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Coronavirus

Gov. Pritzker issues stay-at-home order starting 5 p.m. Saturday

Essential businesses to stay open. "For the vast majority of you already taking precautions, your lives will not change very much," Gov. says

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announces that three more people have died in the state from from Covid-19 virus, two Illinois residents and one woman visiting from Florida, during a news conference Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announces that three more people have died in the state from from Covid-19 virus, two Illinois residents and one woman visiting from Florida, during a news conference Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a "shelter-in-place" order for the state, starting at 5 p.m. Saturday through April 7, in order to slow the pace of the spread of COVID-19.

"I don't come to this decision easily," Pritzker said. "I fully recognize that in some cases, I am choosing between saving people's lives an saving people's livelihoods. But ultimately you can't have a livelihood if you don't have your life."

Pritzker made sure to say that "for the vast majority of you already taking precautions, your lives will not change very much."

All nonessential businesses must close. Schools in the state will remain closed until April 8, Pritzker said, and that more information on schools will be coming.

Grocery stores, hospitals, pharmacies, gas stations, and other essential businesses can remain open. All local roads and tollways will remain open.

"You'll still be able to leave your house, to go to the grocery store, to get food," Pritzker said. "You'll still be able to visit a pharmacy, go to a medical office or hospital, or to gas up your car... You'll still be able to go running and hiking and walk your dog."

There are also now five deaths because of COVID-19 in the state, with a total of 585 confirmed cases, though the actual number is likely larger because of the country's lack of tests available. There have been 4,286 people tested in the state, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Illinois is the second state to issue a shelter-in-place order.

California put in a shelter-in-place order on Thursday night.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that starting Sunday, all workers in nonessential businesses must stay home as much as possible, and all gatherings of any size will be banned.

This is a developing story.

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