Governor’s Office Daily COVID-19 Q & A
March 27, 2020
Helplines and Webpages
General Resources: visit coronavirus.illinois.gov
• Donations: PPE.donations@Illinois.gov
• To Manufacture PPE in Illinois: email@example.com
• Essential Business inquiries: contact 1-800-252-2923 or CEO.firstname.lastname@example.org
• IL Small Business Assistance: email CEO.email@example.com (DCEO) or https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/SmallBizAssistance/Pages/default.aspx.
• Federal Small Business loans visit: https://disasterloan.sba.gov.
• Business insurance coverage: https://mc.insurance.illinois.gov/messagecenter.nsf.
• Employee workplace concerns contact the Attorney General’s Workplace Rights Bureau at (877) 470-5076 or submit a complaint online.
• Unemployment insurance eligibility and the application process call Claimant Services at (800) 244-5631.
• If you feel sick or are concerned about infection visit DPH website https://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/coronavirus/personal-guidance-and-testing.
• Resources for people with disabilities, please visit www.DDD.Illinois.gov.
• IDFPR list of licensees and consumers impacted by COVID-19 visit: https://www.idfpr.com/COVID-19.asp
• School related inquires visit https://www.isbe.net/covid19
• COVID19 cases by county: visit dph.illinois.gov
• To volunteer: visit serve.illinois.gov or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Emergency Alert System
Q: Where can licensed public healthcare providers sign up for an emergency alert system in the event of an urgent need for their immediate assistance?
A: All licensed healthcare providers (Ex: physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, physician assistants, respiratory specialists, medics, LPNs, Certified Nursing Assistants, podiatrists, and dentists) can register on our website at https://www.illinoishelps.net/.
Q: Where can Hospitals and doctors sign up for the latest health information and best practices regarding COVID-19?
A: Every healthcare provider in the state can sign up for SIREN, the DPH emergency notification tool. To sing up for SIREN, send an email to DPH.SIREN@illinois.gov.
Medical/ Testing Kits
Q: Is there a list of the number of individuals tested, new cases, etc.?
A: Please visit the Department of Public Health (IDPH) website for a live update of the number of tests conducted and new cases. http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/coronavirus
Q: Where can I apply to reinstate my license if I am retired healthcare worker or work out of state and wish to volunteer in Illinois?
A: Applications are available online at IDFPR’s website:
• Health Care License Reinstatement: https://www.idfpr.com/Renewals/Apply/Forms/F2396.pdf
• Physician License Reinstatement: https://www.idfpr.com/Renewals/Apply/Forms/F2397.pdf
• Out of State Temporary Practice Permit: https://www.idfpr.com/Renewals/Apply/Forms/F2398.pdf
Q: What financial support is available for childcare providers?
A: Childcare providers who are providing emergency care during this pandemic, may receive a one-time stipend to help address their added costs. Licensed homes can receive $750 ($1,000 if they provide evening or overnight care). Centers (both legally license-exempt and those with the Emergency Child Care license) with one to two classrooms open can receive $2,000. Centers with three or more classrooms open can receive $3,000. Applications for the stipend will be available on Monday, March 30, 2020, to providers through their local Child Care Resource & Referral agency. IDHS will continue to monitor the need for expanded child care options and to gather input on provider’s needs for additional resources, and will continue to respond to these needs over the coming weeks.
Illinois Department of Correction
Q: As the reported cases of Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) inmates and staff with COVID-19 rise, what is the state doing with regards to admissions at IDOC facilities?
A: Per Executive Order 13, all admissions to IDOC from all Illinois county jails are suspended, with exceptions at the sole discretion of the Director of IDOC for limited essential transfers. The Director of IDOC will work closely with county Sheriffs and other partners to discuss any potential exceptions that may be necessary.
Q: What should I do if the unemployment website at Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) keeps crashing and does not allow me to file for unemployment?
A: In order to process the extremely high volume of unemployment benefit claims due to COVID-19, IDES has implemented the following schedule for those filing claims online and over the phone:
• Online Filing Schedule
o Those with last names beginning with letters A-M will be asked to file their claims on Sundays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays.
o Those with last names beginning with letters N-Z will be asked to file their claims on Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays.
o Saturdays will be available for anyone to accommodate those who could not file during their allotted window.
• Call Center Filing Schedule
o Those with last names beginning with letters A-M will be asked to call on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 7:30am – 6pm.
o Those with last names beginning with letters N-Z will be asked to call on Mondays and Wednesdays between 7:30am – 6pm.
o Fridays (7:30am – 6pm) will be available for anyone to accommodate those who could not file during their allotted window.
The day or time of day in which a claim is filed will not impact whether you receive benefits or your benefit amount. Additionally, claims will be back-dated to reflect the date in which a claimant was laid-off or let go from their job due to COVID-19.
Note: The days in which you can file a claim may be different from the days in which you are asked to certify.
Q: What is the unemployment rate and what is the impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
A: While the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate fell -0.1 percentage point to 3.4 percent, a new record low, the state is responding to a surge of unemployment claims in March due to the impacts of COVID-19, which will likely impact the numbers on a continuous basis. IDES reported that March unemployment rates to date are 133,763.
Q: Are cell phone kiosks located within a store such as Walmart or Costco considered essential?
A: If the store is open, the cell phone kiosk can be open as well. It is considered essential under Section 12(n) of the Executive Order 10. However, employees absolutely should not be reporting to work if they had contact with someone who is positive for COVID- 19; that would put everyone at the store, and all employees at risk. Employees should maintain proper social distancing and have the ability to wash or sanitize hands and take other precautions as suggested by the CDC and IDPH.
If you believe your business is nonessential but are still being asked to show up to work, you may discuss with your employer. Businesses and employees with questions can call the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-252-2923 or email CEO.email@example.com.
Parks and Recreation
Q: Even though state parks are closed, is hunting still permitted since it requires little to no contact with another individual?
A: Presently, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has cancelled all upcoming scheduled events at state sites including, but not limited to, hunting and fishing on state-managed or owned sites while state parks, fish and wildlife areas, recreational areas and historic sites are closed.
However, hunters and anglers who wish to hunt or fish during the ‘Stay at Home’ order may do so provided they have the appropriate licensing and permits and are hunting or fishing on private property or at sites which are currently open to the public. We ask our hunters and anglers to help their fellow outdoorsmen and women by following all public health directives, including staying at least six feet away from other sportsmen and staying home if they’re exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19.
Q: Will I get refunded for my hunting license?
A: The current administrative rules prohibit the issuance of refunds or transfer of permits. We understand the problems these stipulations create for our sportsmen and women and are reviewing all possible solutions.
Q: Are golf courses considered essential businesses?
A: All golf course operations, including the golf course itself, have been determined to be non-essential in accordance with EO 2020-10, specifically with reference to Section 1 (3). Copied below is a link to the Department’s Essential Business FAQ where you fill find guidance related to the question of golf courses as well as a number of other questions and issues related to issue of what an essential business is. https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/Documents/Essential%20Business%20FAQ.pdf
Financial AssistanceQ: Why do the small business financial relief programs offered through the state only target collar counties and downstate?
A: The City of Chicago has launched its own $100 million Small Business Resiliency Loan Fund. In addition, Cook County announced a $35 million economic relief package for Cook County residents and businesses, including waiving various County fines, fees and deferring tax collections. The Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund seeks to meet a similar need as the City’s and County’s programs for businesses located in the Chicago suburbs and the rest of Illinois.
The Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program is funded through repurposed federally funded Community Development Block Grant funds (CDBG). The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) only has the ability to make grants from these funds to non-entitlement communities as determined by Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Those receiving annual funding from HUD on an entitlement (formula) basis are not eligible for the State’s CDBG funding.
Also, the Office of Community Development is working with our regional HUD office and other CDBG entitlement areas (including Chicago) to provide them information and support to set up programs similar to the one that uses our CDBG funds.
Q: The Governor proposed the hospitality emergency grant program which Chicago businesses can apply for, but are there other state relief options for Chicago-based businesses outside the hospitality industry?
A: The Governor’s office and DCEO have coordinated with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to ensure small businesses from every county and nearly every industry are eligible to apply for low-interest coronavirus disaster assistance loans of up to $2 million from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund and the Chicago Small Business Resiliency Loan Fund are available for small business that have less than 50 employees and made less than $3 million in revenue in 2019. In addition, the Governor announced the extension of the deadline to file income taxes for businesses through the state to July 15, 2020.
Q: Will there be targeted assistance for businesses in Cook County who face higher property taxes?
A: DCEO is discussing with municipal governments across the state, including within suburban Cook County, about partnering to ensure that the Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund offers the assistance that business owners in communities across the state need.
• To view the initiatives the City of Chicago has implemented to assist business owners in the city, visit the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP).
• Cook County also announced a set of fee and fine waivers and tax collection delays. For more information visit: https://www.cookcountyil.gov/sites/default/files/service/covid-19-financial-relief-package.pdf
Q: For the business loan programs, when does the six-month repayment plan start?
A: The repayment will start six months after entering into the loan agreement.
Q: Are individuals obligated to attend in person any legal witnessing such as getting documents notarized or witnessing signing a will?
A: Per Executive Order 14, any act of witnessing required by Illinois law may be completed remotely by via two-way audio-video communication technology provided certain requirements are met. Please refer to the Executive Order 14 for further guidance.