Earlier this month, Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a "stay-at-home" order for the state of Illinois, asking all residents to stay in their homes and practice social distancing as much as possible through April 7. Today, Gov. Pritzker announced that he's extending the state's disaster proclamation and the "stay-at-home" order through April 30, maintaining the shutdown of non-essential businesses and asking that residents only leave their homes for essential tasks like getting groceries, picking up takeout, walking a dog or exercising. "If we can end these orders earlier, I’ll be the first one to tell you," Gov. Pritzker noted during a press conference.
The extension shouldn't come as a surprise if you've been paying attention to the news surrounding the continued fight against the spread of coronavirus in the United States. On Sunday, President Donald Trump announced the extension of nationwide social-distancing guidelines through April 30, backing down from previous claims of a return to normalcy for parts of the country by Easter Sunday on April 12.
Gov. Pritzker acknowledged that this is an extremely difficult time for families and workers, saying that he's instructed his staff to "do everything and anything in our power to help our residents who are hurting." While he mentioned his ban on residential evictions throughout the state, Gov. Pritzker made no mention of financial assistance for renters, many of whom are out of work and have rent checks due beginning tomorrow.
The extension of the "stay-at-home" order all but guarantees that Chicago's lakefront, the 606 and the Chicago Riverwalk will remain closed to the public through the end of April, and that the Chicago Police will continue to enforce social-distancing guidelines throughout the city, breaking up gatherings in public places. This also means that Chicago's restaurants and bars will remain closed to dine-in customers, so if you're getting tired of cooking, you'll need to see which Chicago restaurants are offering delivery and takeout.
While we're all starting to get a bit stir crazy after spending a few weeks inside our homes, the extension of the "stay-at-home" order serves as a reminder that the only way that we can flatten the curve, protect vulnerable people and get back to life as usual ASAP is by continuing to heed the call to stay indoors. To make the coming weeks a little easier, we're encouraging you to spend more Time In by gathering some of the best things to do at home in Chicago, including DIY cocktails, Michelin-starred takeout, great Netflix movies and local bookstores that will deliver new reading material to your door.