Illinois - COVID-19 Covered

Illinois

Total Cases: 113,195 (May 27)
Tests Administered: 786,794 (May 26)
Fatalities: 4,923 (May 27)
Testing:
  • Governor Pritzker announced a plan to expand contact tracing through increased funding and software utilization called the Illinois Contact Tracing Collaborative. (May 18)
  • The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs announced that all state veteran’s home residents and employees have received COVID-19 testing. (May 13)
  • Governor Pritzker announced efforts to increase COVID-19 testing in the Latino community. The efforts include establishing testing partnerships in Latino communities, offering Spanish translation services at drive-through testing facilities, partnering with trusted organizations in the Latino community for contact tracing, and expanding emergency Medicaid to cover undocumented individuals. (May 6)
  • Governor Pritzker proposed an $80 million contact tracing program that would hire nearly 4,000 state workers. (May 1)
  • Illinois will expand Coronavirus testing to include anyone with symptoms. (April 16)
  • Governor Pritzker announced an expansion of testing in comminutes of color. The governor would provide funds for five testing centers in minority communities to conduct an additional 400 tests per day. (April 10)
  • Governor Pritzker announced that Illinois was set to receive 15 machines developed by North Chicago-based Abbott Labs that process rapid COVID-19 tests. (April 2)

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

Essential Service Designations:

  • Governor Pritzker issued a statement of support after the passage of SB 1863, which would ensure all recent voter receive a vote by mail application. (May 22)
  • The Illinois Supreme Court issued an order allowing circuit courts to return to normal operations beginning June 1 (May 20)
  • The Illinois General Assembly has returned to session for the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. (May 20)
  • Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced that the state would reopen seven Secretary of State facilities for drive-through vehicle registration sticker renewals beginning May 19. (May 15)
  • Essential service providers include, health care workers, grocery employees, funeral home employees, pharmacists, hardware store workers, plumbers, electricians, day care providers, bank tellers, and roles that are essential to the supply chain. Police, firefighters and paramedics will also continue to work. (March 20)
  • Governor Pritzker activated the National Guard. (March 24)

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • Governor Pritzker issued a statement of support for SB 2541, which would give an extra $250 million in support to hospitals in Illinois. (May 22)
  • Illinois has released specialized health and safety guidelines arranged by industry categories for businesses and offices reopening during Phase Three. (May 24)
  • Governor Pritzker and the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) announced that they will be providing $75 million to hospitals to fight COVID-19. (May 12)
  • The Illinois Department of Public Health has suspended mandatory annual reviews for long term care facilities. (May 1)
  • The state of Illinois encouraged hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and other facilities with health care workers, who wear N95 masks, to use free PPE decontamination service. (May 4)
  • Governor Pritzker suspended certain cannabis dispensing organization requirements. (May 1)
  • Governor Pritzker announced that the state Health Department will send nurses to long term care facilities to conduct trainings and review practices (April 29)
  • Illinois’ Attorney General joined a letter urging 3M to take measures to prevent price gouging of their masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. (April 21)
  • Governor Pritzker issued an executive order suspending certain provisions of the Illinois Insurance Code that require in-person education and/or exams to maintain or obtain a professional insurance license. (April 20)
  • Governor Pritzker signed an executive order suspending the expiration of industrial radiography certifications and trainee certifications. (April 20)
  • Governor Pritzker issued an executive order suspending and relaxing certain hospital and emergency worker licensing and staffing rules to increase their capacitates during the state of emergency. (April 17)
  • Governor Pritzker signed an executive order suspending admissions to Illinois Department of Human Services Forensic Treatment Programs from Illinois county jails. (April 10)
  • Governor Pritzker announced the launch of the Remote Patient Monitoring Program and a mental health support line. The Remote Patient Monitoring program is a partnership with OSF HealthCare and Southern Illinois University School of Medicine that would provide telehealth services and resources for COVID-19 without having to leave home. (April 11)
  • Governor Pritzker signed an executive order suspending the Secretary of the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation’s ability to take certain actions. The executive order was designed to increase the number of licensed professionals responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. (April 10)
  • Governor Pritzker will allow for virtual notarization throughout the duration of the state of emergency. (April 8)
  • Governor Pritzker issued an executive order that would suspend the time period for designated students, applicants, and employees in healthcare to have their fingerprints collected electronically. The order would also allow funeral directors to renew their licenses more than twice and suspend body transportation regulations. (April 7)
  • Governor Pritzker signed an executive order allowing those applying for public assistance to provide a verbal attestation over the phone rather than a recording or written signature when applying for benefits. (April 6)
  • Governor Pritzker announced an expansion of eligibility to nearly all essential workers to qualify for financial aid for childcare that would cover most costs under the Child Care Assistance Program. (April 5)
  • Governor Pritzker signed an executive order that grants immunity from civil liability to health care facilities, professionals, and volunteers against parties that are injured or died unless gross negligence or willful misconduct was determined. (April 1)
  • Governor Pritzker suspended vehicle repossessions and in-person training for private security personnel. (March 28)
  • The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation issued a proclamation to allow out-of-state physicians, nurses, physician assistants, and respiratory care therapists to provide care to Illinois residents. (March 23)
  • Governor Pritzker announced that he will expedite healthcare license reinstatements and is extending all active licenses through September. (March 21)
  • Governor Pritzker filed for emergency rules with the federal government that would allow those who are unemployed because they are sick to collect unemployment insurance. (March 11)

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • The Illinois Department of Employment Security announced that the unemployment rate has risen to 16.4 percent. (May 21)
  • Governor Pritzker announced that the state’s plan to allow SNAP recipients to purchase groceries online has been approved by the federal government. (May 19)
  • The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is fast tracking $25 million to local public infrastructure projects. (May 12)
  • The Department of Human Services is using Illinois Welcoming Centers (IWC’s) as free resource centers for immigrant communities. The IWC’s will provide emergency funds for food and necessities, assistance to enroll in SNAP, WIC, TANF and public benefits, and information on COVID-19 testing locations and access to medical resources. (May 6)
  • The Illinois Department of Professional and Financial Regulation (IDFPR) announced that numerous banks would cash stimulus checks for free for unbanked state residents. (May 1)
  • Governor Pritzker signed an executive order clarifying the eviction ceasing policy. The order says that all residential evictions are to cease and ordered law enforcement agents to stop enforcing evictions for non-residential premises, unless the tenant poses a threat. (April 23)
  • The Illinois Department of Employment Security will open a new virtual call center to increase capacity for servicing people trying to make unemployment claims. (April 23)
  • Governor Pritzker announced an agreement with a consortium of states to provide loan relief options to residents with private student loans. (April 21)
  • The USDA has approved and funded $112 million in additional aid to the Illinois Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program to increase SNAP access and benefits for families with school age children. (April 20)
  • Illinois’ general revenue funds estimate has been revised down to $2.7 billion for fiscal year 2020. (April 15)
  • Governor Pritzker announced that he is suspending laws that permit garnishment summons, wage deduction summons, or a citation to discover assets as part of consumer debt collection proceedings in order to protect stimulus money for recipients. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation also urged lenders to work with borrowers to extend the time for payment, waive late charges, and defer collection measures. (April 14)
  • Governor Pritzker helped the Illinois Department of Employment Security to expand their website and call center capacities. The state additionally implemented the easing of legibility requirements through federal waivers and began to implement Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs. (April 13)
  • Illinois will provide 2,000 hotel rooms to help quarantine homeless populations and other high-risk people who are asymptomatic but are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 including first responders and medical professionals, and individuals in living situations that do not easily accommodate social distancing. (April 10)
  • The Illinois Department on Aging allocated $7 million 6 Care Coordination Units (CCUs) to aide meals programming for elderly state residents during the state of emergency. (April 11)
  • The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation strongly urged banks and credit unions to offer payment accommodations, provide loans with favorable terms to businesses and individuals, waive certain fees, increase daily ATM withdrawal limits, ease restrictions on cashing out-of-state and non-customer checks, increase credit card limits for creditworthy borrowers, notify customers to the increased risk of fraud and price gouging, and ensure clients that services will continue. (March 30)
  • Illinois will receive $4.9 billion in funding from the federal stimulus plan. (March 26)
  • The statewide shelter-in-place order by Governor Pritzker mandates that evictions are temporarily stopped and additional resources have been allocated towards homelessness issues. (March 20)
  • An order issued by the Illinois Commerce Commission mandates all public utilities to suspend disconnections from service until at least May 1, or until the state of emergency has been lifted. (March 19)
  • The Governor’s Administration is working with the eight major food banks across Illinois to expand services to food manufacturers to make sure they are prioritizing food banks. (March 13)

Business Support & Resources:

  • Governor Pritzker announced that he would withdraw his emergency rule making it a class A misdemeanor for owners of restaurants, bars and other establishments in Illinois to open before they are permitted (May 20)
  • Illinois has rolled out a digital job hub called “Get Hired” to connect unemployed individuals to businesses seeking workers. (May 14)
  • The Office of the Illinois Treasurer announced that they were adding $250 million to a bridge loan program for small businesses, raising the total funds available to $500 million. (April 27)
  • The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity launched emergency small business assistance programs. The programs include the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program, which will support hospitality businesses during the crisis. The Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund to give small businesses low interest loans for up to $50,000. And the Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program which will help small businesses in downstate/rural counties. (March 25)
  • Governor Pritzker ordered the Department of Revenue to defer sales tax payments for 24,000 small and medium sized bars and restaurants. (March 25).
  • Illinois small businesses affected by COVID-19 are eligible for low-interest federal loans provided by the US Small Business Administration. (March 25)

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Shelter-In-Place Orders:

  • No records found as of May 26.
  • Governor Pritzker announced Phase 3 updates that include all state parks reopening with concessions on May 29, all indoor and outdoor tennis facilities reopening, and golf courses would be permitted to reopen for foursomes. Health clubs, gyms, and fitness studios can provide one-on-one personal training in indoor facilities and outdoor fitness classes of up to ten people. Personal care services, like nail salons, tattoo shops, hair braiders, spas and barbershops, can open with health and capacity guidelines. (May 20)
  • Governor Pritzker announced a five-part plan to reopen Illinois region by region. Phase one will allow for only the operation of essential businesses. Phase two will allow for non-essential businesses to resume curbside pickup and will allow for socially distant outdoor activities with masks. Phase three will allow for manufacturing, offices, retail, barbershops and salons to reopen with certain social distancing and hygiene regulations, while also allowing for groups of 10 or less people. Phase four will reopen restaurants, bars, schools, childcare centers, will allow travel to resume, and will allow for groups of up to 50 people. Phase five would occur once there is a highly effective treatment or vaccine and would allow for all businesses, conventions, festivals and large events to resume. (May 5)
  • Governor Pritzker signed an executive order extending most provisions of his executive orders since the outbreak of COVID-19. (May 1)
  • Governor Pritzker signed an executive order officially allowing certain outdoor social distancing activities like access to state parks and allowing retail stores to conduct curbside pickup orders. Face masks must continue to be warn when social distancing is not possible. (April 30)
  • The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will reopen certain state parks, recreation areas fish and wildlife areas and trails on May 1. Social distancing and other sanitation and health measures must be observed. (April 23)
  • Governor Pritzker has extended the statewide stay-at-home order through May. The new order requires all individuals to wear masks or face coverings in public, opens state parks and differentiates essential versus nonessential retail. (April 23)
  • Governor Pritzker, along with the governors of Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, and Minnesota, announced a partnership to coordinate the reopening of the economies in their respective states. (April 16)
  • Under the stay at home order, residents can go to grocery stores, gas stations, and make pharmacy runs. (March 20)

Curfews:

  • No universal curfew order has been issued.

Social-Distancing Guidelines:

  • Illinois has allowed elective surgeries to resume and has waived civil liabilities for health care providers of elective surgery if someone suffers a COVID-19 related death. (May 13)
  • Governor Pritzker’s “stay at home” order prohibits any gathering larger than 10 people. (March 20)
  • Playgrounds and all Chicago Parks facilities will be closed, but people can still utilize spaces as long as they maintain 6 feet of distance. (March 20)
  • Illinois stay at home order bars residents from socializing in-person with people outside their household. (March 20)

Delivery Services: Services:

  • The Illinois General Assembly passed HB 2682, which would allow for cocktails to be available for carryout and delivery. (May 24)
  • Governor Pritzker announced restaurants would be allowed to reopen with outdoor seating during Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan with six feet distance between tables and health guidelines in place. (May 20)
  • Bars and restaurants are closed to dine-in patrons. They may provide take-out and delivery services through the end of March (March 15).

SCHOOL CLOSURES

K-12:

  • Governor Pritzker announced a plan to expand childcare access during Phases Three and Four with capacity and health guideline restrictions in place. (May 22)
  • Governor Pritzker issued an executive order that suspends certain teacher preparation program provisions, suspends mandatory internships for endorsements on professional educator licenses, and temporarily allows students to graduate from middle school and high school without completing certain mandatory coursework if that coursework could not be finished due school closures. (April 24)
  • Governor Pritzker has extended the order closing all schools through the school year. (April 17)
  • Governor Pritzker issued an executive order giving more flexibility for schools to adjust their school term, suspending the method of the calculation for pupil school attendance, permitting the Illinois State Board of Education to define “Remote Learning Days,” and allowing schools that receive early-childhood education grants to provide childcare services to essential employees. (March 27)
  • Individual districts can implement e-learning courses, but grading cannot harm students’ grades during the closures. (March 27)
  • The Illinois Board of Education encourages districts to feed students lunch during the closures and the state has received a federal waiver allowing the state to provide food to students outside of a group setting as a result of school closures specific to coronavirus precautions. (March 20)

State Higher Education:

  • No universal state higher education closures were announced as of May 26.
  • The University of Illinois has announced a new financial aid fund providing at least $36 million in targeted aid for students in need due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (April 16)
  • Notably, the Illinois State system and the University of Illinois have ended in person instruction. (March 13)

Produced by Marathon Strategies, an independent PR firm that delivers intelligent communications and research solutions. For information, email Phil Singer at COVID-19@marathonstrategies.com