On March 20, 2020, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a statewide stay-at-home order to combat the spread of COVID-19. Residents can only leave their homes to perform essential tasks, like grocery shopping and seeking medical care, and practice social distancing when in public.
At the end of March, Gov. Pritzker extended the order through April 30 after it was set to expire on April 7. As of today, there have been over 25,000 confirmed cases and more than a thousand deaths.
In support of the governor’s stay-at-home order, Chicago has closed off public areas and city law enforcement officials have told residents to stay away from parks, hiking trails, and lakefronts. However, many people continue to engage in non-essential activities outdoors.
What Happens If I Violate the Governor’s Order?
The Chicago Police Department has stated that the order isn’t meant to punish people. Instead, it is to ensure the safety of city residents during the coronavirus outbreak.
People are initially given a warning – without asking for identification or documenting the incident. However, failure to comply will result in a written ticket. Continued refusal will lead to an arrest.
Penalties for Violating the Stay-At-Home Order
Failure to obey an officer who is enforcing a health order carries a maximum fine of up to $500 and the possibility of arrest. Fortunately, most officials will only issue a warning unless a person blatantly refuses to comply.
Can I Still Go Outside?
Not only can you go outside for essential tasks and travel, but you can also exercise and walk outdoors. However, you cannot do so in large groups.
If you have been arrested for violating the stay-at-home order in Chicago, contact the Law Office of Steven Fine today at (312) 436-0638 and request a free consultation.