JB Pritzker

Pritzker Promises ‘Essential Services Will Not Close' Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

The governor also thanked workers in a wide variety of fields as the state ramps up its response to the virus

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Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker sought to reassure state residents on Thursday, saying that essential services will remain readily available despite a slew of closures related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Aiming to dispel rumors swirling on social media about mass closures of interstate highways and other critical infrastructure, the governor spoke out strongly to the state’s residents, saying that no such plans are going to be enacted.

“Essential services will not close,” the governor said. “Interstate highways, grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations will continue to operate.”

Pritzker made the comments as small businesses begin to cope with the effects of coronavirus-related policies enacted this week. Restaurants have been ordered to switch to carry-out and delivery only, and bars were ordered to close by the governor.

Retail stores are also being closed, but Pritzker says that grocery stores and pharmacies will remain open despite those closures.

“There is no need to run out and hoard food, gas or medicine,” he said. “Buy what you need, within reason. There is more than enough to go around as long as you do not hoard. We will never shut these services down.”

Pritzker praised workers at those critical retail and health care locations, along with warehouse workers and truck drivers, for their hard work during the crisis so far, and encouraged Illinois residents to do the same.

“Please remember that these essential institutions don’t run on their own,” he said. “Take every opportunity you can to demonstrate your gratitude.

“Our doctors, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, health care center operators and first responders:  these are people who leave their families every day and expose themselves to the risk of COVID-19,” he added. “Our first responders are the very best among us, and they deserve all the acts of kindness we can muster.”

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