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The Majority Report 03/23/20 - Stay at Home Order takes effect, economic assistance offered

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It’s no longer “business as usual”—the coronavirus has disrupted many of our jobs, social lives and daily routines. For the sake of the health and safety of everyone in our communities, we must continue to follow the advice of our public health experts and do our part to help contain the virus.

Stay at homeGov. Pritzker issued a ‘stay at home’ order for the State of Illinois beginning, March 21 at 5 p.m. until April 7.

The executive order requires Illinoisans to practice a more rigorous form of social distancing, staying home as much as possible aside from meeting their basic needs. The order permits a range of essential activities, including but not limited to:

  • For health and safety: seeking emergency services, obtaining medical supplies or medication or visiting a health care professional

  • For necessary supplies and services: obtaining groceries and food, household consumer products, supplies they need to work from home, and products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences

  • For outdoor activity: walking, hiking, running or biking – including going to public parks and open outdoor recreation areas, except for playgrounds

  • Economic AssistanceFor certain types of work: Providing essential products and services at Essential Businesses or Operations or otherwise carrying out activities specifically permitted in the order, including Minimum Basic Operations

  • To take care of others: Caring for or transporting a family member, friend or pet in another household

While certainly an inconvenience, and a detriment to our economy, this measure could spare the lives of thousands of Illinoisans and is absolutely critical to the survival and stability of our hospitals.

More information on Governor Pritzkter’s shelter in place order can be foundhere. For a list of frequently asked questions, click here.

Please know despite rumors circulating online, Gov. Pritzker has emphasized that essential businesses such as grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations will never close.

State agencies and local organizations are working tirelessly to make sure those affected by business and school closures are provided with help, support and relief. For more information on what assistance is offered, keep reading.

Economic Assistance

The Illinois Department of Employment Security is allowing workers who are unemployed due to COVID-19 to apply for unemployment.

Sheriffs in Cook, Will and Lake Counties have suspended enforcing evictions for at least 30 days. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued a moratorium on evictions of single-family homes with federally insured mortgages for the next 60 days. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are also offering mortgage assistance.

The Small Business Administration is providing disaster assistance loans for small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Resources for Students

The Illinois State Board of Education is working to provide meals every day to all students, no questions asked. Grab-and-go meals are available statewide for students who need them, and some schools are even offering delivery. Contact your child’s school district for more information. For more updates and resouces, click here.

Updates for Restaurants & Businesses

RoadsDespite school and restaurant closures, Gov. Pritzker assures that essential services—including pharmacies, grocery stores and gas stations—will remain open. It’s a good idea to be prepared, but only buy what you really need. Hoarding supplies prevents others from accessing the basics. Experts recommend keeping on hand about what you need for two weeks at a time.

All bars and restaurants are closed through April 7. Restaurants will have take-out, drive-thru and delivery options still available.

Many grocery stores are offering special shopping hours for seniors. Residents can contact local stores for their specific hours.

To provide some relief to local eateries during the coming weeks, Grubhub is suspending commissions and Uber Eats is waiving delivery fees on orders from independent restaurants. Some larger restaurants are offering free delivery. Many delivery services have introduced no- or low-contact delivery options.

Utilities Support

Ameren and ComEd are suspending any disconnections and waiving late payment fees. Other major utility companies, like People’s Gas and Nicor, are suspending disconnections as well.

The Illinois Commerce Commission has banned utility service disconnections during the outbreak and has pledged to assess late fees through at least May 1. AT&T, Comcast, Spectrum, Viasat and others are offering accommodations to those in need of telecom services during the crisis.

State Services

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has extended license expiration dates and continuing education deadlines. Licensees may complete continuing education requirements and other coursework online.

The Office of the Illinois Attorney General encourages residents to file a complaint if they notice price gouging on essential items related to the coronavirus outbreak, including hand sanitizer, cleaning products and protective gear.

All Illinois Secretary of State offices and Driver Services facilities are closed to the public through March 31. Expiration dates for driver’s licenses, ID cards, vehicle registration and other transactions will be extended by 30 days. More information and some services are available online.

All emergency food relief (SNAP), cash assistance (TANF) and medical (Medicaid eligibility) applications will continue to be available online or by phone at 800-843-6154. Home Services & Vocational Rehab resources will remain available through DRS’ statewide network of counselors who will continue working remotely.

For the most up-to-date information, please continue to check the governor's coronavirus response website found here.

We will continue to send periodic updates. Rest assured that together, we will get through this trying time.

 


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