The third wave of coronavirus has swept across the United States causing chaos among people, however, the release and distribution of different vaccines to combat Covid-19 have been a huge relief. Chicago had the second coronavirus case in the States and the woman who had caught it spread it to her husband making it a first person-to-person transmission in the country. This created a panic among the government officials. Illinois had faced some of the strictest non-restrictive movements with Illinois stay at home order end date extending multiple times. Illinois stay at home order end date November 2020 was also given by the government to give people confidence that everything will be under control and the virus will finish by then.
The third wave has started to mount pressure on the public hospitals without providing any respite. This has created a cause for concern that the healthcare system might collapse. The state has seen another rise in virus cases in many different areas leading to several hotspots in the region.
So, what were some of the trends seen in Illinois and why was Illinois stay at home order end date extended over and over again?
Panic in Illinois
The cases started to rack up in the State as the former president, Donald Trump announced a ban on foreign travelers. The aviation industry took a toll from the ban, however, United Airlines took the initiative to cut down on flights to reduce the spread of viruses from foreigners.
On February 26, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfood came onto the media and stated that the state is willing to take any action required to help minimize the impact of Covid-19 in the region. This statement came soon after experts had announced that the spread of the virus in the country is inevitable. Cases started to rise in the state with the Mayor announcing closures of schools on the 19th of March 2020. This was the first time things started to close down or shut down officially.
Illinois stay at home order end date timeline
20th March: The first stay at home order
As the cases started to rise, it became inevitable that a stay-at-home order was issued to curb the spread of the deadly virus. On the 20th of March 2020, Governor Pritzker announced that the state will be going into a shutdown with an expected Illinois stay at home order end date of 31st March 2020.
The order mentioned that public gatherings of more than 10 people will not be allowed while shops and major stores need to reduce their capacity to 25%. Illinois stay at home order end date was put in place as the state hoped that the virus spread would significantly reduce in one month. A decisive decision to shut down activities in the state was justified by the Governor stating that hospitals have been given breathing room.
However, the cases did not slow down and showed a significant rise towards the end of the month. On 28th March 2020, the Illinois state government started the conversion of McCormick convention center into a 3,000-bed hospital for coronavirus patients. Things started to look grim for Illinois as expected Illinois stay at home order end date was approaching but the daily new coronavirus cases saw an upward trend.
30th March: Illinois stay at home order end date extended for the first time
Illinois stay at home order end date was expected to be 31st March 2020 but had to be pushed back. The government soon realized that lifting the stay at home order would see all business activities starting once again and would contribute to the daily number of cases. At this time, the cases started to peak with more new cases than the previous day, cause for concern not just for the people but for the government as well.
On 30th March 2020, Governor Pritzker showed up at a press conference and announced that the state will see an extension in Illinois stay at home order end date. This was done to reduce the spread of the contagious virus and therefore relieve the burden on the hospitals in the state.
The impact of the peak led to around 990 new coronavirus cases on the first of April 2020. Not only that but 42 deaths were recorded in Illinois on that day. These figures were the highest since the coronavirus pandemic started in Illinois.
The government started taking serious measures by asking their citizens to wear masks at all times. Schools were asked to remain closed and conduct learning online and churches, where people gather to pray, were also asked to conduct e-learning.
A couple of days back on the 27th March 2020, former US president, Donald Trump launched a $2.2 trillion stimulus fund aimed at providing cheques to American citizens to stay at home and sustain their living. Many employers had laid back quite a few workers and the stimulus checks were designed to provide relief to these people. Not only that but part of this fund was also reserved for businesses to help them survive the economic shutdown.
Illinois face mask manufacturers started cranking up the production of facemasks as the extension also made it compulsory to wear facemasks in public. This order increased the demand for facemasks as those found without face masks in public areas and shops were not allowed service.
The “wearing mask in public” was a huge turn as Governor Pritzker when the outbreak started did not believe in wearing masks. However, as the intensity of the situation grew, those that were unfamiliar with this pandemic soon realized that everything needs to be done to stop the deadly virus from spreading.
By the 6th of April 2020, many hospitals in and around Illinois started to report that their ICUs are getting filled and they need to make special arrangements. This came at a very bad time as the government initially had planned that the Illinois stay at home order end date would be 31st of March 2020. However, six days after the extension of the stay at home order was announced, hospitals started to fill up.
14th April: Bending the curve
As the virus peaks, experts have come to an understanding that it soon starts to bend the rising curve and steadily goes in the decline. However, until now the state of Illinois had only seen a rise. But as the number of new cases started to drop gradually after the extension, the state soon saw what is known as “bending the curve”. This was a beacon of light in a shroud of darkness as no one was certain when the virus would halt. Many had believed at the start that Illinois stay at home order end date November 2020 would see the virus completely eradicated. But with the virus peaking, people started becoming uncertain and this is why the first extension was implemented by the state.
As the curve started to bend, Governor Pritzker took it to the news stating a huge victory for the state as the hospitals started to relax a bit. Although cases had slowly started to drop, hospitals in the state were completely battered financially as surgeries had to be postponed and non-Covid-19 patients remained at home. A stream of revenue that the hospitals relied on had disappeared creating a tough situation for all the healthcare workers working late nights to cater to Covid-19 patients.
Illinois stay at home order end date uncertain
Many people started to believe that coronavirus is here to stay and that the expected Illinois stay at home order end date of November 2020 might be uncertain. However, Governor Pritzker went on the media on the 5th of May 2020 to reveal his five-step plan of resuming business activities to jump-start the economy that had started showing signs of decline.
The five-step plan commenced in May 2020 whereby Governor Pritzker had announced the opening of the economy.
Five-phase plan to curb the spread of Covid-19
As the cases started to show signs of slowing down, it became imperative that the officials do something about business activities. The first phase was a strict lockdown that was in place in March 2020. With the virus’s end date uncertain, the slow opening of the economy is the only way forward.
Phase 2 of the plan included the opening of non-essential businesses, however, these were only limited to pick-ups. Outdoor activities also saw lesser restrictions however social distancing measures were kept in place throughout.
During the implementation of the plan, Governor Pritzker pushed for 10,000 coronaviruses testing daily to ensure proper data to help reduce the virus spread. Phase 3 was dubbed as the recovery phase whereby the number of patients on ICU beds shows a declining trend. During this phase, manufacturing, offices, and certain businesses can re-open with proper safety measures in place and reduced capacity. Wearing masks in the public was made compulsory and public gatherings are still kept to less than 10 people in a group.
Phase 4 of the 5-phase plan focuses on revitalization. This included public gatherings of up to 50 people to bring back life to normalcy. Restaurants and bars are opened and schools are to be resumed immediately with the proper safety precautions taken place.
Phase 5 of the plan is a complete re-opening of the economy. Although the economy would be kept open, safety measures are to adhere and precautions still to be taken. The 5-phase plan is still under implementation. However, one main thing to be noted is that the state can go back to the prior phase which means curbing economic activity and shutting down some businesses. But if the statistics are positive and things are getting better, the state can go forward to the next phase of the 5-phase plan.
A new wave of the Covid-19
As of 13th April 2021, Illinois reported 3,193 new daily cases with 17 deaths. The total number of cases, to date, has been reported to be 1,285,398 cases with more than 21,000 deaths. This is a shocking figure for the state and the third wave has not shown any remorse.
The vaccination program had already kicked in but last week 2 patients had reported blood clots after taking Johnson & Johnson vaccine which is said to have about 65% efficacy. This has created a huge hurdle in supplying specific vaccines as the state has decided not to go for J&J. Those with prior appointments to get vaccinated have been asked to reschedule their appointments for other company vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna.
The third wave of Covid-19 has caused a commotion in the state with many questioning the route the government might take. Illinois Covid-19 cases are on the rise once again and the public has come onto the streets to protest the stay at home order or the restrictions that have not been completely removed.
The government has made it clear that it will stick to following the five-phase plan and the phases will shift forward and backward depending on the number of cases. If the cases spike and there are hot spots in certain regions, lockdowns might be imposed once again. This has created a huge cause of uncertainty not just for Illinois but the entire country as nobody knows when the third wave of the virus will peak.
All states have started taking measures to flatten the curve once again however, cases are still rising. The only way out is to get vaccinated and stay at home for a month. If all the citizens were to do that then the country might be Covid-19 free. However, that doesn’t seem possible as the states have already been under a financial burden faced by the closures of businesses or reduced activities.
Illinois stay at home order end date seems to be highly uncertain. Although certain businesses have been re-opened, there still seems to be a level of fear that reopening the entire economy can lead to devastating results. The government is focused on vaccinating all their citizens to completely stop Covid-19 in the state but it would require a collective effort from the citizens. The government has urged the public to follow safety measures and precautions while the vaccination drive is in place.