In his daily COVID-19 briefing Sunday in Chicago, Pritzker encouraged local police to help enforce the statewide stay-at-home order amid reports of large parties in Chicago and Peoria.
Pritzker called upon police departments across the state to break up parties and large gatherings.
“We need local government and local police to make sure that people are following these rules,” Pritzker said, adding that “we need the public to comply with the stay-at-home rule because that is how we’ve been defeating coronavirus.”
“We’re not looking to have police crack down on people, arrest people, that is not the intent here,” the governor said. “But it is true that police can break up a party and should.”
Pritzker also added that “we’ll provide State Police (as) backup whenever they need it.”
The governor acknowledged later in the briefing that enforcement abilities become trickier when groups of people number in the thousands.
“I certainly don’t want to put anybody in danger by suggesting that law enforcement needs to go break up a group of 3,000,” Pritzker said. “On the other hand, it is against the order and law enforcement does have that ability.”
He also warned of the possible danger that such a large gathering could have on public health.
“One person in the middle of that 3,000 can cause many others to get infected and each one of those people has the ability to infect others,” he said.
“People should follow the rules here, and in relatively short order we’ll begin to see, as the economy opens up, things will get better for everyone.”