Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker this afternoon announced he will extend the state’s stay-at-home order until Saturday, May 30.

The governor says he will provide some modifications to the restrictions. The gvernor praised Illinois residents for following the stay-at-home order, which he said has saved lives. But he says it now appears that the peak of COVID-19 infections in the state won’t occur until late this month or early in May.

The modifications will include allowing limited resumption of elective surgery and allowing some additional businesses to reopen to take pickup and delivery orders.

The governor shared the podium at his news conference this afternoon with university researchers involved in preparing models of the pandemic’s likely course, one of whom said that modeling the pandemic is not rocket science, “It’s harder,” because so many factors needed to predict its path remain unknown.

Pritzker also displayed a chart which he said showed how effective the stay-at-home order has been so far in reducing deaths from the pandemic, compared to what the models predicted and how if the stay-at-home order were not extended a second wave of COVID-19 cases would be likely to overwhelm the state’s hospitals.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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