Illinois Governor May Close Bars, Restaurants: ‘We Need to Go on Lockdown’

March 15, 2020 Updated: March 15, 2020

The governor of Illinois said he is considering closing down bars and restaurants across the state in light of the Wuhan coronavirus global pandemic.

Following a federal emergency declaration and statewide school closures, “young people who think they’re impervious to this went out and celebrated” St. Patrick’s Day, Gov. J.B. Pritzker told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday morning. “People aren’t understanding that, even if you’re healthy, even if you’re young, that you may be a carrier. And you’re going to hand it over to somebody else,” Pritzker added.

The St. Patrick’s Day parade in Chicago and related events were canceled in light of the viral outbreak.

But COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, is currently “spreading because even healthy people can be walking around, giving it to other people,” the governor remarked, adding that “we need to go on lockdown.”

When he was pressed about the statement on the program, Pritzker said his office is on “the trajectory” to implement more controls.

“You can imagine each one of these decisions has consequences to them that are not just about the pandemic,” he said. “So we’re actually looking hard at that decision making today,” Pritzker added. “We obviously saw what happened in Europe. Nowhere in the United States really has there been a lockdown on bars and restaurants, but it’s something that we’re seriously looking at.”

As of Sunday, data provided by Johns Hopkins University says that more than 3,000 cases of the virus have been confirmed around the United States along with more than 60 deaths.

His remarks came as Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Sunday ordered all restaurants and bars in the state to close 9 p.m. on Sunday night.