Pritzker announces shelter-in-place

Megan Krok, Copy Editor

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced shelter-in-place policy on Friday afternoon, alongside Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. The policy will be issued March 21 at 5 pm, and as of right now will last through April 7. This announcement came after it was reported that three more Illinois residents have died from COVID-19.

The shelter-in-place policy further urges residents to self-quarantine to stop the spread of COVID-19. While the policy is in place, residents are encouraged to only leave their homes to go to a pharmacy, visit a medical facility, purchase necessities at the grocery store, get gas for their vehicles, or simply take a walk around their neighborhood. Pritzker also made it clear that agriculture workers, the press, veterinarians, plumbers, banks, etc. will all stay in business during this time as he stated that they are “the fundamental building blocks that keep our society safe.” However, all non-essential businesses will no longer remain open at this time. 

Pritzker also announced that schools state-wide will now be closed at least until April 8. This will affect the estimated closure of the Joliet Township high schools, originally announced to re-open on March 31. Regarding the school closures, Pritzker stated, “I wish I could stand up here and tell you when your schools will safely reopen, but that is not an answer I have at this time.”

Pritzker went on to say that obviously Illinois does not have the resources to police every resident to take the precautions necessary to get COVID-19 under control. However, he is putting his trust in his state to make the right decisions to keep others and themselves safe. As these precautions, such as the school closures, have already been extended, Illinois residents must take safety measures, such as self-quarantine, seriously in hopes to control this pandemic.