Oak Park And Illinois Residents Ordered ‘Stay At Home.' | WBEZ
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All Illinois Residents Ordered To ‘Stay At Home.’ Here’s What That Already Looks Like In Oak Park

Updated at 3:12 p.m. March 20

Gov. JB Pritzker announced Friday that most of Illinois' 12.6 million residents must “shelter in place” starting Saturday. What will life be like under the order? We can learn from suburban Oak Park, which started its lockdown Friday.

Pritzker’s order is the state government’s latest attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19, and comes just hours after governors in New York and California issued similar orders.

Oak Park describes its shelter in place order as essentially “an order to stay home.” Village officials have been quick to emphasize they’re not planning heavy-handed enforcement efforts.

Here’s what you can and can’t do under the shelter in place directive in Oak Park:


  • Go to work if your job is still open. You don’t need any special pass or documentation to do so.

  • Seek medical services for yourself or your pet.

  • Exercise or walk your pet. Practice social distancing by maintaining six feet of distance between yourself and another person.

  • Go to the grocery, pharmacy or bank. Under Oak Park’s order, these essential services are allowed to remain open. Other businesses and government services include: convenience stores, hardware stores, laundromats, medical service providers, restaurants for delivery and pick up only, gas stations and auto-repair shops, newspapers and other media, skilled trades essential to maintaining the safety and sanitation of residences, first responders, transportation providers, government activities, essential social service providers and shelters.

  • Keep any plans you had to move. Moving into or out of your apartment/residence is considered an essential activity.


  • Operate a business unless it provides an essential service. The order requires businesses to “cease all activities at facilities located within the Village.” All gyms, dine-in restaurants, entertainment venues are ordered to close.

  • Travel, except to essential activities.

  • Public or private gatherings of any number of people are prohibited outside a residence. People of a single household may gather.

Linda Lutton is a reporter for WBEZ. Follow her on Twitter at @lindalutton.

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