While Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order is set to expire April 30, he has yet to announce his plans for the state come May 1.
But the governor says that every day he’s “looking at every aspect of the order” and all of the things that might change. While he didn’t outline specifics, Pritzker on Monday said changes to his stay-at-home order could vary based on county or region.
“The important thing is we want to keep people safe and also to give them the ability to do as much as possible without spreading the virus,” he said during his daily press briefing. “None of this is done on a whim. All of this is done listening to people who understand the virus and how it gets transmitted.”
Even wearing a mask takes on different meaning depending on where you live, he said.
“There’s a lot of distance between people’s homes in rural areas of Illinois. The idea of people going outside and wearing a mask on a property of theirs that’s 100 acres or 10 acres is a much different prospect (than) someone on the North Side or West Side of Chicago going outside and walking on the sidewalk with hundreds of other people,” Pritzker said.
“As we make decisions about changing the stay-at-home order or even after the peak (we) might phase in people getting back to work or reopening things. I absolutely think we need to look at where capacity is,” he added. If a hospital’s capacity is large and readily available, even amid the pandemic, “that might be a place to do more than some other place” as it relates to reopening the economy, Pritzker said.
When asked if he had a certain metric or target to guide his decision to loosen some of the current restrictions, Pritzker said aspects of the plan by the White House and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infections Diseases, were worth looking at.
Last week, the White House released a three-phase road map for states to restore normal activity in places that have strong testing and are seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases. The guidelines recommend that states pass checkpoints that look at new cases, testing and surveillance data over the prior 14 days before advancing from one phase to another, according to the Associated Press.
“For example, the discussion about when does phase one begin and that is past the peak, 14 days of numbers going down, I think that’s a pretty good metric,” Pritzker said. “If we haven’t quite hit the peak yet – and you won’t really know you hit the peak until you start to go down – I think that is a marker everybody should be looking for.”
On Monday, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported an additional 1,151 COVID-19 cases and 59 deaths, bringing statewide totals to 31,508 and 1,349, respectively.
This is the fourth consecutive day in which the number of new cases has been in decline, according to IDPH data, but the daily death toll reached a high point of 125 for the second time Saturday after initially hitting that mark Thursday.
“Our curve is bending the right way,” Pritzker said, but we may not have hit our peak yet.
Coronavirus Prevention Tips and Resources
Officials advise taking preventive measures to slow the spread of the virus, including:
—Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water
—Using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
—Sneezing or coughing into a tissue and then disposing of the tissue
—Limiting contact with people regardless of how you feel
—Staying home when you are sick
Symptoms of COVID-19 include, but are not limited to:
—New onset of fever, cough, shortness of breath
—Congestion in the nasal sinuses or lungs
—Sore throat, body aches or unusual fatigue
If you think you have COVID-19:
Call you doctor before showing up at their office. If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, tell the operator that you think you have COVID-19. If possible, wear a mask before medical help arrives or presenting at a doctor’s office. More advice for those who think they have COVID-19.
—Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
—Illinois’ COVID-19 website
—Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) website
—IDPH COVID-19 hotline: 800-889-3931
—IPDH COVID-19 email link
—City of Chicago COVID-19 website
—City of Chicago COVID-19 hotline: 312-746-4835
—City of Chicago COVID-19 email link