Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued an executive order guiding all residents to stay home for 18 days to help fight the spread of COVID-19.

During a Friday afternoon press conference, the governor outlined his “shelter in place” executive order, which encourages people to stay at home from 5 p.m. Saturday through the end of day April 7. Public schools throughout Illinois will remain closed as well.

“I don’t come to this decision easily,” Pritzker said. “In some ways, I’m choosing between saving peoples’ lives and people’s livelihood. Ultimately, you can’t have a livelihood, if you don’t have a life.”

The executive order spells out many things individuals can still do. Going to the grocery store, getting medicine, going to doctors, getting gasoline, and many other crucial activities are deemed essential and will be allowed.

Non-essential business, he said, must close. Agriculture is considered an essential service.

“Illinois Farm Bureau recognizes the importance of limiting the spread of the novel coronavirus. At the same time, we appreciate the recognition of the vital need for farmers and agri-businesses to operate to be able to provide the food and fuel consumers depend upon,” said Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert Jr.

“Illinois Farm Bureau is extremely appreciative of the open lines of communication with Illinois Gov. Pritzker and Illinois Department of Agriculture Acting Director Costello during these historical times," he said. "Recognizing the agriculture industry as an essential service demonstrates the important role Illinois farmers have in feeding our neighbors across the country.”

Read the executive order here.