Illinois ‘Shelter in Place’ order takes effect

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Governor’s “Shelter in Place” order went into effect on Saturday around 5 p.m. The restriction lasts through April 7th.

Non-essential businesses will be closed and the public is asked to stay at home unless absolutely necessary.

“Aggressive action is needed right now to slow this spread. We all have the responsibility, to all those we care about, to do the right thing right now. Which is staying home,” explained Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara.

Many Stateline residents say there is confusion surrounding the order. Leaders are urging residents to stay calm and explaining that all essential services and businesses will remain in operation.

Businesses such as gyms, spas, salons, and many retail stores will be closed. Essential buildings that will remain open include grocery stores, healthcare facilities, pharmacies, banks, public transit facilities, and gas stations. Firefighters and police officers will also remain on duty.

“There is absolutely no need to rush out to a grocery store or a gas station. On Sunday, and Monday, and Tuesday, and every day thereafter, those will be available to you,” Governor Pritzker clarified in attempt to swell down the panic. “The fundamental building blocks that keep our society safe and steady will not be closing down.”

Restaurants will continue to take orders through the drive-thru and curbside pickup.

Officials noted that you and your pets are still able to exercise as long as you stay six feet away from other people.

Some Rockford residents say the changes aren’t too dramatic.

“We’re spending more family time, we’re enjoying each other’s company. We’re going out, walking, getting some fresh air on a beautiful day,” said Rockford resident Ruth Hughes.

Fellow Rockford resident Gordon Hutson shared similar sentiments: “Life is going to go on. It is. We’re going to get through it, it’s just going to take a while,” he said.

Governor Pritzker has repeatedly assured the public that life will one day become normal again and everyone will be able to attend the events they enjoy and the participate in the various activities they love.

The Rockford Police Department also put out a statement:

We will use our social media outlets and rely on our local media outlets to push the message that the governor provided when he issued the mandate, asking people to follow the order and be good Illinoisans.  We will use enforcement action only in extreme situations and we will routinely try and work with the public to help them understand the necessity and the validity of the order.  Arrests will be the absolute last resort but it goes without saying that any persons committing or causing any violence to be committed in our community, would be arrested immediately.”

Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea

To read the Governor’s full order, click here.

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