By now, many Illinoisans have come to expect Gov. Pritzker to extend the stay at home order, for good reasons. The initial two weeks we started back in March was not enough to stop the spread, but our extended orders have slowed the spread. Illinois is not out of the woods yet, as medical experts believe it would backfire to open back up right now. As a result, the governor has extended the order to May 31st, which he could extend beyond that date. Rightfully so, Illinois has not “peaked” meaning the largest amounts of cases may not come until mid-May. In this post, we want to explain some details about the extended stay at home order and what it includes.
Extending The Extension
At this point, you likely already started wearing a face mask in public; for those who do not, that will change. As part of stay at home order extension, new rules about being in public spaces where social distancing can’t be done go into effect. The rule change, and one that will take some adjusting, means Illinoisans will have to wear face masks in public. Now, there are several exceptions to this rule, including that those under two years of age do not need to wear a mask. Additionally, those who can not medically wear a face covering do not need one. For everyone else, the rules will be enforced, but to what degree remains to be seen.
Get The Most From Your Mask
Of course, you can’t expect everyone to wear a mask if people do not have access to masks or enough of them. Most face masks are disposable, and some are reusable, but many people do not know how to clean or reuse them. Below are some cleaning and reusing tips so you are not without a mask during the extended stay at home order.
- Machine wash or Hand Wash with soap and water
- Hang dry or low-heat machine dry
- Needs daily cleaning or after use
Disposable Medical Mask
- After use, place in sealed plastic bag
- Label bag with date
- Let mask sit in the bag for a week before reusing
Another concern about wearing masks in public is where and when would a person need to wear one to comply. In short, activities done on your property do not require a mask nor does going for a jog or walk around the block. However, keep in mind that others are subject to the same rules. A neighborhood stroll could get crowded, and a mask could help prevent you from getting sick. All other activities outside your property or done in public spaces require masks, such as grocery shopping or using public transportation. This rule will take effect on the same day as the extended stay at home order, May 1st.
Added To The List
In addition to the new rule regarding masks, the governor has also extended the basis for essential business and opened state parks. The governor added several types of business, including greenhouses and garden centers. Since schools closed prematurely, the governor is allowing students and faculty to pick up belongings in an ordered fashion. Of course, any businesses opening up will be enforcing social distancing and face covering rules. Again, no one knows exactly how the rules will be enforced, but try your best to follow them.
Take Home Message
Since Illinois is still seeing plenty of new cases of COVID-19, the governor announced a stay at home order extension. Beginning May 1st and running through the month, Illinoisans will be required to wear a face covering in public spaces. Those too young or medically unable do not have to wear a mask. You can reuse medical masks after following instructions and cloth masks can be washed and reused as well. Additionally, Gov. Pritzker will open state parks and certain other businesses now deemed essential.