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Updated as of March 27, 2020 at 4:30 pm ET.

More than half of all Americans have been ordered to stay at home. This map shows which cities and states are under lockdown

  • Twenty-three states have issued stay-at-home orders, encouraging isolation measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
  • Some metro areas in states without such orders — including Anchorage, Alaska; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Houston and Dallas, Texas — are also under stay-at-home orders. 
  • In total, that brings about half of America’s population under some form of lockdown.

As of Friday, 23 US states have issued stay-at-home orders, asking residents to shelter in place and go out only for essential services like buying food and medicine. Many cities and counties in states that don’t have these policies have issued similar orders, and 10 other states and territories have ordered nonessential businesses to close: Guam, Puerto Rico, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Washington, DC.

Read more here.

Iowa and Missouri are the best chances for escape.  

(Click on image to enlarge)

This morning workmen with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County were busy locking gates and placing signs such as the one pictured above at Crabtree Nature Center. The signs read:

“To follow public health guidelines for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) the nature center bulding & grounds are closed until further notice. “

What’s ironic is the signs read, “feel free,” at the bottom.  Though no signs were present, all entrances to Horizon Farms were closed as well.

Kevin B. Morrison is our Commissioner in Cook County, and his contact information can be viewed here.  “Feel free” to contact him.

On second thought, Illinois’ golf courses are closed

The opening of Chicago area golf courses was short-lived.

“No recreational sports businesses, including golf courses, are considered essential businesses under the executive order.”

Read more here.

Related:Illinois golf courses are allowed to open ­­– with restrictions

How recreational weed went from illegal to essential in 3 months

Throngs of high-minded shoppers started flooding pot dispensaries when sales of recreational weed kicked off in Illinois at the start of the year.

Less than three months later, that type of mass clamoring is strictly forbidden as social distancing measures have been put in place to quell the spread of the novel coronavirus. In the uncertain age of COVID-19, when news and information travels almost as fast as the virus itself, Jan. 1 likely seems like a lifetime ago to many cannabis users.

Unlike thousands of businesses, however, pot stores have been able to keep their doors open under Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s statewide stay-at-home order, which labeled all dispensaries and cultivation centers “essential businesses.” The decision to allow the high times to keep rolling amid the rising public health crisis is an acknowledgment that, for many Illinoisans, buying weed is as vital as doing laundry or grocery shopping.

“People all over the nation are running to cannabis right now,” said Margo Vesely, executive of the Illinois chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, the country’s oldest weed advocacy group.

Read more from the Sun-Times here.

Is it a “fair tax” or a “blank check?” Those will be two of the opposing messages Illinois voters will hear between now and November over the governor’s proposal to flip the state from a flat income tax rate to a graduated one.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has already poured $5 million of his own money into a political action committee that will be advocating in favor of changing the state constitution to replace the flat income tax rate with a graduated income tax rate.

The  presidential election will be the marquee race on the ballot this November but in Illinois the most expensive and noisy campaign likely will center on the battle to overhaul the state income tax and require the rich to pay more every year.

By this fall, following what promises to be months of fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, deciding whether to change the Illinois Constitution to replace the current flat-rate income tax with a graduated levy might not seem like the highest priority.

One business group on Thursday even tried to use the pandemic as a reason to pull the measure from the ballot. Whether that effort proves successful or not remains to be seen but in the meantime the issue is expected to result in relentless TV ads, political spin and distortions that hit all of the incendiary themes that have dominated political discourse for years — greed, corruption and incompetence; taxes driving businesses and residents out of the state; the rich not paying their fair share.

The stakes are high.

Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who stressed the need for the amendment during both his budget and State of the State addresses, has put a $5 million down payment of his own money into a political action committee promoting it. Pritzker is betting the future of his first-term agenda and possible re-election on passage of the amendment, which he predicts will generate an additional $3.4 billion to $3.6 billion a year in revenue while lowering or maintaining the tax burden for 97 percent of Illinois residents.

Read more from the Better Government Association here.

As of Wednesday, Illinois golf courses could legally open, but there are restrictions in place. Each course is different and golfers are advised to call ahead of time.

Yes, courses are allowed to remain open, according to the amended statement issued on Tuesday night.

As of Wednesday courses could legally open, subject to the following conditions:

• The clubhouse must remain closed and only online or telephone scheduling and payment of tee times is allowed.

• Food and beverage service, including food or beverage cart service, cannot be provided. The use of carts by golfers won’t be allowed, either. Rounds will be walking only.

• Driving ranges will be closed due to concerns about social distancing and use of shared equipment. Golfers and course staff must also observe social distancing guidelines.

Those regulations were passed on to Illinois golf industry leaders on Tuesday night via a coronavirus update put out by the Allied Golf Association. That group encompasses the Illinois Section of the Professional Golfers Association of America, the Chicago District Golf Association, the Midwest Association of Golf Course Superintendents and the Greater Chicago Chapter of the Club Management Association of America.

Read more here.

The Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce has created two Facebook groups in an effort to help local businesses manage the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One is the Barrington area takeout, delivery and shop small group, a public page for restaurants and small businesses to post new hours, delivery and pickup services, along with new ways to shop for products. The other is the Barrington area business forum.

Happy Pup Manor 847-902-0773

Home based dog training and boarding business still open.  We pick up and drop off, have a fenced five acre yard, and an indoor pool for canine guests to enjoy.  Available for board and train or boarding.

Facebook here, website here.

Francesca’s Famiglia 847-277-1027

Encouraging all our guests to enjoy Francesca’s favorites from their own homes, via curbside pickup/delivery!

In addition to our curbside pickup menu, Chef’s whipping up some features – including Sea Bass with red onion, mushroom, roasted peppers, garlic, and white wine.

Call us to place those orders! (847) 277-1027

Facebook here, website here.

Village CycleSport 847-382-9200

We will be open today and will remain open for the coming weeks!

Illinois has stated that bike shops are an essential business. Our hours will remain the same and we are following CDC/Covid-19 guidelines.

Please call if you have any questions.

Facebook here, website here.

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