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Closures Section

Closures and reopenings

Note: Cities can set stricter standards and longer timelines for reopening.

Businesses

  • Restaurants – Allowed to reopen for indoor dining, with certain restrictions. Groups are limited to 10 people or less, and social distancing is still required. Patrons are required to wear masks except when seated for eating or drinking.
  • Bars – Allowed to reopen, with certain restrictions. Groups are limited to 10 people or less, and social distancing is still required. Patrons are required to wear masks except when seated for eating or drinking. To-go cocktail sales are now allowed.
  • Events that serve more than 50 people – Banned until Phase 5. Though larger gatherings are now allowed, social distancing and mask requirements remain in place.
  • Places of amusement – Many businesses are allowed to reopen, with strict capacity limits. However, amusement parks, trampoline parks, and indoor playgrounds must remain closed. Most establishments are limited to 50% of maximum capacity or 50 people, whichever is less. There are separate guidelines for museums, zoos, theaters, youth and recreational sports, and swimming pools and beaches.

Cultural sites

  • Lincoln Home – Closed Starting March 17. Grounds still open to the public.
  • Brookfield Zoo – Reopening to the public July 8. Reopens to members July 1.

Education

  • Public schoolsLimited reopening for summer school is allowed. The State Board of Education and Illinois Board of Higher education have issued guidance for reopening for the 2020-2021 school year.
  • Private schools – Limited reopening for summer school is allowed.
  • Colleges and universities –The State Board of Education and Illinois Board of Higher education have issued guidance for reopening for the 2020-2021 school year.

 Government services

  • Driver’s services facilities – Driver’s services facilities reopen June 1. However, until July 31, they are focusing on new drivers, expired driver’s licenses and vehicle transactions. Any licenses, IDs, and registrations that expire until July 31 are automatically extended until October 1. The federal government has also extended the deadline to begin requiring a REAL ID or passport to board a plane until 1, 2021.
  • Vehicle emissions testing stations – Most vehicle emissions testing stations have reopened. Due dates for inspections are extended by 90 days. For example, if your test was due in April, you should get it done in July.
  • Family and Community Resource Centers – IDHS has closed all 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.
  • FOID cards and Concealed Carry Licenses - Firearms Owners Identification cards and Concealed Carry Licenses will automatically be extended during the disaster declaration as long as holders whose permits expire submit renewal applications.

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Health Resources Section

COVID-19 resources

  • 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. It also has a text service to send out updates. Text “COVID” (“COVIDESP” for Spanish) to 312-500-3836 to sign up.
  • Testing sites – IDPH has created a list of sites that will provides COVID-19 test outside of hospitals. Some are available to anyone showing symptoms, while others have additional requirements. Sites managed by IDPH are open to anyone, regardless of whether or not they’re showing symptoms.
  • Insurance questions – The IL Dept. of Insurance has created a web page to answer insurance questions. The attorney general’s office has also put together a guide on paid sick leave.
  • Remote Patient Monitoring – OSF HealthCare, the SIU School of Medicine and Advocate Aurora Health are partnering with the state to offer telehealth support and wellness kits to people who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (or are at high risk) but who don’t need hospital-level medical attention.
  • Guidance for people who can’t wear face coverings – The Illinois Department of Human Rights has put together guidance for businesses about how to handle face coverings, which may also help people in who can’t wear them for medical reasons understand their rights.
  • Reopening plan – The governor’s office has produced a phased, region-based reopening plan. You can check your region’s status on IDPH’s website here.

Other health-care resources

  • Telemedicine – The state has relaxed rules about the use of the telephone and video chat for the delivery of medical advice. Many, though not all, insurance providers must cover telehealth services, so check with your provider first if you aren’t sure of your provider’s policy.
  • Advice for people with kidney disease – The National Kidney Foundation has put together several resource pages for people with kidney disease, including dialysis patients. The American Kidney Fund is also raising funds for dialysis patients who can’t afford their treatments due to the crisis.
  • Cancer patient resources – The American Cancer Society has put together resources for cancer patients during this difficult time, including a 24-hour helpline at 800-227-2345.
  • Alzheimer’s and dementia resources – The Alzheimer’s Association has put together a guide to help people with Alzheimer’s or dementia and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mental health resources

  • 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’ 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.
  • Call4Calm emotional support text line – The Illinois Department of Human Services is operating a service to connect individuals struggling with the stress of COVID-19 and the Stay at Home Order with free, anonymous counselors. Text “TALK” to 552-020 (or “HABLAR” in Spanish).

Public Safety

  • Face coverings – Starting May 1, everyone over the age of 2 must wear face coverings in public location where maintaining strict social distancing is not possible, unless they cannot for medical reasons. Most employers will also have to provide face masks and other protective equipment to any employees who cannot keep at least a distance of 6 feet from other people at all times.
  • Older adults 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 COVID-19 restrictions are not meant to trap anyone in domestic violence. The state’s domestic violence hotline is still working: 877-863-6338.
  • Travel – As Illinois and other states gradually reopen, some people are looking for guidance on travel. CDC guidance is also available here.

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Family Resources Section

Economic resources

  • 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. They’ve also prepared an explanation of the expanded federal unemployment benefits for people who would not normally qualify.
  • Employment resources – The Illinois Departments of Employment Security and Commerce and Economic Opportunity have combined resources to create Get Hired Illinois, a one-stop resource for job seekers and unemployment benefits. It also features job training opportunities and job fairs.
  • Contact tracing job opportunities – The Illinois Department of Public Health is collecting information about people interested in both making money and helping fight COVID-19 by taking a job tracing the contacts of people who are diagnosed with the illness.
  • Utility, rent, and necessity help – Families struggling to make ends meet may qualify to receive assistance with food, rent, utilities, temporary shelter, medicine and other essential household services.
  • Consumer guide – The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has put together a guide for consumers struggling to repay their debts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • CDL testing facilities – The secretary of state’s office has reopened commercial driver testing facilities in West Chicago, Springfield, and Marion to meet the demand for more truck drivers.
  • Tax deadline extended – Illinois’ income tax filing deadline has been pushed back to July 15, to correspond with the extended federal deadline.
  • Federal Economic Impact Payments – The IRS has put together a resource for people with questions.
  • Child care assistance locator – With many child care centers operated with reduced capacity, 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.
  • Reporting price gouging and scams – The attorney general’s office is investigating reports of price gouging: https://ccformsubmission.ilattorneygeneral.net/
  • Moratorium on evictions– Effective during the disaster declaration
  • Moratorium on vehicle repossessions – Effective during the governor’s disaster declaration.
  • 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 offering 12-month forbearances and other payment options.
  • Condominium guidelines – The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional has put together guidelines for condominium associations and owners.
  • Student loan collections – The federal government has reduced interest rates to 0% and suspended collections until September 30. In addition, Illinois has worked with other states to provide private borrowers assistance, including at least 90 days of forbearance with waived late fees and no negative credit reporting or debt collection. 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.
  • Wage garnishment suspension – The governor has temporarily suspended new wage garnishment during the emergency declaration for the purpose of debt collection. This DOES NOT include wage garnishment for child support or spousal support.
  • Reporting businesses that are not practicing proper safety precautions –If a business is not practicing proper safety precautions, you can report it to the U.S. Occupational and Safety Administration. If a state or local government office is not practicing proper safety precautions, you can report it here.
  • Utilities The ICC has banned disconnections during the crisis and assessing late fees while a disaster proclamation is in effect. Some internet service providers have also made accommodations:
    • Free Wi-Fi hotspots – DCEO has put together a map of free Wi-Fi hotspots that can be used for activities like e-learning.
  • Concerns about your employer – If you’re concerned that your employer 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.
  • Civil legal aid – Families experiencing legal issues who cannot afford an attorney may be able to find help.

Educational resources

The Illinois State Board of Education has put together a page to answer questions and another with suggested e-learning 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.

Pet resources

  • Pet supply assistance – The Illinois Department of Agriculture has put together a list of pet food pantries.
  • Pet care when hospitalized – Best Friends Animal Society says some people who are hospitalized may need foster care or other pet care arrangements.

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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 businesses.
  • Business Interruption Grants – The Department of Commerce and Opportunity is offering grants to businesses affected by the COVID-19. Businesses that meet certain criteria – such as not receiving any previous government aid – are prioritized.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • PPP loan forgiveness webinars – The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has put together webinars for both businesses and lenders to help clarify the loan forgiveness provisions of the Paycheck Protection Program.
  • 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.
  • Insurance licenses – Classroom courses for insurance producer and public adjuster licenses will be allowed to be completed via webinar and other approved distance learning, the limit on temporary insurance producer licenses has been suspended, and the requirement that both parts of the two-part insurance producer license have been suspended during the emergency declaration.
  • Industrial radiography certificates – Industrial radiography certificates and industrial radiography trainee certificates will not expire during the disaster declaration.
  • Business insurance complaints – Business owners with concerns about their business insurance coverage that need additional help can contact the Department of Insurance.
  • Advantage Illinois and FAME loan recipients – The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is encouraging lenders to provide relief to borrowers.
  • Student teaching – Allows college students to get teaching certificates without student teaching due to the remote learning requirement. Similar provisions are in place for other educator licenses.

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.
  • Reopening guidelines – Phase 4 – The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has prepared guidelines for businesses that can reopen or expand operations during Phase 4.
  • Reopening guidelines – Phase 3 – The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has prepared guidelines for businesses that can reopen during Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois plan.
  • Nursing homes and other long term care facilities – The state has issued visitor and staff guidelines, including limiting visits and requiring all staff to be screened before starting a shift.
  • Dentists – IDPH recommends that dentists take proper precautions when performing routine care. The Illinois State Dental Society also has a members-only coronavirus response page.
  • Dialysis facilities – Dialysis facilities are advised to screen patients and take additional precautions.
  • 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.
  • Child care facilities –The four state agencies that focus on child care and child care licensing have put together a reopening FAQ for child care providers.
  • Faith-based facilities – Basic guidance is available for faith leaders on how best to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Banks and credit unions – IDFPR has issued guidance to financial institutions to help ensure 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.
  • 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.
  • All In Illinois – A website with resources to encourage friends and neighbors to stay home.
  • 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. The state is also accepting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and looking for This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. of protective equipment. There are resources available for manufacturers who want to produce PPE or need help finding supplies to do so.
  • 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.
  • Housing for first responders – Airbnb is helping front-line responders who want or need to isolate from their families find available spaces.
  • Support our veterans – The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs has created Operation Rising Spirit, asking Illinois residents to send messages to residents of Illinois’ veterans’ homes, which have had to restrict visits for residents’ safety.

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Other Resources Section

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Local Governments and Nonprofit Resources Section

  • Resources for school districts – The Illinois State Board of Education’s website provides various resources for school districts on its COVID-19 response page.
  • Emergency resources for local governments – The Illinois Emergency Management Agency has put together guidance for local governments on acquiring aid from the state and federal governments.
  • Illinois Humanities COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grants – Available to humanities-based organizations that have been effected by the pandemic.
  • Fast-track construction loans – As part of the Rebuild Illinois program, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is offering local governments $25 million in Fast-Track Public Infrastructure loans to help pay for shovel-ready projects that might be cancelled or delayed due to revenue losses.
  • Homelessness resources – The Department of Human Services has expanded its homelessness resources to help address additional issues from the pandemic, and information is available for providers and the homeless on its website.
  • Broadband access grants – The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is providing grants to local governments, school districts, and non-profits to help expand broadband access.

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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. In addition, the Illinois Comptroller has created a webpage that tracks state spending on COVID-19 for the reference of Illinois residents.

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GOVERNOR'S DAILY BRIEFING – Last daily briefing

Published: Friday, May 29, 2020 04:47 PM

Gov. JB Pritzker’s last daily COVID-19 media briefing on Friday quickly turned to the subject of President Trump, who the Illinois governor labeled “a racist.”

The blunt comments – Pritzker repeated past criticism of Trump being a sexist, xenophobe and homophobe – follow Trump’s tweets calling Minneapolis protestors “thugs” and recommending looters be shot.

Earlier on Friday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot accused Trump of “inflaming racist urges” and that what she really wants to say to him, “begins with F. It ends with you.”

All this comes as the Minneapolis police officer who killed George Floyd was arrested and charged with murder.

Pritzker expressed his outrage and sympathies.

“I cannot imagine the rage and the fear that must be felt by a black American watching what happened to George Floyd, the threat that comes to every black American under color of law, that they see in a video like that. We’re lucky that that video was ever taken because that is happening around America, probably every day,” said Pritzker, who offered his condolences to Floyd’s family and every African American in this country.

The governor said the lack of progress on race in America is “unacceptable” and called President Trump’s conduct “reprehensible.”

Friday’s press briefing was ostensibly organized to welcome the state into Phase 3 of the governor’s Restore Illinois plan. Relaxed social and economic restrictions kicked in on May 29 as infection and hospitalization numbers stabilized or declined.

Pritzker announced that he will not extend Illinois’ stay-at-home order and it instead will be replaced with the Community Recovery Executive Order, which maintains limits on gatherings of 10 people or more and continues to require social distancing and face coverings in public.

Protections against evictions and other housing and utility customer protections will continue under the new order.

Illinois was the first and only state to meet the White House’s guidelines for reopening, despite many states choosing to reopen weeks ago.

The governor also shared that he will no longer hold daily COVID-19 press briefings and will instead provide updates on an as-needed basis.

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike shared the daily COVID-19 numbers:

  • 1,622 new cases for a total of 117,455 cases
  • 86 additional deaths for a total of 5,270 deaths
  • 25,513 tests performed in the last 24 hours

In taking questions from reporters, Gov. Pritzker said …

  • His administration offered guidelines to faith leaders to help them keep parishioners safe.
  • He does not have plans to travel out of state with his family.
  • Until COVID goes away the state will need to maintain some kind of alternative care and housing facilities.
  • As things open up, opportunities to catch COVID-19 open up.

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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