On Thursday, April 23, 2020, Governor J.B. Pritzker announced the extension of the State's Stay at Home Order, first issued on March 20, 2020. The Order, which will go into effect on May 1, 2020 and continue through May 30, 2020, incorporates several modifications designed to lessen some restrictions while still actively managing the spread of COVID-19 and the burden it places on the healthcare system. The modified Stay at Home Order represents a first step towards reopening the state's economy, and was informed by data modeling which suggests that the peak of infection in Illinois is expected for late April and early May.
At his press conference on Thursday, Governor Pritzker emphasized that these modifications are possible because Illinoisans have embraced the strict social distancing measures that have so far enabled the State to avoid a worst-case scenario, and because the State is actively engaged in building testing, tracing, and treatment capacity. The state's data modeling confirmed that Illinoisans are successfully bending the curve, and extending the Stay at Home Order into May will prevent a second peak of infections. More information about the data informing these key decisions is available online.
The May Stay at Home Order includes the following changes effective May 1, 2020:
Face Covering Requirement
All individuals over the age of two will be required to wear a face covering when in public spaces where a six-foot distance from others cannot be maintained. Individuals with a medical condition that precludes them from wearing a face covering will be exempt.
As a reminder, the City of Highland Park requires all residents, employees, and visitors over the age of two to wear a face covering when engaging in essential services in Highland Park; this measure is currently in effect within the City's jurisdiction.
Essential businesses and manufacturers may continue operations provided they follow new requirements to maximize social distancing and prioritize the well-being of customers and employees, including:
- Provide face-coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain six-feet of social distancing
- Comply with occupancy limits for essential businesses
- Take precautions such as staggering shifts or, for manufacturers, operating only essential lines
- Greenhouses, garden centers, and nurseries
- Animal grooming services
Non-essential retail stores may resume limited operations to fulfill telephone and online orders. They may also provide curbside pick-up outside their stores, as well as delivery. Retail stores not designated as essential businesses may not reopen to foot traffic.
The Illinois Department of Public Health will issue guidance to medical providers to begin allowing certain elective surgeries (procedures for non-life threatening conditions) to proceed. The IDPH will communicate directly with hospitals and medical providers to ensure that facilities meet the criteria to proceed. Residents whose elective surgeries were postponed should communicate directly with their medical provider for more information.
State Parks will begin a phased reopening, with more information available from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Golf will be permitted provided course operators, employees and golfers follow strict safety and social distancing guidelines provided by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
If golfing, please follow all guidelines from the course. Some restrictions will be in place, including:
- Bookings must be made online or by phone
- Only twosomes are allowed
- 15 minutes must be scheduled between tee-times
- Restaurants and clubhouses must remain closed
- Social distancing guidelines (no handshakes, etc.) must be maintained at all times
- Golf carts are not permitted
- Privately-owned pull carts are permitted; rentals are not permitted
- Caddies are not permitted
- Private supplies (balls, tees, ball markers, etc.) must be used
See the full guidance from the Illinois DCEO here. In addition to these safety requirements mandated by the State of Illinois, golfers should also familiarize themselves with any additional safety regulations or operational changes implemented by the golf course.
The Park District of Highland Park closed its park and playground facilities in compliance with the State and City Stay at Home Orders, and PDHP parks and facilities remain closed as of this writing. Any future changes will be communicated by the Park District and amplified by the City.