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Governor's Daily Briefing
ClosuresHealth Resources

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Regional Resources

Closures Section

Businesses

  • Dentists – The Illinois Dental Association has recommended its members cancel all non-emergency appointments from March 17-April 30.
  • Restaurants – Ordered closed March 17-April 30. 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 30. 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 30. 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 30. 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. Chicago Public Schools 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 30. Many voluntarily closed earlier.
  • Most colleges and universities (including all state public universities) – All in-person classes canceled.

 Government services

  • Driver’s services facilities – Closed March 17-April 30. Any licenses, IDs, registrations that expire during this period are automatically extended. Applicants will have 30 days after the facilities reopen to renew their documents. The federal government has also extended the deadline to begin requiring a REAL ID or passport to board a plane, originally set for October 1, 2020.
  • Vehicle emissions testing stations – closed March 21-April 30. Due dates for inspections are extended in concert with vehicle registration extensions.
  • Family and Community Resource Centers – IDHS has closed all but 14 of its FCRCs, where people can apply for SNAP and other need-based assistance. Waits may be longer than usual for guests who visit in person. Online applications will still be processed, and IDHS’s call center is still open: 1-800-843-6154.
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services local offices – Closed starting March 19. Online applications are still being accepted: DRS.illinois.gov/apply.
  • Cook County circuit trials – Most trials postponed March 17-May 18. Other jurisdictions, such as Lake and DuPage Counties are taking similar measures.
  • 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.

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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.
  • Mental health – The COVID-19 pandemic and associated financial stresses and isolation are challenging for many people. In addition to resources from the Illinois Department of Human Services, the National Alliance on Mental Illness – Illinois has put together a resource page specifically on COVID-19. Their website also has links to local branches that can help people find more personalized assistance. They also operate a crisis helpline at 800-950-6264 and a suicide prevention line at 800-273-8255. If you believe a family member poses a threat to themselves or others, you can seek a firearms restraining order. Illinois Legal Aid Online has additional information.
  • 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.
  • Domestic violence – The Stay at Home Order is not meant to trap anyone in domestic violence. Leaving your home to seek help is an essential activity and the state’s domestic violence hotline is still working: 877-863-6338.

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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 30.
  • Moratorium on vehicle repossessions – Effective during the governor’s disaster declaration.
  • 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. All essential workers automatically qualify for the state’s Child Care Assistance Program, which pays much – if not all – of the cost of child care.
  • Student loan collections – The federal government has reduced interest rates to 0% and suspended collections until September 30. If you are having trouble with your servicer or have a non-federal student loan, you can call the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation at 217-785-2900 or file a complaint here. You also can call the Illinois attorney general’s Student Loan Helpline at 800-455-2456 or file a complaint here.
  • Reporting price gouging and scams – The attorney general’s office is investigating reports of price gouging: https://ccformsubmission.ilattorneygeneral.net/
  • Reporting non-essential businesses that are still open – This webform can be used to report non-essential businesses that have not closed their doors. It also provides links to help you determine if a business is essential or not and resources for people having issues with their employers.
  • Concerns about your employer – If you’re concerned that your employer remains open or is not practicing proper social distancing or other proper sanitation and can’t work it out without assistance, contact the attorney general’s Workplace Rights Bureau at the link or by calling 844-740-5076.
  • Concerns about banks and other lenders – The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation is encouraging lenders to work with borrowers during this crisis. IDFPR has a complaint form for issues with state (not federal) banks and other lenders that can’t be resolved. A list of what specific banks are doing to help customers is available here and what credit unions are doing is available here.
  • 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:

  • We Love Illinois Schools podcast – The Illinois State Board of Education has started its own podcast to support educators and education.
  • 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.

Pet resources

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Business Resources Section

  • Resources list – The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has put together a list of many resources available to small businesses.
  • Paycheck Protection Program – The Small Business Administration is backing loans to help small businesses and non-profits on their payroll. Funds can also be used for rent, mortgage interest and utilities.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance – Provided by the Small Business Administration, these loan advances of up to $10,000 are available for businesses to help cover expenses while waiting on other relief, such as small business disaster assistance loans.
  • 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 called the Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund.
  • 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. The governor has issued executive orders that provide similar opportunities to cannabis businesses, private security and fingerprint vendors.
  • 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.
  • Business insurance complaints – Business owners with concerns about their business insurance coverage that need additional help can contact the Department of Insurance.

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.
  • Essential businesses – The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has put together a flowchart to help businesses determine whether or not they qualify as essential.
  • Grocery stores – IDPH has issued guidelines for how to keep staff and shoppers safe during essential grocery store visits.
  • Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities – The state has issued visitor and staff guidelines; including limiting visits and require all staff to be screened before starting a shift.
  • Hospitals – Hospitals are limiting or banning visitors and canceling elective surgeries.
  • Daycares – Centers serving more than 6 children at a time must be closed from March 21-April 30 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.
  • Banks and credit unions – IDFPR has issued guidance to financial institutions to help ensure that consumers continue to have access to their assets and financial tools.
  • Mortgage servicers – IDFPR has issued guidance to mortgage services to help ensure individuals can stay in their home and that servicers don’t place undue burdens on borrowers.
  • Debt collectors – IDFPR has sent guidance to debt collectors to remind them that they ARE NOT an essential business and may only operate remotely while the Stay at Home Order is in place.
  • Student loan servicers – IDFPR has sent out guidelines on how Illinois-based student loan servicers should be helping customers during the pandemic.

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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.
  • Retired physicians needed at free clinics – Volunteer to provide services at a free clinic.
  • 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.
  • Tell your story – The Illinois State Museum is collecting personal stories, drawings, photographs, and other artwork to document life in the time of COVID-19.
  • Arts for Illinois – A combination of relief fund and cultural resource, this program will provide support for the art community during the COVID-19 crisis, as well as provide free online access to the arts during the Stay at Home Order.
  • All In for Illinois – A website with resources to encourage friends and neighbors to stay home.

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Other Resources Section

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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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GOVERNOR'S DAILY BRIEFING – Indications Illinois is bending the curve

Published: Thursday, April 09, 2020 05:14 PM

Gov. JB Pritzker said Thursday there are indications that “we are bending the curve” as the rate of increase for new COVID-19 cases across the state is less than expected.

However, the overall number of both cases and fatalities continues to grow.

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike reported:

66 additional deaths (Illinois death toll stands at 528)

1,344 new cases in the last 24 hours (Illinois total so far is 16,422)

While tragic, the fact that the rate of increase is less than expected signals that the measures taken to date appear to be working. The governor credited everyone in the state for helping.

However, the governor cautioned that the state must remain vigilant against the virus for the foreseeable future, going so far as to say summer events could be in jeopardy.

“I think everybody needs to think seriously about canceling large summer events, just from my perspective today. I do not see how we are going to have large gatherings of people, again, until we have a vaccine, which is months and months away,” Pritzker said.

Dr. Ezike reiterated that the virus can infect anyone and just because you feel fine doesn’t mean you won’t/aren’t spreading it to others, which is why social distancing is so vital.

“While you might be fine, the person you infect might not be as fine,” Ezike said. Her comments came in response to media reports about a CDC investigation of how a so-called “super spreader” in Chicago unknowingly infected as many as 16 people.

The governor used Thursday’s news conference to praise people and groups across the state that have stepped forward to volunteer services and exemplify the best of Illinois. He highlighted Lakeview Pantry, which has seen an 82% increase in use.

Overall, more than 45,000 people have signed up to volunteer or return to work in the medical field since the state instituted its Serve Illinois and Illinois Helps initiatives.

"Everywhere you look, there are helpers. Illinois is home to the kindest and most generous people in the nation," the governor said.

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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