April 23, 2020: Stay at Home Order Extended with Modifications
On Thursday, April 23, 2020, Governor J.B. Pritzker announced the extension of the State's Stay at Home Order, first issued on March 20, 2020. The Order, which will go into effect on May 1, 2020 and continue through May 30, 2020, incorporates several modifications designed to lessen some restrictions while still actively managing the spread of COVID-19 and the burden it places on the healthcare system. The modified Stay at Home Order represents a first step towards reopening the state's economy, and was informed by data modeling which suggests that the peak of infection in Illinois is expected for late April and early May.
The May Stay at Home Order includes the following changes effective May 1, 2020:
Face Covering Requirement
All individuals over the age of two will be required to wear a face covering when in public spaces where a six-foot distance from others cannot be maintained. Individuals with a medical condition that precludes them from wearing a face covering will be exempt.
As a reminder, the City of Highland Park requires all residents, employees, and visitors over the age of two to wear a face covering when engaging in essential services in Highland Park; this measure is currently in effect within the City's jurisdiction.
Essential businesses and manufacturers may continue operations provided they follow new requirements to maximize social distancing and prioritize the well-being of customers and employees, including:
- Provide face-coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain six-feet of social distancing
- Comply with occupancy limits for essential businesses
- Take precautions such as staggering shifts or, for manufacturers, operating only essential lines
- Greenhouses, garden centers, and nurseries
- Animal grooming services
Non-essential retail stores may resume limited operations to fulfill telephone and online orders. They may also provide curbside pick-up outside their stores, as well as delivery. Retail stores not designated as essential businesses may not reopen to foot traffic.
The Illinois Department of Public Health will issue guidance to medical providers to begin allowing certain elective surgeries (procedures for non-life threatening conditions) to proceed. The IDPH will communicate directly with hospitals and medical providers to ensure that facilities meet the criteria to proceed. Residents whose elective surgeries were postponed should communicate directly with their medical provider for more information.
State Parks will begin a phased reopening, with more information available from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Golf will be permitted provided course operators, employees and golfers follow strict safety and social distancing guidelines provided by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
The Park District of Highland Park closed its park and playground facilities in compliance with the State and City Stay at Home Orders, and PDHP parks and facilities remain closed as of this writing. Any future changes will be communicated by the Park District and amplified by the City.
Additional information is available on the State of Illinois' COVID-19 Response website.