Illinois' Stay-at-Home Order Extended Through April, Pritzker Announces

The statewide stay-at-home order was initially issued from March 21 to April 7

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Illinois' stay-at-home order has been extended until April 30, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Tuesday.

Pritzker said he would sign an executive order Wednesday that extends Illinois’ Disaster Proclamation, stay-at-home order, and the suspension of on-site learning at schools across the state.

"If we can end these orders earlier, I’ll be the first to tell you when we can start to make strides toward normal again," Pritzker said.

The news comes one week before the initial order was set to end and just days after the state saw its biggest rise in cases of the coronavirus pandemic so far.

Health officials warn that Illinois' cases have still not peaked and a continued increase in patients threatens to overwhelm state hospitals, healthcare workers and first responders.

March 31 briefing: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot discusses Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s extension of the state’s stay-at-home order.

The statewide stay-at-home order started on March 21 and was expected to continue until April 7, unless otherwise extended.

The order means schools across the state will not resume in-person instruction throughout the month of April. Chicago Public Schools had already planned on an e-learning schedule from April 13 through April 20 and district officials warned they were unsure how long e-learning could last.

Chicago's mayor hinted that such a decision could be coming, but she added Tuesday that she supports the decision.

"The city of Chicago stands ready to continue to partner with the state," she said.

When asked about the stay-at-home order during a teleconference with reporters, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said, "I think that realistically we’re looking at something’s that’s going to stretch deep into April."

Illinois saw its biggest one-day jump in coronavirus cases since the pandemic began Sunday, with 1,105 new cases.

By Tuesday, the total number of cases statewide neared 6,000 with 99 deaths.

Although the number of new cases reported Monday was nearly half those seen Sunday, both Pritzker and Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said that is not an indication that cases have peaked.

Lightfoot said she expects Chicago cases to peak "in the coming weeks," warning of as many as 40,000 hospitalizations anticipated.

Already, the state is bringing back online once-shuttered hospitals and working to prepare Chicago's McCormick Place convention center into an alternate care facility for patients with mild symptoms.

March 31 briefing: Dr. Ngozi Ezike discusses the latest spike in coronavirus cases, and fatalities, in Illinois.
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