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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker

Kevin Lynch, Editor-in-Chief

Governor J.B. Pritzker announced in his daily briefing Thursday that he plans to sign an extension to the stay-at-home order to Saturday, May 30th. However, Pritzker also promised that the month of May would not look the same as March and April in terms of new requirements and restrictions.

The governor explained that the data that influenced the first stay-at-home deadline was pulled from heavy-hit countries like China and Italy, but now that he and his staff have received concrete data from Illinois, they found it necessary to extend the deadline.

He also discussed that the projected peak of coronavirus deaths per day is now expected during late April and early May.

Among the new allowances of the extension is that hospitals and other surgicenters may begin scheduling some elective surgeries that were previously delayed to make room for coronavirus patients. Another important announcement was that on May 1st, nonessential retail stores may take orders online or over the phone and may offer pickup and delivery services.

In addition, many other safety measures will be strengthened with the order. Face coverings will now be a requirement in places where it is impossible to maintain social distancing, such as a grocery store, and essential businesses and services will receive new social distancing guidelines that will limit the number of people allowed in the building.

Pritzker expressed his regret for the necessity for the extension, saying, “I’m asking you to hold on for just a little while longer to help make sure we all see through to the other side of this struggle,” said Pritzker. “One day I pray that this virus will be a memory, but the strength that we found together will be something that we carry with us forever.”