With Illinois still battling the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a modified version of the state’s stay-at-home order last week that will run through the end of May. It’s similar to the orders that have been in effect since the virus first began to spread in March, but with some important changes that start Friday.
One of the biggest modifications to the stay-at-home order is a requirement for all individuals over age 2 to wear a face covering or mask when in a public place where six feet of separation cannot be maintained. Starting Friday, expect to see everyone covering their face in a grocery store, for example.
The order also requires essential businesses and manufacturers to provide face coverings for all employees who cannot maintain social distancing, as well as other requirements for employee safety.
Some restrictions will be loosened as part of the order, however. Most notably, a large number of state parks and golf courses will be permitted to reopen, giving residents some welcomed opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Here’s a more detailed look at what’s reopening Friday.
What’s reopening under the May stay-at-home order
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will partially reopen 24 state parks. Site visitor centers, campgrounds, playgrounds, beaches and concessions will remain closed. Here’s the list of parks:
- NORTHWEST ILLINOIS: Argyle Lake State Park, Jubilee College State Park, Lowden State Park, Morrison-Rockwood State Park, Rock Island Trail, Shabbona Lake State Recreation Area.
- NORTHEAST ILLINOIS: Adeline Jay Geo-Karis Illinois Beach State Park/North Point Marina, Chain O’ Lakes State Park, Illinois and Michigan Canal State Trail, Kankakee River State Park, Moraine Hills State Park.
- EAST CENTRAL ILLINOIS: Clinton Lake State Recreation Area, Eagle Creek State Park, Kickapoo State Recreation Area, Wolf Creek State Park.
- WEST CENTRAL ILLINOIS: Eldon Hazlet State Recreation Area, Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area, Sangchris Lake State Park, Siloam Springs State Park, Washington County State Recreation Area.
- SOUTHERN ILLINOIS: Fort Massac State Park, Giant City State Park, Stephen A. Forbes State Recreation Area, Wayne Fitzgerrell State Recreation Area.
Non-essential businesses for phone and online orders
Retail stores designated as non-essential businesses can reopen to take phone calls and fulfill online orders through curbside pickup or delivery. Non-essential businesses that were closed under the previous order but can now operate include:
- Greenhouses, garden centers and nurseries
- Pet groomers
- Retail shops including beauty and health stores
Hospitals, surgicenters and outpatient health care facilities can resume some elective surgeries starting Friday, with “elective” referring to procedures that are pre-planned, but not urgent or emergent.
Golf courses across the state can reopen under strict guidelines meant to limit physical interaction. A complete list of the rules going into effect for golf can be read here.
Still, many restrictions remain in place. Any employee who can work from home is required to, according to the executive extension order.
All travel, “including, but not limited to, travel by automobile, motorcycle, scooter, bicycle, train, plane, or public transit,” is only permitted for trips to and from essential businesses to work or conduct “essential business,” like picking up groceries or medications. Biking is permitted recreationally, along with walking, hiking and running, but social distancing guidelines must be followed.