What does the stay-at-home order mean exactly? Here are some guidelines.

  • Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker listens to a question after announcing a shelter in place order to combat the spread of the Covid-19 virus, during a news conference Friday, March 20, 2020, in Chicago.

    Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker listens to a question after announcing a shelter in place order to combat the spread of the Covid-19 virus, during a news conference Friday, March 20, 2020, in Chicago.

 
 
Updated 3/21/2020 10:29 AM

It sounds scary, but what does a stay-at-home order really mean?

Essentially, it's tightening existing rules about social distancing and staying at home as the world copes with COVID-19, the infectious virus that can cause pneumonia.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

But for many Illinoisans it's a big change. Gov. J.B. Pritzker's order bans gatherings of 10 or more people, cancels day care, and temporarily closes thousands businesses like salons and fitness centers in an effort to prevent the spread of the respiratory disease.

Here's a look at some of the things you can and can't do. The following is not an all-inclusive list. More information may be found at illinois.gov/sites/coronavirus.

What can you do outside your home?

• Travel to essential services. These include hospitals, medical appointments and to pick up medicine.

• Buy groceries, work supplies or anything necessary to keep your home running.

• Hike, bike, visit parks and open spaces -- but not playgrounds.

• Work outside home if your job is considered an essential service.

• Care for relatives, friends or pets.

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What's an essential business or service?

• Health care-related services like: clinics, dentists, blood banks, medical marijuana dispensaries, eye-care centers, reproductive health providers, mental health services and veterinarians.

• Government facilities for people with physical or mental disabilities, group homes, adoption agencies, shelters and food pantries.

• Food production, construction, building maintenance, airports, utilities, roads and highways, transit, railroads, cybersecurity, solid waste and recycling, telecommunications.

• That includes groceries, pharmacies, agriculture, charities and social services, media, gas stations, financial institutions, hardware stores, trade like plumbers and electricians, post offices, shipping and delivery, laundromats, home-based care and services, hotels and motels and funeral services.

• Bars and restaurants that provide takeout. Bars and restaurants are not open for the public to dine in.

What isn't essential?

• Gyms and fitness centers, salons, barbershops and tattoo parlors.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

What other services are temporarily closed?

• Licensed child care centers and child care in homes serving more than six children. The state is working to provide child care for essential workers.

What about travel?

• Only essential trips are permitted and individuals are cautioned to use social distancing by staying 6 feet from other people.

• Essential travel includes: traveling to jobs deemed essential; caring for the elderly, minors, dependents and people with disabilities; trips related to law enforcement or court orders like custody arrangements.

What if someone is making my home dangerous?

• For help call the Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-877-863-6338.

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