(NOTE: Daily press conferences from Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot will be streamed live in the player above. Check back for updates.)
Illinois' stay-at-home order will be extended into late-May, Gov. Pritzker announced Thursday, but things will look a little different.
Pritzker had already hinted that an extension was likely, but also said changes were coming. And on Thursday, those changes became clear.
Here are the latest developments on the coronavirus crisis today (April 23):
1,826 New Cases Lift Illinois Coronavirus Count to 36,934 as Stay-at-Home Order Extended
The state reported 1,826 new cases since Wednesday, which saw the highest daily count since the pandemic began.
There were also 123 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of fatalities associated with the virus in the state to 1,688.
Illinois' New Stay-at-Home Order Includes Requirement to Cover Faces in Public in May
Illinois residents will soon be required to cover their faces when in public spaces like grocery stores, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Thursday.
The mandate is part of an amended statewide stay-at-home order, which begins May 1 and continues through the end of the month.
More than a dozen Chicago suburbs have already implemented such requirements, but the latest mandate will make it a statewide order.
Under the order individuals must wear a "face-covering or mask when in a public place where they can't maintain a six-foot social distance." It applies to anyone over the age of 2 "who are able to medically tolerate a face-covering or a mask."
Pritzker Extending Illinois' Stay-at-Home Order Through May 30
Illinois' stay-at-home order will now be in effect through May, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Thursday.
With just one week left until the current April 30 deadline, Pritzker said he plans to extend the deadline until May 30, though some changes will be put in place.
“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," Pritzker said.
The order includes modified restrictions beginning May 1.
Read the full order here.
Coronavirus Testing Site in Aurora Reaches Capacity, Closes Early
A new coronavirus testing site that opened at the Chicago Premium Outlets mall in Aurora was forced to close early Thursday afternoon after reaching capacity in a matter of hours.
The new drive-thru facility, run by the Illinois National Guard with help from the Aurora Police Department, stopped taking patients around 12:30 p.m., according to the Auroral Police Department.
The site was expected to remain open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., or until supplies were exhausted.
Lightfoot to Hold 1 p.m. Briefing As Pritzker Expected to Extend Illinois’ Stay-at-Home Order
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is expected to announce the city's new COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force during a live briefing at 1 p.m. Thursday.
Lightfoot's announcement, scheduled to take place in front of Chicago's historic Water Tower, comes as sources say Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker will announce at 2:30 p.m. plans to extend the state's stay-at-home.
Watch live in the player above.
Elton John Postpones United Center Performance
Elton John is postponing his United Center show as part of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour this summer.
A new date has not been announced but Ticketmaster told fans "your event is still happening, but at a future date."
Coronavirus Testing Officially Begins at Chicago Premium Outlets Mall in Aurora
The first official day of coronavirus testing began at the Chicago Premium Outlets mall in Aurora Thursday morning for anyone experiencing symptoms.
The new drive-thru facility, run by the Illinois National Guard with help from the Aurora Police Department, opened in a "soft launch" Wednesday as Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced the addition of the west suburban location in a push to increase statewide testing.
Thursday marked the "official first morning" since the governor's announcement, according to a spokesperson for the Aurora Police Department.
The location will test anyone who may be experiencing coronavirus symptoms, defined as cough, shortness of breath or a fever, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. According to officials, a doctor’s note is not required to be tested.
The Aurora site is one of two new drive-thru testing centers opening this week in Illinois.
The University of Illinois College of Medicine in Rockford will open its facility Friday. Community-based testing facilities are also open in Bloomington, Harwood Heights and Markham.
Stores Adjust Return Policies During Coronavirus Pandemic
Whether it’s a dress that’s the wrong size, or a case of mac and cheese purchased in panic – can you return it?
NBC 5 Responds asked retailers and grocers that question as coronavirus complications continue to wreak havoc on returns and refunds.
Macy’s customers can still shop online and may be happy to hear that the retailer is extending its return window, “giving customers an extra 60 days from the original return date” to bring purchases back.
Online shopping is also in full effect at Nordstrom. As for returns: the company “does not have a set time frame” saying it handles returns “on a case-by-case basis.” Currently, customers can only return items by mail.
Marshall’s and TJ Maxx have shut down online shopping, but both retailers – owned by the same company – say that once they re-open “shoppers have 30 days to make in-store returns, and 40 days to make online returns.”
Target is taking a different approach, shutting down “all returns and exchanges on March 26th through April 26th.” Shoppers now have until June 15 to return those items. Target.com purchases can be returned by mail.
Attention Amazon shoppers: Most items ordered from Amazon or its seller partners between March 1 and April 30 can now be returned until the end of May.
Click here for more.
Menards No Longer Allowing Children in Stores During Coronavirus
Menards will not be allowing children or pets in its stores during the coronavirus pandemic, the company announced as part of several policy changes being taken this month.
The kids policy applies to anyone under the age of 16. Those who appear younger could be asked to show identification, the company said earlier in April.
Service pets will still be allowed, according to the chain.
Menards encouraged shoppers with children to buy online and pick up at the store.
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