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Governor's Daily Briefing
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Closures & Guidelines Section

Businesses

  • Dentists – The Illinois Dental Association has recommended its members cancel all non-emergency appointments from March 17-April 7.
  • Restaurants – Ordered closed March 17-April 7. Delivery, curbside pick-up and drive-through sales are still allowed. Carry out is allowed if social distancing practices are possible and practiced.
  • Bars – Ordered closed March 17-April 7. Some breweries and wineries are working to find alternatives to continue packaged liquor sales (bottles of wine, cans of beer, etc.).
  • Events that serve more than 10 people or occur in a non-essential setting – Banned March 21-April 7. Events serving more than 50 people banned from March 18. Events serving more than 1,000 people were banned from March 12 to April 11. FAQ about the stay-at-home order are available here.

Cultural sites

Education

  • Public schools – Ordered closed March 17-April 7. Chicago Public Schools will remain closed through at least April 21. Grab-and-go meals are available for students who need them statewide, and some schools are even offering delivery. Many restaurants are also offering free meals to children who need them. CPS is offering free boxes of food with three days worth of meals for every child in a household available for pick up on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. 
  • Private schools – Ordered closed March 17-April 7. Many voluntarily closed earlier.
  • Most colleges and universities (including all state public universities) – All in-person classes canceled.

 Government services

Guidelines

  • Businesses and organizations – The Illinois Department of Public Health has released general guidelines for businesses and organizations that remain open during the Stay at Home Order.
  • Nursing homes – The state has issued visitor and staff guidelines; including limiting visits and require all staff to be screened before starting a shift.
  • Hospitals – Some hospitals are limiting or banning visitors and canceling elective surgeries.
  • State prisons – State prisons have suspended in-person visits. In return, they’ve increased phone and video call privileges. Attorneys are still allowed to visit, but must be screened for COVID-19 first.
  • Daycares –Centers serving more than 6 children at a time must be closed from March 21-April 7 unless meeting very specific criteria. Special licenses are available to allow more small centers to open and operate.
  • Faith-based facilities – Basic guidance is available for faith leaders on how best to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Funeral Homes – Funeral homes are required to keep services to 10 people or less and provided additional guidance.
  • Dialysis facilities – Dialysis facilities are advised to screen patients and take additional precautions.

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Health Resources Section

  • Coronavirus hotline – IDPH has created a coronavirus hotline to answer questions from the general public and to take reports of suspected COVID-19 cases from health care professionals: 1-800-889-3931.
  • Insurance questions – The IL Dept. of Insurance has created a hotline to answer COVID-19 related insurance questions: (877) 527-9431.
  • Telemedicine – The state has relaxed rules about the use of the telephone and video chat for the delivery of medical advice. If you have private insurance or Medicaid, you may qualify.
  • Senior grocery store hours – Many grocery stores, including most major chains, are offering special hours to seniors and other vulnerable populations, such as people with compromised immune systems and pregnant women. Contact your preferred grocery store for more information.
  • Severe weather resources – The Illinois Emergency Management Agency and National Weather Service are coming up with guidelines for severe weather events. Check IEMA’s website for more information. Before you go to a community shelter, check to make sure it’s open.

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Family Resources Section

  • Expanded unemployment benefits – IDES has expanded unemployment benefits to individuals who have lost their jobs temporarily or permanently due to coronavirus. This includes employees who must isolate themselves but who do not have paid medical leave. It does not include anyone who voluntarily quits for any reason – including to care for their children. For more information call 1-800-244-5631 or visit the Illinois Department of Employment Security's website.
  • Tax deadline extended – Illinois income tax filing deadline has been pushed back to July 15, to correspond with the extended federal deadline.
  • Moratorium on evictions– Effective March 21-April 7.
  • Moratorium on HUD-insured mortgage foreclosures and evictions – In place through April 30. Only applies to single-family homes.
  • FannieMae mortgage assistance – FannieMae is offering a 12-month forbearance and other payment options for mortgages it services.
  • Freddie Mac mortgage assistance – Freddie Mac is halting all foreclosures and evictions on loans it services until at least May 17. It is also offering 12-month forbearances and other payment options.
  • Childcare assistance locator – With many child care centers closed, essential workers may need to locate new providers. There is also a toll-free helpline available at 888-228-1146.
  • Reporting price gouging and scams – The attorney general’s office is investigating reports of price gouging: https://ccformsubmission.ilattorneygeneral.net/
  • Utilities – The ICC has banned disconnections during the crisis and assessing late fees through at least May 1. Some internet service providers have also made accommodations:
    • Xfinity/Comcast – Disconnections are suspended through at least May 1. New late fees will also be waived and data caps lifted. Its Wi-fi hotspots will be made available to the public for free, and it is offered new $10/month plans for new customers.
    • AT&T – See Xfinity/Comcast. It is offering roughly the same benefits.
    • Spectrum Internet – Offering free internet for two months to new customers with K-12 or college students. Its Wi-fi hotspots will be made available to the public for free.
    • Viasat Internet – Similar to Comcast and AT&T but not offering new plans.
  • Civil legal aid – Families experiencing legal issues who cannot afford an attorney may be able to find help.

Educational resources

Though many schools have provided take-home packets or their own online resources and assignments, here are some additional free online educational resources from reputable companies:

  • National Geographic Kids – Science and history focused articles and activities.
  • Kahn Academy – Free online lesson plans; requires registration.
  • PBS Kids – Educational videos and games, with a focus on younger learners.
  • PBS Learning – Educational videos, lesson plans, and other resources for all grade levels.
  • BrainPOP – Educational resources on all topics with a focus on elementary-school age students; requires registration.
  • DuoLingo – Free language learning; requires registration.
  • I Civics – Civics and government-related games focused on middle-school and high-school students.
  • Scholastic – Reading-based activities for Pre-K through 9th.
  • Smithsonian for Kids – Educational games and articles for people of all ages.
  • NASA Kids Club – Space related articles and activities, primarily for younger learners.
  • Storyline Online – Story books for younger children read aloud by celebrities.
  • Prodigy Math – Math curricula and activities for K-8th graders; requires registration.

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Business Resources Section

  • Hospitality Emergency Grants – The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Activity is making $14 million in emergency grants originally earmarked for tourism development to help bars, restaurants, and hotels for expenses like payroll and rent.
  • Illinois Small Business Emergency Loans – The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation is making loans of up to $50,000 for businesses with less than 50 employees and $3 million in revenue outside the city of Chicago. Chicago has a similar program for businesses located in the city.
  • Downstate Small Business Stabilization Grants – The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is offering grants worth up to $25,000 for downstate businesses that employ less than 50 people. Businesses in Cook and the Collar Counties, the Metro East, and Downstate’s largest cities do not qualify.
  • Small business loans – The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering assistance loans to affected businesses.
  • Small business disaster assistance loans – The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering disaster assistance loans for up to $2 million.
  • Low-interest loans – Backed by the Illinois treasury, banks and credit unions throughout Illinois are offering low-interest loans to businesses that have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Sales tax deferment – Small- and mid-sized restaurants and bars will be able to defer sales tax payments for February, March, and April.
  • Cannabis business license applications – IDFPR is allowing applications via certified mail, rather than in person.
  • Automatic license extensions – IDFPR is automatically renewing all licenses that would normally expire between March 1 and July 31 until September 30. Continuing education that would normally be required to be completed in person can also be done online.
  • Online massage therapy and cosmetology school courses – IDFPR is allowing these schools to offer more than 10% of their courses online until July 31.
  • Expedited Critical Access Pharmacy Payments – Comptroller Mendoza has expedited payments to pharmacies in underserved rural communities.
  • Online notary services – Notaries are allowed to work online using two-way videos while the governor’s disaster declaration is in effect.

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Regional Resources Section

The links below provide more regional resources. Some are primarily health-related information, while others cover closures and economic assistance measures.

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Ways to Help Section

  • Volunteering – There are many volunteering opportunities during this crisis, and Serve Illinois is helping connect volunteers to organizations that need help.
  • Blood donation – With blood drives across the country cancelled, the nation’s supply of is dangerously low. In addition to the Red Cross, consider contacting your local blood donation center.
  • Food bank donations – Many food banks need additional resources to help families struggling through this crisis. Even if you’re familiar with a food bank, call, email, or visit its website first. Many have changed procedures to help slow the spread of coronavirus.
  • Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund – This fund is collecting contributions to distribute to Illinois not-for-profits that are serving vital human services needs during this challenging time.
  • Former health care professionals – Illinois is calling on former health care professionals to return to the field during this crisis. Licensing requirements have been modified to make returning to the field easier.
  • Health care professional notification – Illinois has launched a new website to help alert and activate medical professionals in the event of disasters and public health emergencies. All medical professionals are encouraged to register.
  • Donations of protective equipment – Illinois is accepting donations of unopened equipment, like masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes to ensure adequate supply during shortages.

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Other Resources Section

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GOVERNOR'S DAILY BRIEFING – Calls for licensed medical personnel to register for emergency response

Published: Friday, March 27, 2020 04:24 PM

IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike reported 488 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 for a total of 3,026 confirmed cases in Illinois. She reported an additional eight deaths, bringing the total death toll to 34. There are currently confirmed cases in 40 Illinois counties.

Gov. Pritzker issued an urgent call to all licensed medical personnel to register with the state in order to make themselves available to respond to the state's need for more health care workers in the fight against COVID-19, from doctors and nurses to physician's assistants, podiatrists, dentists and any other support personnel with medical skills. He asked them to register at: www.Illinoishelps.net.

The goal is to have a database of available medical professionals the state can activate if a hospital gets overwhelmed or to provide staffing if the state builds out added capacity.

Pritzker and DHS Secretary Grace Hou spoke about other human services measures Illinois is taking, including:

  • Additional stipends for child care providers, in part to help them impose social distancing guidelines and ensure availability for those essential workers with children who need child care.
  • An extension on and expansion to SNAP benefits.
  • A new online system that will allow SNAP applicants to make their applications online at dhs.illinois.gov.
  • Increased assistance to agencies that help the homeless.

Pritzker also urged Illinoisans who are experiencing or are in fear of domestic violence to call the state's hotline at 1-877-863-6338.

The governor took a moment to again call out comments from the president minimizing the need for medical equipment.

"To say these comments are counterproductive is an understatement. At worst, the comments are deadly," Pritzker said.

He reminded the media that weeks ago the Vice President said millions of tests were on their way. Weeks later, it still hasn’t happened and there remains a national testing shortage. “The truth is there isn’t very much testing going on across the country.”

Pritzker urged the public to remain vigilant and honor the stay-at-home order despite warming weather. He said people can go outside, but be smart about it. “People need to be attentive. … If you see a lot of people there, don’t go there.”

The governor was asked when he would like the General Assembly to act on Chicago casino legislation. He responded that we’ll get to other issues when we get past this national pandemic. “We’re in the midst of the biggest crisis, at least in my lifetime.”

Asked about high school and college seniors, the governor said ISBE and IBHE are working to make sure students get their degrees.

COVID-19 Links

Illinois.gov

Illinois Department of Public Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Illinois Department of Employment Security - Unemployment Benefits

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