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CHICAGO -- Under Governor JB Pritzker’s modified stay-at-home order announced Thursday, all Illinois residents, beginning May 1, will be required to wear a face mask when in public where they cannot maintain a six-foot social distance.
The new requirement applies to all individuals over the age of two who are able to medically tolerate a face-covering or a mask. Face-coverings will be required in public indoor spaces, such as stores.
Governor Pritzker announced the extention of his stay-at-home order at an afternoon press conference.
“Make no mistake, Illinois has saved lives. By staying home and social distancing, we have kept our infection and death rates for the months of March and April thousands below the rates projected had we not implemented these mitigation strategies,” Governor Pritzker said in a statement. “I know how badly we all want our normal lives back. But this is the part where we have to dig in and understand that the sacrifices we’ve made as a state to avoid a worst-case scenario are working — and we need to keep going a little while longer to finish the job.”
Illinois health officials also announced an additional 1,826 cases of COVID-19 and 123 deaths in the last 24 hours across the state. The statewide case total now sits at 36,934, with the death toll being 1,688.
Gov. Pritzker on Tuesday said the state wouldn’t hit its highest level of COVID-19 cases until mid-May, weeks after originally projected.
The governor wouldn’t discuss the data he’s using in adjusting the projected peak date, which had been predicted for the latter part of this month. But he said people are abiding by social-distancing rules, slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
“We will be making some changes to the stay-at-home order as it is, but it is true that it is working, so to ... remove it entirely is to simply open everything back up to infection,” Pritzker said.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness and death.