Following in the footsteps of California and the village of Oak Park, Illinois, Governor J.B. Pritzker announced Friday that the state will implement what's called a "stay-at-home" directive: beginning on Saturday, March 21 at 5pm, all Illinois residents will be ordered to remain at their residences as much as possible through April 7.
We know that might sound slightly apocalyptic, but in reality, it's only building on existing social distancing rules throughout Chicago and the rest of the state. Here's what you need to know: On top of dine-in restaurants, bars, museums, theaters and fitness clubs—nearly all of which have already shut down—the order closes "non-essential" services such as retail stores, hair salons and indoor malls. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot also announced that all city libraries and parks will temporarily close beginning tomorrow at 5pm.
While those rules will certainly shake up day-to-day life as we know it, some things won't change. Food-related services remain open, which means that you'll still be able to go get groceries, pick up takeout and order delivery. And even though you should avoid non-essential trips, you shouldn't feel like you have to stay cooped up inside all day. Both Pritzker and Lightfoot stressed that everyone is still allowed to take walks, sit outside or go for a drive. "For the vast majority of you already taking precautions, your lives will not change very much," Pritzker said in a Friday press conference.
Other essential services like pharmacies, gas stations, hospitals and day care providers will also remain open. Keep up to date on the latest developments in Chicago with our ongoing list of event cancellations and venue closures.