CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday ordered all state residents to remain in their homes except for essentials, joining similar dramatic efforts in California and New York to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Pritzker’s order, which takes effect Saturday at 5 p.m. and is set to expire April 7, still allows the state’s 12.6 million residents to head outside to buy groceries and medicine.
“If there are actions that I can take that will save lives in the midst of this pandemic, no matter how difficult, then I have an obligation,” Pritzker said. The Democrat said he was trying to prevent “potentially tens of thousands” of deaths but urged people not to panic.
“For the vast majority of you already taking precautions, your lives will not change very much,” he said, adding that people can continue to shop for groceries and visit pharmacies, gas stations and