Governor's "Stay at Home" Order In Effect NOW
Dear Neighbors,

Governor Pritzker's "Stay at Home" Executive Order is effective now. In a further effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of Illinois residents. Illinois residents must stay home unless engaged in essential activities. Please remember this Order is mandatory.

According to the Order, residents should not engage in public gatherings and should avoid travel, unless absolutely essential. However, you may leave your home for health care needs, to buy groceries, exercise or to take care of someone who needs it. The Executive Order will remain in place until April 7th, unless extended.

We know there is confusion and misinformation about the "Stay at Home" Order. Here is the order and Frequently Asked Questions.

Chicago Stay at Home FAQ As of March 20, 2020

Where and to whom does the Stay at Home order apply?
The Governor’s executive order includes the entire state. Unless you work for an essential business or are doing an essential activity, you should stay home. This order remains a legal requirement of all Illinosans. Adhering to the order will save lives and every person must their part.

What is the difference between the Stay at Home order and social distancing?
Social distancing and good hygiene are important first steps in preventing the spread of a disease like COVID-19. Residents must maintain at least six-foot distance from other individuals, wash hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds as frequently as possible or use hand sanitizer, cover coughs or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands), regularly clean high-touch surfaces, and not shake hands.

The Stay at Home order goes beyond these requirement. People must remain in their homes unless they have an essential job or are doing an essential task like going to the grocery store or walking a pet

What if my home is not a safe environment?
If it is not safe for you to remain home, you are able and urged to find another safe place to stay during this order. Please reach out so we can help. You may call the domestic violence hotline at 1-877-863- 6338 or contact your local law enforcement.

What's open?
All essential services will remain open, including:
  • Emergency City services and other essential government services
  • Gas stations
  • Pharmacies
  • Grocery stores, food banks, convenience stores, take-out and delivery restaurants
  • Hardware stores/plumbers
  • Banks
  • Community benefit organizations on a case-by-case basis
  • Laundromats/laundry services
  • Transportation, including CTA and private transportation
  • Essential infrastructure, such as utilities and public transportation

What’s closed?
  • Dine-in restaurants
  • Bars and nightclubs
  • Entertainment venues
  • Gyms and fitness studios
  • Parks, libraries and senior centers

What City of Chicago services will still be operating during the stay at home order?
The City of Chicago’s essential emergency and support services will continue to be fully staffed and operational during this crisis, including: the Chicago Police Department, Chicago Fire Department, 911, 311 call center, Public Health, Sanitation, Water, CTA, airports, and other emergency responders and essential support staff.

Will roads in Illinois be closed?
No, the roads will not be closed in Illinois, but you should only travel if it is essential to your work or health.

Will CTA continue to operate? Will private transportation providers continue to operate?
Yes, public transportation is vitally important for our health care workers and first responders. These workers depend on public transportation to get to work, so it will continue to operate. Ridesharing, taxis, and Divvy will continue to operate. These should be used for essential travel only. When possible, walk or drive yourself.

Can I order food/groceries?
Yes, grocery delivery will be available as well as meal-delivery, drive through, and take-out options.

Can I take a flight out of state?
Planes and any other form of travel should only be used for essential purposes.

Can I visit friends and family?
For your safety, as well as the safety of those in your community, you should remain at home to help fight the spread of COVID-19.

What about my pet?
You are allowed to walk your dog and seek medical care for your pet should they require it. Be sure to practice social distancing while out on walks, maintaining at least 6 feet from other neighbors and their pets.

Does the Stay at Home order mean I can’t take my kids to the park?
Park facilities and playgrounds will be closed during the Stay at Home order. Families will still be able to go outside and take a walk but should continue to practice social distancing by remaining 6 feet away from other people.

Can I leave home to go to religious services?
Large gatherings, such as church services, should be cancelled to prevent the spread of COVID- 19.

Can I leave home to exercise?
Yes. Outdoor exercise like running or taking a walk is perfectly acceptable; however, exercise gyms, fitness centers and the like will be closed to reduce the spread of coronavirus. While exercising outside, you should still practice social distancing by running or walking at least six feet away from other people.

Can I pick up meals being provided by my child’s school?
Yes. CPS will offer free packages of food that contain three days-worth of meals for every child in a household during the stay-at-home order at the CPS location nearest to each student. However, if you are experiencing symptoms or are currently in isolation, you should stay at home and follow the guidelines provided by your physician. Ask for help from others to pick up the meals. Any changes made to the food distribution plan will be posted on the CPS website:

Can I go out to do laundry?
Yes. Laundromats, dry cleaners and laundry service providers are considered essential businesses that will remain open. However, if you are experiencing symptoms or are currently in isolation, you should stay at home and follow the guidelines provide by your physician.

What If I still have to go to work?
Unless your work is an essential function (i.e. healthcare provider, grocery store clerk, first responder), you should stay home. If you have been designated essential by your employer, you should continue to go to work and practice social distancing. Employees should communicate directly with their employers.

I work in an essential service. How will the police know I’m allowed to be outside my house?
Law enforcement officials will not stop residents who are on their way to or from work or who are out for necessities like going to the pharmacy or getting groceries. Illinoisans should abstain from all nonessential activities. Adhering to the order will save lives and it is the responsibility of every Illinoisan to do their part.

A certain service is essential for me, but the Governor didn't include it, what do I do?
The Stay at Home order was issued to protect the health, safety and well-being of Illinoisans. While some businesses like fitness centers and salons will be closed, essential services will always be available. A full list of businesses that will still operate during this time are listed in the  executive order

How will the the stay at home order be enforced?
The Illinois State Police is working with the Chicago Police Department to enforce this order. Adhering to the order will save lives and it is the responsibility of every Chicagoan to do their part.

Will the Illinois National Guard be enforcing this order?
No. The Illinois National Guard will be supporting logistics, transportation, and medical response efforts. The Guard will not be enforcing this order.

What if I don't have enough to eat?
The Greater Chicago Food Depository’s network of community partners and programs remains open, with some exceptions. Anyone who is struggling to afford food can find a food pantry near them by visiting We recommend calling before you go to confirm hours of operation.

The Food Depository’s benefits outreach team is also available to help people apply for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Their Benefits Hotline is available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.: 773-843-5416 or you can apply directly at .

What options are out there for residents who cannot physically go to the grocery store for whatever reason?
If you have physical challenges accessing food, especially if you cannot leave your home due to age, disability or quarantine, you should call 311. You can also call our ward office at 773-348-9500.

What about homeless people?
The Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) has no plans to close shelters. DFSS is working with the City’s Office of Emergency Management Office and partners to identify additional locations to provide emergency shelter to homeless individuals.

What about seniors who need meals or other help?
Seniors who find themselves in need of such supports can call 312-744-4016 any time between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
What programming are we providing for CPS students out of school?
Grade-level activity packets are available to PreK-12th grade students that include non-digital and digital activities for students. Parents can download the grade-level packets at . Copies of the packets are available at food distribution sites. In the coming days, Chicago Public Schools will be providing additional guidance and resources to educators and families.

These times call for restrictive measures to halt the spread of this disease. Personally, I will miss my scheduled visit to my grandchildren out-of-state for the weekend. My heart hurts, but I know that travel to another state could lead to my kids, grandkids or me catching the virus and spreading it to others.

Let's all do our best to stay healthy,

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City of Chicago

If you have any additional questions, please email:   or call 312-746-4835

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  2523 N Halsted  |  773-348-9500