Governor Issues “Stay at Home” Order for Illinois Except for Essential Needs

Although this order seems drastic, everyone will still be able to do various daily and essential activities like walk the dog, go the grocery store, get gas, and even order take-out or delivery.

The order goes into effect tomorrow, Saturday, March 21 at 5 p.m. through April 7 and directs all residents to remain at their place of residence, except to conduct essential activities, some of which I highlighted above. All businesses, other than essential businesses and essential government functions, are required to cease operations. All public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single family or living unit are prohibited.

All travel, including but not limited to walking, biking, driving, or taking public transit is prohibited, except to perform essential activities, operate essential businesses, or to maintain essential government functions. Individuals may go on a walk, get exercise, or take a pet outside, as long as at least six feet of social distancing is maintained.

Essential Activities – Individuals may leave their place of residence to: 

  • Tasks essential to maintain health and safety, such as obtaining medicine or seeing a doctor;
  • Getting necessary services or supplies for themselves or their family or household members, such as getting food and supplies, pet food, and getting supplies necessary for staying at home;
  • Engaging in outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking, or running provided that you maintain at least six feet of social distancing;
  • Performing work providing essential services at an essential business or essential government function (defined below);
  • Caring for a family member in another household;
  • Caring for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons.

Exemptions – Individuals may leave their place of residence to: 

Operate an essential business, which includes:

  • Healthcare operations, including home health workers;
  • Essential Infrastructure, including construction of housing and operation of public transportation and utilities;
  • Grocery stores, farmers’ markets, food banks, convenience stores;
  • Businesses that provide necessities of life for economically disadvantaged individuals and shelter facilities;
  • Pharmacies, health care supply stores, and health care facilities;
  • Gas stations and auto repair facilities;
  • Banks;
  • Garbage collection;
  • Hardware stores, plumbers, electricians, and other service providers necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences and other essential businesses;
  • Educational institutions, for the purposes of facilitating distance learning;
  • Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers;
  • Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, and goods directly to residences;
  • Childcare facilities providing services that enable essential employees to go to work;
  • Roles required for any Essential Business to “maintain basic operations,” which include security, payroll, and similar activities.

Perform an essential government function:

  • This includes all services needed to ensure the continuing operation of the government agencies and provide for the health, safety and welfare of the public.

Read the complete executive order here.

You may download a FAQ document about the “stay at home” order below.