CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Governor J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday said he will extend the Illinois stay-at-home from order from April 8 until April 30 in an intensified, if painful, effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The revised order, expected to be signed Wednesday, brings Illinois in line with the latest recommendations from the federal government.
Pritzker's announcement also means all Illinois schools will remain closed for another month. On Tuesday, districts were required to begin offering remote learning for their students.
"This may not be what residents want, but it is what we need," Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said at a news conference with Pritzker.
The governor's directive, which is not optional, runs through April 30, meaning the earliest people could go back to living their previously more social lives would be May 1.
Pritzker’s initial order went into effect at 5 p.m. on March 21. It requires that people stay home except to go to work at “essential” jobs and to go to grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies and doctors offices. The initial order ran through April 7.
Experts say the only way to flatten the curve of novel coronavirus infections is for people to use "social distance" and avoid close contact with others outside their own home. The fast-spreading virus is potentially fatal to the elderly and people with underlying health problems.
On Tuesday, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported 937 new cases of COVID-19, taking the statewide total to 5,594. Illinois also reported 26 additional deaths, which takes the statewide fatality count related to coronavirus to 99.