Gov. Pritzker to extend stay-at-home order through April

(NEWS3) — A week before Illinois’ stay-at-home order was set to end and schools were to go back into session, officials announced they will be extended as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the move will further extend the orders through April 30. Schools were expected to open back up March 30 and the stay-at-home order was scheduled to be lifted April 7. Pritzker will sign the measures Wednesday.

This comes as state leaders and healthcare workers continue to put all efforts into slowing the spread of the virus that increases daily.

The latest coronavirus cases released by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) show 5,994 cases and 99 deaths. This brings 937 more confirmed cases than reported Monday by IDPH.

Gov. Pritzker’s extension follows two days after President Donald Trump announced the nationwide social distancing guidelines would carry through the end of April.

To understand the stay-at-home order, it allows people to go out for essential reasons like going to the grocery store, taking a walk or to pick up prescriptions among other priorities.

Locally, in the NEWS3 viewing area, only one confirmed coronavirus case has been reported. That case is in Knox County, where officials last reported 21 people had tested for the virus. Over in Warren County, health officials said eight people tested overall with negative results. McDonough County and Schuyler County health officials have not released publicly how many people have been tested.

Health officials across the NEWS3 viewing area stress not everyone needs to be tested for COVID-19. Local agencies remind residents, individuals will not be tested unless they meet certain criteria. Healthcare providers are expected to refer patients to a testing site if they have determined symptoms of the virus.

To see tips on how to protect yourself and prevent the spread of COVID-19 or learn about the symptoms, you can go to the CDC’s website by clicking here.