CHICAGO (CBS) — In his latest bid to curb the resurgent COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. JB Pritzker said new statewide restrictions will go into effect on Friday; including tighter limits for retailers, and requiring museums, theaters, and casinos to close, though he stopped short of declaring a new stay-at-home order.
The governor said the new restrictions are based on a simple premise: “If you don’t need to do it, don’t.”
Under the new Tier 3 resurgence mitigations, retail businesses including big box stores like Target and Walmart, will be limited to 25% of normal capacity, while traditional grocery stores and pharmacies will stay at 50% capacity.
Salons, barber shops, and other personal care services where clients and employees can wear masks the entire time can stay open at no more than 25% capacity. Services such as facials and beard trims, where people must remove their masks, must be suspended.
Casinos, museums, and theaters would be required to close altogether. Gyms would be allowed to remain open, but group classes would be prohibited, leaving them only with the option for scheduled individual workouts.
Indoor recreational activities such as youth, club, and adult sports would have to pause.
Outdoor group activities would be limited to 10 people or less, and everyone must wear face coverings at all times.
All workplaces that are able to do so should have their employees work remotely.
Schools would be allowed to remain open under existing Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines. It would be up to each local school district to decide whether to allow in-person learning, or rely on remote learning or a hybrid model.
Pritzker said people also should not attend dinners, events, gatherings, or meetings with people beyond their own household.
“This is not a stay-at-home order, but the best way for us to avoid a stay-at-home order is to stay home. We are asking you to choose Zoom, instead of packing people in a room for Thanksgiving. Make alterations to your routines now so that we can be together later,” he said.
The governor said public health officials will rely on people to hold themselves and their neighbors accountable.
“The more we can avoid gatherings now, especially indoors with the people we don’t already live with, the more likely we are to be able to celebrate the December holidays with less risk to our loved ones and ourselves,” he said.
This is a developing story…