Governor’s Office Daily COVID-19 Q & A
March 23, 2020
Helplines and Webpages
• For all current resources available, please visit coronavirus.illinois.gov
• For inquiries regarding PPE donations for medical personnel and first responders, please contact PPE.donations@Illinois.gov
• If someone wants to manufacture PPE in Illinois, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org (Illinois Manufacturing Association)
• If someone wants to volunteer, please contact email@example.com
• For business related inquiries regarding the “Stay at Home” Executive Order 10, SBA loans, and essential business operations please contact 1-800-252-2923 or CEO.firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also visit https://disasterloan.sba.gov.
• The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has developed a list of resources for Illinois licensees and consumers impacted by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Visit: https://www.idfpr.com/COVID-19.asp.
• If you have a question about unemployment insurance or are unable to file, please call Claimant Services at (800) 244-5631.
• If you have a question about business insurance coverage, please contact the Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI). An online complaint can be filed here: https://mc.insurance.illinois.gov/messagecenter.nsf.
• If you feel sick or are concerned about infection please visit http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/coronavirus/personal-guidance-and-testing
• For resources for people with disabilities, please visit www.DDD.Illinois.gov.
• For school related inquires visit https://www.isbe.net/covid19
Q: Can retired medical practitioners return to active practice?
A: The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) is allowing Illinois physicians, nurses, physician assistants, and respiratory care therapists whose license status is inactive, non-renewed, or expired that also satisfy an additional set of specific criteria to restore their licenses temporarily during this pandemic. For more information, and to view the applications for each profession, visit: https://idfpr.com/News/2020/2020%2003%2023%20Health%20Care%20Professionals%20Press%20Release.pdf.
Q: Will there be additional services and support (aside from the current recommendation to isolate) for those people who are at high risk because of underlying medical conditions but are not senior citizens? Can their current unemployment or disability benefits be extended to long-term?
A: As of now, there is no program in place to extend the duration of benefits a claimant can receive past the 2- week mark. For benefits to be extended beyond that mark would take Congressional action.
Q: What are Rapid Response Services?
A: Rapid Response Services are available to employers who are planning or have gone through a permanent closure or mass layoff, or a natural or other disaster, that results in mass job dislocation. The State Dislocated Worker Unit coordinates with employers to provide information to workers and employers about employment and retraining services designed to help participants retain employment when feasible or obtain re-employment as soon as possible. For more information, visit Rapid Response Services for Businesses or contact your local Illinois work Net Center.
Q: How much can a person receive in unemployment benefits? How long do the benefits last?
A: An individual’s benefit amount is based on their recent income. The maximum benefit amount is $484 per week. Those who have a qualifying dependent receive an additional amount. Benefits are paid for up to 26 weeks. If the federal government approves an extension, recipients will be notified.
*UPDATE* Q: What actions are taken to address the high volume of calls at IDES claims services line? A: IDES hired additional staff and expanded their business hours to vulture the extremely high volume of calls. The caller is advised to try their call again if they get a busy signal. When the call gets through, there will be an average wait of 20-30 minutes before they speak to a specialist.
Q: Besides impact of lower sales volumes, will local municipalities see a reduction or delay in sales tax monies remitted from the state?
A: There is no expected delay due to workforce changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the recent sales tax relief provided to eating and drinking establishments will delay collections from those businesses, which translates into a delay in distributions of those sales tax revenues to local governments.
The recent decrease in fuel prices will result in a reduction in sales tax revenues from this commodity, which may negatively impact distributions to local governments.
Q: Will employers who provide paid sick leave receive financial assistance such as tax credits or other relief?
A: Currently, there are no specific Illinois tax credits for paid sick leave. Creating such a credit would require legislation. However, to the extent those expenses can be deducted federally, they would NOT be included in a taxpayer’s Illinois base income.
Q: Are printing companies in Illinois are considered essential businesses?
A: Per Executive Order 10, printing companies are considered essential businesses as stated in the “Media” section. Companies can call DCEO’s helpline 1-800-252-2923 or CEO.email@example.com to determine whether their business is deemed essential or if they must comply with EO-10.
Q: Does the Executive Order 10 allow for the continuation of private commercial construction during the Declaration of Emergency?
A: Executive Order 10 makes allowances for public works and housing construction. Companies can call the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s (DCEO) helpline 1-800-252-2923 or CEO.firstname.lastname@example.org to determine whether their business deemed essential or if they must comply with Executive Order-10.
Q: Is there guidance for diabetic employees (vulnerable to the current situation) who may be required to come into work?
A: Per, Executive Order 10, people at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19, including elderly people and those with preexisting conditions, are urged to stay in their residences to the extent possible unless to seek urgent medical care. Nothing in the Executive Order prevents the Illinois Department of Public Health from issuing and enforcing isolation and quarantine orders Pursuant to the Department of Public Health Act, 20 ILCS 2305.
Q: Do Pest Control companies fall under sanitation for residences and, therefore, be considered “essential”?
A: Yes, Pest Control companies would fall under the public health exemption. Necessary precautions such as social distancing and sanitization of equipment should be practiced and can be found here. Companies can call DCEO’s helpline 1-800-252-2923 or CEO.email@example.com to determine whether their business deemed essential or if they must comply with
Q: Does the Governor’s address stating, “if you can work from home, you must” apply to essential businesses, like a manufacturing facility, that has office staff with the capabilities to work from home?
A: To minimize the spread of COVID-19, it is recommended that employees of essential businesses are sent home if they are able to work from home. If the essential business requires the employees to stay at work, the business should ensure they follow social distancing requirements such as maintaining at least six-foot distancing from each other, washing their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap/water, and regularly sanitizing the work area. More information on necessary precautions can be found here. Employees can also call DCEO’s helpline 1-800-252-2923 or CEO.firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about business guidelines.
Q: Is a maintenance company that serves several businesses that remain open, considered an essential business?
A: Companies can call DCEO’s helpline 1-800-252-2923 or CEO.email@example.com to determine whether their business deemed essential or if they must comply with Executive Order-10.
Q: Is a car wash considered an essential business or related facility?
A: Executive Order-10 states that gas stations and auto-supply, auto-repair, businesses are essential. Companies can call DCEO’s helpline 1-800-252-2923 or CEO.firstname.lastname@example.org to determine whether their business deemed essential or if they must comply with Executive Order-10.
Q: Where can small business owners whose mortgage, utilities, etc. that are not on hold access financial aid?
A: The Department of Economic Development and Opportunity has information on small business loans. Please visit https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/SmallBizAssistance/Pages/Coronavirus-Disease-2019-(COVID-19)-Information-for-Small-Business.aspx.
Q: Can the state move up payments during the period of the pandemic to ensure cash flow to immigrant service providers that keep home care workers in place to assist the elderly?
A: Per Executive Order 10, home health service providers are considered essential employees. Funding for these services should not be affected.
Q: Where can businesses find information regarding cleaning bathrooms, shower houses & rental cabins on campgrounds?
A: Please visit the Illinois Department of Public Health for guidance on business sanitation.
Q: Are airports in Illinois screening new arrivals from other countries?
A: In select major airports across the U.S., the CDC has implemented screening procedures for passengers arriving from international destinations. According to the CDC, individuals should self-isolate for 14 days once they arrive home. If they begin to show symptoms, they should call their healthcare provider and inquire about their candidacy for testing. In an emergency situation, patients should call ahead to emergency rooms so that they can prepare for the patient’s arrival.
Q: Are individuals who are in other states allowed to return to their residence with the mandatory shelter in place?
A: Yes, the stay-at-home order does not keep individuals from returning to their homes as it is considered essential travel. Visit coronavirus.illinois.gov for the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19. It includes resources for providers, travel guidance, how to limit community spread, etc.
Q: Does the Stay-at-Home order include travel for non-custodial parents?
A: Executive Order 10 permits travel across state lines for essential purposes, including taking care of children and other relatives.