The State’s order for Illinois residents to stay home will take effect today, March 21 at 5 p.m., and will remain in place until the Governor’s Disaster Proclamation expires on April 7, 2020. This critical intervention to reduce the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is intended to keep the public safe, contain the spread of the virus, and provide relief to the healthcare system. Moving right now to maximize social distancing and restrict people gathering is the best way to fight the virus and save lives.
To ensure the protection of all residents during this unprecedented public health challenge, the State’s order requires all residents to stay at home. This means that you will no longer be able to engage in public or private group activities, participate in social activities at bars or nightclubs, or take unnecessary trips. The order also closes non-essential businesses from any activity except minimum basic operations, which includes activities to preserve inventory, process payroll, or facilitate working from home.
With the order in place, you can still fulfill all of your essential needs, including traveling to obtain necessary supplies like food, pet supplies, medicine, or take-out food, as well as attending medical or mental health appointments. The order does not interfere with the operation of essential businesses. Hospitals, banks, grocery stores, utility companies, and home-based care services for seniors and people with disabilities will remain open to ensure all residents, including the most vulnerable populations, will have continued access to care and essential services.
We know that a lot of questions still remain. You can find answers to the most frequently asked questions on this stay-at-home order at chicago.gov/coronavirus. The website also offers many resources for residents and families in need of food, housing or health care, as well as employment and financial support resources for workers and small business owners.
In our city, we protect each other and look out for everyone’s health. So lay low, Chicago. Together, we will get through this.
As part of an effort to ensure the health and safety of Chicago’s residents and City employees, and to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19 virus, City Hall is closed to the general public, effective Friday, March 20 and until an announcement to resume normal operations is made. Employees with proper identification are still permitted to access their respective floors in the building.
The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued citywide guidance around social distancing requirements, which are now in place for its own services. Effective this week, CDPH has suspended in-person services where possible, and is getting creative by using technology to better serve clients during this time. A full list of service updates can be found at chicago.gov/health.
All parks in the City of Chicago are closed effective March 20 at 5 p.m. Beginning Monday, March 23, the District will cancel enhanced programming currently offered at 18 park field houses. The Chicago Park District will continue to provide critical operations including garbage pick-up and security.
All Chicago Public Library (CPL) branches will close to the public effective March 21 at noon. Book drops will be locked at all locations during this period. CPL had already stopped charging overdue fines, and effective today library card holders with suspensions on their accounts because of over $30 of fees from items marked as “lost” will be able to check out online materials at chipublib.org once again. During this time, materials will automatically renew and accounts will not be blocked.