Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has ordered most citizens to stay at their homes due to the proliferation of COVID-19 in the state.

There are several exceptions outlined in Pritzker's executive order. "Essential workers" such as law enforcement, health care workers, and those who work in pharmacies, clinics, grocery stores, delivery workers and gas station personnel are exempt from staying at home. Essential services such as public transit, highways and airports remain open. Manufacturing, banking and other industries have exemptions for the order which expires April 7. An exception to the rule for construction is in the executive order. Construction falls under "essential infrastructure" in the order and critical trades are included in a separate exemption.

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Pritzker said the decision was made in consultation with experts in the Illinois Department of Public Health and outside experts such as Dr. Emily Landon, the lead epidemiologist at the University of Chicago. She said it would take more than a week to see the rate of infection slow down and longer than that for it start to go down. State health officials have reported 422 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and four deaths across 22 Illinois counties.

"We all acknowledge that this is the only way forward," Landon said at a Friday news conference. "... we cannot take care of everyone at once and can't keep that low mortality promise."

Landon said that waiting for hospitals to be overwhelmed will leave patients with nowhere to go if a shelter at home restriction was not enacted. READ MORE AT ENR.COM.