CHICAGO (WMBD — Gov. J.B. Pritzker has extended the Illinois stay-at-home order through the end of May as the state hits a total of 36,934 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
However, this version is modified, and will go into effect May 1. These modifications include:
- OUTDOOR RECREATION: State parks will begin a phased re-opening under guidance from the Department of Natural Resources. Fishing and boating in groups of no more than two people will be permitted. A list of parks that will be open on May 1 and additional guidelines can be found on the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website HERE. Golf will be permitted under strict safety guidelines provided by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and when ensuring that social distancing is followed.
- NEW ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES: Greenhouses, garden centers and nurseries may re-open as essential businesses. These stores must follow social distancing requirements and must require that employees and customers wear a face covering. Animal grooming services may also re-open.
- NON-ESSENTIAL RETAIL: Retail stores not designated as non-essential businesses and operations may re-open to fulfill telephone and online orders through pick-up outside the store and delivery.
- FACE COVERINGS: Beginning on May 1, individuals will be required to wear a face-covering or a mask when in a public place where they can’t maintain a six-foot social distance. Face-coverings will be required in public indoor spaces, such as stores. This new requirement applies to all individuals over the age of two who are able to medically tolerate a face-covering or a mask.
- ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES AND MANUFACTURING: Essential businesses and manufacturers will be required to provide face-coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain six-feet of social distancing, as well as follow new requirements that maximize social distancing and prioritize the well-being of employees and customers. This will include occupancy limits for essential businesses and precautions such as staggering shifts and operating only essential lines for manufacturers.
- SCHOOLS: Educational institutions may allow and establish procedures for pick-up of necessary supplies or student belongings. Dormitory move-outs must follow public health guidelines, including social distancing.
The state saw a 1,826-case increase since Wednesday and 123 additional deaths. This brings the total number of deaths to 1,688, the Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years across 96 counties in Illinois.
“Make no mistake, Illinois has saved lives. By staying home and social distancing, we have kept our infection and death rates for the months of March and April thousands below the rates projected had we not implemented these mitigation strategies,” Pritzker said. “I know how badly we all want our normal lives back. But this is the part where we have to dig in and understand that the sacrifices we’ve made as a state to avoid a worst-case scenario are working — and we need to keep going a little while longer to finish the job.”
While earlier projections relied on data from other countries applied to the United States, Pritzker’s team said the modeling released Thursday analyzes two months’ worth of daily data on COVID-19 deaths and ICU usage specifically in Illinois.
Top researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Northwestern School of Medicine, the University of Chicago, the Chicago and Illinois Departments of Public Health, along with McKinsey and Mier Consulting Group working on behalf of the City of Chicago and Cook County, worked on these projections as a cohort under Civis Analytics, a data analytics firm with experience spanning the public and private sectors.
See below, per the governor’s office.
According to the state model, the stay-at-home order is flattening the curve in Illinois. Without the order, the model estimates there would have been 10 to 20 times as many deaths to date and that the peak death rate and peak resource usage would have been 20 to 30 times what we will see with mitigation.
Over the course of the current outbreak, the model also estimates there would be 5 to 10 times more deaths than we would see if we continued mitigation.
The IDPH will be issuing guidance to surgicenter and hospitals to allow for certain elective surgeries for non-life-threatening conditions, starting on May 1. Facilities will need to meet specific criteria, including proper PPE, ensuring enough overall space for COVID-19 patients remains available, and testing of elective surgery patients to ensure COVID-19 negative status.
Health officials said that in either of the above scenarios, as much as half of the state’s population could be infected with COVID-19 at once,
A total of 173,316 coronavirus tests have been performed as of Thursday.
Watch the press conference below.