Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is announcing a statewide stay-at-home order to stop the spread of coronavirus. Speaking with reporters, Pritzker said the only strategy available is to mitigate the spread in the “most robust manner possible.” He said the decision did not come easily because it was about choosing between saving lives and saving people’s livelihood. Pritzker said, ultimately, “you cannot have a livelihood if you don’t have a life.” The stay-at-home order will allow residents to leave their house to visit the grocery store, doctors office, pharmacy, gas stations and to take hikes and walks outside. The order will go into effect starting tomorrow and last until April 7th.
Illinois is the third state to make such a sweeping mandate in the fight against the spread of the new virus. California issued a stay-at-home order and New York’s governor mandated that all nonessential businesses keep workers at home.
Every Illinoisan plays a role in ensuring our health care system remains fully operational to treat patients in need of urgent care. If you are experiencing symptoms of any illness, including COVID-19, the first thing you should do is:
Call a health care provider, like your primary care physician or a health clinic. But please, do not walk directly into an emergency room or a doctor’s office. A health care provider will ask about your symptoms and potential exposures. If they think you need medical care, they will help arrange medical treatment without putting others at risk of exposure. If you meet certain criteria, you may be tested for COVID-19, but as testing expands, those with severe illness and those at higher risk of complications are being prioritized. People whose symptoms are mild — which will be most people — will be able to isolate at home during their illness, and they should follow the directives of their health care providers. For health-related inquiries, contact the Illinois Department of Public Health by calling 1-800-889-3931 or visiting IDPH.illinois.gov.