Gov. J.B. Pritzker has issued a “stay-at-home” order for the entire state starting at 5 p.m. Saturday through at least April 7, marking Illinois’ most aggressive step yet to try to slow the coronavirus’s spread.
A dramatic-sounding move, to be sure, but one that largely codifies the previous recommendations and rules issued by state officials. Pritzker said his latest decision was based on conversations with “some of the best medical experts, epidemiologists, mathematicians and modelers.”
He announced the change on Friday afternoon, as Illinois reached 585 confirmed cases across 25 counties, including 163 new cases. The death toll has risen to five, as officials announced a Cook County woman in her 70s had died from COVID-19.
“I’ve asked every one of these experts, ‘What action can I take to save the most lives?’” the governor said. “Well, they’ve come back to me with one inescapable conclusion: To avoid the loss of potentially tens of thousands of lives, we must enact an immediate stay-at-home order for the state of Illinois.”