COVID-19 Update: Pritzker announces gatherings of 50 or more should be canceled

By Bethany Rentfro, Staff Reporter

Gov. JB Pritzker held a press conference on March 16 to discuss continued concerns over the coronavirus. 

Pritzker said the CDC has announced gatherings of 50 or more should be canceled for the next eight weeks. 

“I am mandating that any gatherings of the 50 or more guidance by the CDC will be canceled,” Pritzker said. “Illinoisans who can stay home should continue to do so.” 


Pritzker said it is imperative that Illinois residents take responsibility for themselves, their families and their communities. 

The governor also said bars and restaurants in the area will close tonight and remain closed for the next month. 

“This was not an easy decision to make,” Pritzker said. “We must do everything to safeguard the health of the people of Illinois.” 

Pritzker said his administration is working with restaurant owners to find safer alternatives to remain in business, such as curbside pickup and delivery. 

Pritzker said he is working with his administration to help people who work at bars and restaurants to get their paychecks. He is working with his administration to expand unemployment coverage to people who do not receive paid sick leave or who are not able to work. 

Pritzker addressed concerns about public transportation and if the state would see any restrictions on those. 

“There are not restrictions that are significant other than we’ve asked individuals to keep a distance of 6 feet,” Pritzker said. “There are fewer people in mass transit […] I don’t have any answers about what may happen with mass transit but what I am focused on is listening to the experts and making sure we are doing everything to encourage people to please stay home.”


According to CNN, President Trump has advised people to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people and to stay away from bars and restaurants. 

The president said at the White House on Monday these guidelines will be in effect for 15 days to slow the spread of the virus. 

“If everyone makes this change or these critical changes and sacrifices now, we will rally together as one nation and we will defeat the virus and we’re going to have a big celebration all together,” Trump said. 

Pritzker also addressed the nation’s concerns about the Illinois primary tomorrow and whether or not Americans should consider voting and if the state primary should be postponed. 

“The process of voting is a relatively short process,” Pritzker said. “We do believe it is safe. We’ve consulted experts and we think the election will go on just fine.” 

Staff reporter Bethany Rentfro can be reached via email at [email protected].

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