Illinois Has 5 Total COVID-19 Deaths, Gov. Pritzker Announces "Stay At Home" Order

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced a “stay at home” order for residents. He says “essential” services will remain in place. Governor Pritzker also announced an extension to the public school closures through the first week of April.

Order Begins 5 p.m. Saturday

According to a news release, the order takes effect 5 p.m. Saturday, March 21, 2020. In addition to the stay at home provisions, it also orders all local government units across the state to halt all evictions and bans gatherings of more than 10 people.

STAY AT HOME ORDER

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 this stay at home order.

The governor’s action today formalizes his calls this week for Illinoisans to stay home as much as possible, aside from meeting their basic needs. In that regard, the stay at home order 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:

Essential Activities:

  • 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 Government Functions:

  • All services provided by state and local governments needed to ensure the continuing operation of the government agencies and provide for the health, safety and welfare of the public
  • This Executive Order does not apply to the United States government

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 licensed as specified in Section 12(s) of the order
  • 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, includingplumbers, 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.A new Emergency Child Care Center license is being created with more flexibility but much smaller group sizes to ensure social distancing for children in care.

Only essential travel is permitted at this time and must be done in accordance with social distancing requirements.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today announced 163 new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including the death of a Cook County woman in her 70s.  Three additional counties are now reporting cases; Adams, Christian, and McLean counties.     

Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 585 cases in 25 counties in Illinois.  Cases have occurred in ages 3 to 99.  Cases by county can be found on the IDPH website, as well as a list of local health departments who will have the most up-to-date information.

As the number of COVID-19 cases being reported continues to rise significantly each day, the State of Illinois is working to increase testing capacity by working with Illinois hospitals to implement testing within their facilities. 

Additionally, the State is working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Wal-Mart, and Walgreens to set up drive-thru testing sites in the hardest hit areas of the state.
These facilities will focus on senior citizens, first responders, and health care workers.