Governor Pritzker’s new modified stay at home order will go into effect on May 1. On the one hand, I’m glad he recognized some Republican suggestions for re-opening aspects of the economy and daily life in this modified plan, but there is no question that many families and small businesses will continue to suffer; and I’m also concerned by the contradictory nature of some of these modifications.
Many of my colleagues and I are calling for the Governor, or Speaker Madigan and Senate President Harmon, to call the legislature back to Springfield to not only allow for proper checks and balances of these decisions but to develop a long-term plan for our state. There is no reason we cannot pursue a thoughtful, data-driven and safe regionalized approach to support Illinoisans as we combat this crisis, and seek to return to normal, daily lives.
In the meantime, I want to hear from you concerning the provisions of the new stay at home order. Please click here to complete a short survey and provide any additional comments.
The new provisions include the following changes to the current order:
- FACE COVERINGS: Beginning on May 1, individuals will be required to wear a face-covering or a mask when in a public place where they can’t maintain a six-foot social distance. Face-coverings will be required in public indoor spaces, such as stores. This new requirement applies to all individuals over the age of two who are able to medically tolerate a face-covering or a mask.
- OUTDOOR RECREATION: State parks will begin a phased re-opening under guidance from the Department of Natural Resources. Fishing and boating in groups of no more than two people will be permitted. A list of parks that will be open on May 1 and additional guidelines can be found on the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website HERE . Golf will be permitted under strict safety guidelines provided by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and when ensuring that social distancing is followed.
- NEW ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES: Greenhouses, garden centers and nurseries may re-open as essential businesses. These stores must follow social distancing requirements and must require that employees and customers wear a face covering. Animal grooming services may also re-open.
- NON-ESSENTIAL RETAIL: Retail stores currently designated as non-essential businesses and operations may re-open to fulfill telephone and online orders through pick-up outside the store and delivery.
- ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES AND MANUFACTURING: Essential businesses and manufacturers will be required to provide face-coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain six-feet of social distancing, as well as follow new requirements that maximize social distancing and prioritize the well-being of employees and customers. This will include occupancy limits for essential businesses and precautions such as staggering shifts and operating only essential lines for manufacturers.
- SCHOOLS: Educational institutions may allow and establish procedures for pick-up of necessary supplies or student belongings. Dormitory move-outs must follow public health guidelines, including social distancing.
The Illinois Department of Public Health will also be issuing guidance to surgi-centers and hospitals to allow for certain elective surgeries for non-life-threatening conditions, starting on May 1. Facilities will need to meet specific criteria, including proper PPE, ensuring enough overall space for COVID-19 patients remains available, and testing of elective surgery patients to ensure COVID-19 negative status.