SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker announced Thursday, April 23, he is extending Illinois’ stay-at-home order through May 30 with certain modifications taking effect May 1, including opening up state parks, expanding essential businesses and requiring masks in public.
“I know how badly we all want our normal lives back. Believe me, if I could make that happen right now I would. But this is the part where we have to dig in,” Pritzker said at his daily COVID-19 briefing in Chicago. “And we have to understand that the sacrifices that we've made as a state to avoid a worst-case scenario are working, and we need to keep going a little while longer to finish the job.”
Effective May 1, the stay-at-home order will feature the following modifications:
“These changes are what the data says that we can offer the people of Illinois without risking so much viral transmission that our hospitals will potentially become overrun,” Pritzker said. “That said, if we start to see crowds and people violating the order or breaking the rules, I will need to bring back these restrictions. I'm hopeful that we will not need to do that.”
IDPH announced 1,826 new cases of COVID-19 in Illinois on Thursday, as well as 123 new deaths. The state has now seen 36,934 cases, including 1,688 deaths. Health workers completed 8,970 tests in the past 24 hours.
For the first time in this pandemic, Pritzker released one of the projection models that his administration is using to make decisions. The model, developed by researchers at multiple Illinois universities and private groups, projects the state to see a peak or plateau of daily deaths between late April and early May.
If the stay-at-home order were lifted this week, Pritzker said, a second wave of COVID-19 would send deaths per day into the thousands by the end of May.