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GOVERNOR'S DAILY BRIEFING – New child care guidelines announced for Phase 3

Published: Friday, May 22, 2020 05:22 PM

Gov. Pritzker announced a major childcare initiative today, saying that at the onset of Phase 3 late next week, child care centers will be asked to open again in a staggered plan to offer increased child care as parents return to work.

Under the plan, child care centers that have been shuttered would begin a four-week provisional period allowing groups of 10 children, then would be allowed to open up to larger groups as long as no safety issues are found to have arisen. Pritzker said this plan would return the state to about 75% of its previous child care capacity. For many smaller providers, he said, that will mean a return to full capacity. Children under 2 would be in special groups where (as in public) they would not be required to wear masks.

The child care providers who have been open under emergency rules to serve essential workers will immediately be able to provide the full allowable capacity when Phase 3 begins, Pritzker said.

While he didn't explicitly detail any faith organization guidelines, Pritzker said that "broadly speaking," things like outdoor or drive-in faith services would be welcome under Phase 3 of the plan. In questions, the governor said he has maintained contact with faith leaders of every denomination, including a call this morning.

IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike reported 2,758 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 105,444, and 110 additional deaths, bringing the state's total death toll to 4,715.

Questions:

  • Asked whether he's "linking Republicans to the extremist fringe," Pritzker responded "I didn't link Republican elected officials to Nazi demonstrators, they linked themselves," and again pressing GOP officials to call out some of their own colleagues' behavior at protests.
  • Pritzker expressed frustration that it appears the legislature will not pass a bill codifying his withdrawn enforcement rule re: businesses in violation of the Stay at Home Order.
  • Asked if he agrees with Mayor Lightfoot's move to more slowly reopen Chicago despite Phase 3 of the reopening plan, Pritzker reiterated that local leaders should have discretion in such matters.
  • Asked when guidelines for fall K-12 classes will be issued, Pritzker had no firm date.
  • Asked whether another pending suit in Clay County could overrule his executive order, Pritzker said the matter has already been decided in other courts and "it's clear that judge has his own political agenda."

GOVERNOR'S DAILY BRIEFING – Flood aid available despite COVID-19

Published: Thursday, May 21, 2020 05:28 PM

The governor opened his press conference today assuring Illinoisans that measures are being taken to address heavy flooding in some areas of the state and that national guardsmen responding to it are following heightened public health protocols while they do so.

The governor also voiced his support for vote by mail as he took reporter questions. Responding to questions about why denying funds to local governments that flout the Stay at Home Order is different than denying funds to states who enact vote by mail (as the president has threatened), Pritzker leveled criticism at the White House.

"There's an awfully big difference. The president is threatening to take away funds from states that are doing a thing that's legal," Pritzker said, while his own action is leveled at local governments that break the law. "I think it's important for people to get access to the ballot. The president doesn't want that. I do."

The governor also announced $1.3 million in additional CARES Act funding for domestic violence assistance and that $6 million from the COVID-19 Response Fund has been released to 31 local nonprofits.

IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike reported 2,268 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the state's total to 102,686 confirmed cases. There were 87 additional deaths, bringing the total death toll to 4,607.

  • Other questions from the press:
    Pritzker responded to concerns over whether the unavailability of child care would allow somebody to claim unemployment as businesses reopen by saying the state's desire is not to in any way limit child care. "We need much more child care. We're working with child care providers. I am motivated because I know as we get people back to work, they need more child care."
  • Contact tracing: Asked why it's still important in light of COVID's current presence, Pritzker said with thousands of new cases a day, it's crucial, especially in light of the possibility of a fall surge of the disease. On the availability of contact tracing apps through Apple and Google, he said nothing the state will do in regard to them will violate the state's biometric laws.
  • The governor said he will work with the legislature to ensure adequate funding to IDES and that it goes toward upgrading the agency's infrastructure and staff in light of the persistent unemployment situation now.
  • On federal unemployment benefits, Pritzker said he's concerned it's not enough. "I'm concerned that the typical number of weeks allowed won't be enough."
  • On the relatively flat state budget: Citing the increase in services that Illinoisans now need in light of the pandemic, "you can't say as a state 'well, we're just not going to help people.'"
  • On the work comp rule which essentially reintroduces his rule which was struck down: "I'm glad that both sides were able to work on getting something done, because that's ultimately the best solution of all."
  • On removing Darren Bailey's court case to federal case: "They felt there were federal issues at hand," he said, indicating the attorney general's decision on the matter.

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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