Playgrounds? Pets? Travel? Common Q&As from “Stay-at-Home” Order


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“Stay-at-Home” sounds pretty scary right?

Change is always scary, especially when essential freedoms feel like they are stripped in the cause of helping others. That’s the difference of having total freedom and not that’s scaring a lot of Illinoisans tonight. To calm and curb anxiety levels, we broke down the Governor’s latest Executive Order in the fight against COVID-19 tonight.  

Tonight we break down everything, from what WILL BE OPEN and what NEEDS TO CLOSE to what you can and cannot do just to clear your head from the stuffiness of your house.

Can my kids go outside and play?

Yes. Playgrounds are closed (due to the spread of germs on surfaces) But local parks are still open for outdoor activities. Just stick to the six feet apart thing. Running, biking, jogging, walking your dog, etc are all still available options.

Can I go to the State Park now or the local park at least?

The State Parks have closed their doors. The reasoning? Many rent out gazebos and other areas for parties and events, so this was more than likely the reason why they will continue to remain off access to the public. 

Local parks (not playgrounds) and trails are still an option for running, biking, jogging, walking your dog, etc.

Will Day Care still be available?

Yes. Day Care falls under the Human Services Operations portion of the Stay-at-Home act. It pretty much covers all the daycare options, including daycare homes, group day care homes and daycare centers. These are being asked to remain open to service those who have to still go to work, healthcare workers, grocery store employees, bankers, and other essential front line workers in the fight against COVID-19.

Can I go to take care of my mom? Or bring home a family pet from my brothers’ house?

Yes. To care for another family member, friend or pet in another’s household and to transport family members, friends or pets is allowed under the Executive Order.

I’m older, but I’m leary about going to the Grocery Store…or anyplace for that matter. What should I do?

The State of Illinois is advising all elderly people and those vulnerable as a result of other illness to stay at home except when necessary, such as to seek medical care. 

Nothing under the Executive Order says an elderly person has to stay in their house, but it’s strongly advised for your safety if possible, even with ‘senior shopping’ and other options available to Illinois residents.

What if my dog gets sick?

Veterinary services are still available for every four-legged friend and others.

But my business can stay open, right? I’m essential to the community!

Under the Executive Order, fitness centers, exercise gyms, spas, salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, and similar facilities are ordered to close and considered non-essential services.

I’m supposed to be going out of state on Sunday. I can still go, right?

No. Travel is prohibited by all means except local, essential travel to and from destinations at a local level under the order.

My Cannabis dispensary isn’t closing! Right!?!!?

No. You’re good to go out and get some weed anytime.

What about the Animal Shelters?

They’ll still be available to aid and adopt out four-legged friends.

So, essential businesses include…what exactly?

Stores that sell groceries and medicine, food, beverage and cannabis production, and agriculture, organizations that provide charitable and social services, the media, gas stations and businesses used for transportation, financial institutions, hardware and supply stores, critical trades like janitors, plumbers and technicians to support industry, post office and shipping services, education institutions (limited), Laundromats, restaurant drive thus, work from home supply stores, Uber drivers, vehicle rental services are all considered essential.

So are legal services, residential facilities, and shelters, professional services, daycares, critical manufacturing and distribution channel workers, supply chain workers, labor union essential activities and administration, hotels and motels and funeral services.

I’m from out of state and I’m scared I’ll be stuck in Illinois. 

Can I not go home?

You can still go home under the order, so long as you are a non-resident. Residents may be asked for proof of non-resident status when traveling.

Shane Saathoff
Shane Saathoff
An active writer for two decades, Shane's focuses on local news and events throughout the area, Shane is an active historian, science nerd, and tech geek. Shane is a native of Bourbonnais, IL, and alumni of Olivet Nazarene University.


    • They’re holding tight to Section 1, 12 g ‘Hardware and Supply Stores’ or section m “Supplies to work from home” or n “supplies for essential business” meaning there is a lot of “but look at this because I’m important to the craft world” sorta moments here. We’ll be posting the full EO soon.


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