Illinois announces stay at home order; COVID-19 cases rise to 585

The Illinois Department of Public Health has announced eight additional cases in the state of...
The Illinois Department of Public Health has announced eight additional cases in the state of COVID-19. “As we anticipated, the number of cases in Illinois is increasing and now includes the first cases outside of Chicago and Cook County,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. (KWQC)(KWQC)
Published: Mar. 20, 2020 at 2:58 PM CDT
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Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced a stay at home order as COVID-19 cases rose to 585 in the state Friday.

The governor said this will go into effect at 5 p.m. Saturday and will go until April 7. Governor Pritzker said the "residents will be subject to a stay at home order."

The governor clarified that residents will still be able to go get groceries, visit the pharmacy, go to the hospital, gas up their cars, walk their dogs, etc.

"You can still pick up dinner from your local restaurant, pick up your prescriptions and just spend time with your family," Pritzker said. "We are doing all we can to maintain as much normalcy as possible while taking the steps we must to protect you."

Pritzker has asked all non-essential businesses to stop operating and says if you can work from home and aren't already doing it, now is the time to do so.

TV6 has been asked by viewers if they can drive from Illinois to Iowa, and the answer is yes, they can. Roads, bridges and other infrastructure are not being shut down, according to Pritzker.

The governor has also tentatively postponed the reopening of Illinois schools to April 8.

Illinois Department of Public Health officials also announced an additional COVID-19 death in the state and more than 160 new confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Officials said the person who died was a Cook County resident in her 70s.

Officials said they have 163 new cases, bringing the state total to 585 in 25 counties. Cases have occurred in patients as young as three and as old as 99.

"As the number of COVID-19 cases being reported continues to rise significantly each day, the State of Illinois is working to increase testing capacity by working with Illinois hospitals to implement testing within their facilities," officials said in the release. "Additionally, the State is working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Wal-Mart, and Walgreens to set up drive-thru testing sites in the hardest hit areas of the state. These facilities will focus on senior citizens, first responders, and health care workers."

You can watch the press conference at the link below.