Three more states have ordered businesses to close and advised residents to stay home as the number of cases of COVID-19 has skyrocketed to more than 16,000. On Friday (March 20), Illinois and Connecticut joined Pennsylvania, New York, and California in closing down non-essential businesses to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
In Illinois, where there are at least 479 confirmed cases and four deaths, the stay at home order will begin on Saturday and last until April 7.
"I don't come to this decision easily," Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said. "I fully recognize that in some cases, I am choosing between saving people's lives and saving people's livelihoods. But ultimately, you can't have a livelihood if you don't have your life."
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont asked all non-essential employees to stay at home for the "foreseeable future," as 159 people in the state have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Under the order, all people over 70 will be asked to stay home and are being advised to avoid public transportation.
While most businesses will be closed, those that are deemed essential, such as banks, grocery stores, and pharmacies will remain open. Bars and restaurants will be closed to dine-in customers, but they will be able to take delivery and take-out orders.
To keep up to date on the latest news about the coronavirus and to understand what you need to stay safe and healthy, check out the Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction podcast from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
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