a stay-at-home order

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Friday, March 20, 2020
Coronavirus Illinois: Gov. JB Pritzker announces 'stay-at-home' order in daily COVID-19 update
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker issued a "stay-at-home" order for all Illinois residents Friday afternoon in an attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Adhering to a "stay-at-home" order is fairly straightforward: just stay at home!

Gov. JB Pritzker joined medical experts and local officials to announce that Illinois will be enacting a "stay-at-home" order beginning on Saturday, March 21 at 5 p.m.


Pritzker signed an executive order Friday prohibiting public and private gatherings of any number of people outside a single household, except to participate in essential activities.

RELATED: Coronavirus: What to know about COVID-19 in Illinois

Governments around the country are looking at ways to curb the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus. One way is to institute a shelter-in-place-order. But what does that mean and how does it work? We broke it down for you.

What is considered an "essential activity?"

Tasks vital to health and safety - including: gathering medical supplies, medication, items needed to work from home

What can happen if I break the "shelter in place" order?

State and local law enforcement are able to enforce the executive order.

RELATED: Police break up parties violating Illinois' 'stay-at-home' order

- Gathering household items, food and cleaning products

- Outdoor activity is allowed -- but residents must comply with social distancing requirements

- Caring for a family member or pet

- Performing work for an essential business

A full list of essential businesses is available on Illinois' government website.

Why is this happening?

The intent of the order is to ensure that the maximum number of people self-isolate in their place of residence as much as possible.

The basics of a shelter-in-place order during the coronavirus pandemic are fairly clear: Stay at home.

Where is the order in effect?

The order impacts the entire state of Illinois.

Can I leave my home?

Everyone is required to stay home except to get supplies such as food, care for a relative or friend, get necessary health care, or go to an essential job. People are still able to go outside for solitary recreational activities, but practice social distancing around others.

What if I do go out?

If you go out, officials say you need to keep at least 6 feet of distance.

Chicagoans adjust to new normal.

Can you leave the house if you are elderly?

People who are elderly or medically vulnerable are urged to stay in their residence except as necessary to seek medical care. Nothing in the executive order prevents the Illinois Department of Public Health or local public health departments from issuing and enforcing isolation and quarantine orders.

What will still be open?

People will still be able to leave their home to go to grocery stores, pharmacies, medical offices, hospitals and gas stations, all of which will remain open. Restaurants will continue offering take-out and delivery for customers.

Is this like what is happening in Italy?

Unlike measures taken in Italy, Illinois officials are not enacting lockdown measures or establishing a curfew.

RELATED: Coronavirus cases: Map of COVID-19 cases, deaths in the US, world