Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a stay-at-home order last week for everyone in Illinois. But businesses that handle “legal services” were included among several essential businesses allowed to remain open.
The executive order, an emergency public health measure to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, took effect Saturday at 5 p.m. and runs through April 7.
“Essential businesses” like grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, banks and hardware stores can remain open under the order. The exemption also applies to businesses that perform professional services like accounting, insurance or real estate.
”For the vast majority of you already taking precautions, your lives will not change very much,” Pritzker said of the directive at an afternoon news conference Friday.
Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot said Friday that Chicago park facilities and libraries were to close on Saturday, but the city’s “essential services” like public transit airports and garbage collection “will not cease.”
“I want to be clear — this not a lockdown or martial law,” Lightfoot said.
Pritzker said the state and local municipalities “do not have the capacity or the desire to police every individual’s behavior,” but that enforcement of the directive will depend on individual residents’ cooperation.
The order could also be enforced by law enforcement officials, Pritzker said.
“We’re, of course, authorizing that the members of law enforcement, if they see somebody who’s maybe violating this order, they would go talk to them and ask them not to,” Pritzker said. “And then if the people who are violating the rule refuse to comply, a police officer could get a cease and desist order they’d have to go get one at a court to do that.”
Pritzker also said that someone not complying with police could be charged with “a kind of reckless conduct misdemeanor.”