ILLINOIS (WFIE) - Only one day after California issued a stay-at-home order to combat against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Gov. J.B. Pritzker followed suit - announcing a similar statewide order that will go into effect on Saturday, March 21 at 5 p.m.
“To avoid the loss of potentially tens of thousands of lives, we must enact an immediate stay-at-home order for the state of Illinois,” Pritzker said in a press conference on Friday.
The order asks the state’s residents to only leave their homes when necessary, such as heading out to buy groceries and medicine.
Under the order, Pritzker says all “non-essential” businesses will be closed along with schools in Illinois.
Businesses including grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations will continue to operate on a daily basis.
14 News spoke with the Wabash County Sheriff’s Department about what this proclamation will mean for its patrols.
“Right now, it’s kind of what we’ve been operating on for the last few days," Wabash County Sheriff Derek Morgan said. "We shut the doors to the courthouse and our office. (State officials) are trying to stress that they just want people to stay home, keep that social distance that you keep hearing about and wash your hands.”
14 news also talked with residents of Mount Carmel to get their thoughts on the Governor’s stay-at-home order.
“We knew it was coming," Rob Huff said. "Everybody needs to do the right thing, and that’s what we’re trying to do now. Better to do it now than later because it’s probably going to be worse if we don’t do it now.”
“If they can clean it up and no more die, then it’s worth everything," Brenda Windle said. "I hope the government and the doctors get the cure and no more people die, and god bless the families that lost their loved ones.”
The stay-at-home mandate will remain in place until April 7.