Governor’s Office Daily COVID-19 Q & A
March 26, 2020
Helplines and Webpages
General Resources: visit coronavirus.illinois.gov
• Donations: PPE.donations@Illinois.gov
• To Manufacture PPE in Illinois: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Essential Business inquiries: contact 1-800-252-2923 or CEO.email@example.com
• IL Small Business Assistance: email CEO.firstname.lastname@example.org (DCEO) or click here.
• Federal Small Business loans visit: https://disasterloan.sba.gov.
• Business insurance coverage: https://mc.insurance.illinois.gov/messagecenter.nsf.
• IDFPR list of licensees and consumers impacted by COVID-19 visit: https://www.idfpr.com/COVID-19.asp
• 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, click here.
• Resources for people with disabilities, please visit www.DDD.Illinois.gov.
• 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 email@example.com
Q: Can you provide a comprehensive list of all the drive-through testing sites?
A: The Governor’s Office will continue to provide updates as drive-thru testing sites are established. All four mobile testing sites operate under Health and Human Services (HHS) criteria, which prioritize healthcare workers and first responders. These locations are not open to the general public. As availability allows, testing criteria may be expanded beyond this initial pilot program. The sites are:
• 6959 W. Forest Preserve Road, Chicago
• Walmart: 137 East North Avenue, Northlake
• Walmart: 2424 West Jefferson, Joliet
• Walgreens: 695 West Boughton Road, Bolingbrook
Q: Are agencies that house disabilities allowed to practice time shift rotations, which require employees to shift from a day shift to a night shift and vice versa? What are agencies doing to ensure staff at facilities aren’t transferring the virus?
A: All employees working in Intermediate Care Facilities (ICF)/ facilities and Community Integrated Living Arrangement (CILAs) follow DPH guidelines to ensure residents remain safe. The Department of Human Services (DHS) is conducting health screenings at the beginning of each shift change to ensure employees that are coming to work in these facilities, are healthy and not showing symptoms of COVID-19. Please review prevention efforts by state agencies by reviewing the State of Illinois Corona Virus Response Website.
Q: How can we address municipalities that are implementing a “no secondary employment” policy, which prohibits career firefighters with secondary employment (ex: nurses, emergency room technicians, EMT’s, and paramedics) from utilizing their specialized skills to help during this time?
A: Some municipalities are implementing this practice in an effort to help , stop the spread of the virus and prevent essential employees, firefighters, and other first responders from
contracting COVID-19. This issue should be addressed with local government units and discussed among those employees or employers.
Q: What safeguards do we have in place for essential healthcare workers? Are essential personnel being directed to take their temperature before their shifts?
A: Please refer to the Department of Public Health for guidelines practiced by healthcare facilities throughout the state.
Q: Can an out-of-state healthcare providers treat Illinois patients?
A: The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) issued an Out-of-State Temporary Practice Permit for physicians, nurses, physician assistants, and respiratory care therapists to provide care to Illinois residents affected by COVID-19. To apply for an Out-of-State Temporary Practice Permit, click here.
Q: Can an out-of-state medical provider treat an Illinois Medicaid patient and receive reimbursements?
A: The medical provider must be enrolled in an Illinois Medicaid plan and can contract with an Illinois Managed Care plan. Illinois currently has the authority to rely upon provider screening that is performed by other State Medicaid Agencies (SMAs) and/or Medicare. As a result, Illinois is authorized to provisionally, temporarily enroll providers who are enrolled with another SMA or Medicare for the duration of the public health emergency.
Q: Is the state still negotiating with the federal government about aspects not yet specifically approved in the waiver such as, changes to pharmacy benefits and HIPAA?
A: Yes, both the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS), and the Central Management Services (CMS) continue to work on the additional waiver requests that are not reflected in the initial approval letter.
Q: Will Medicaid MCOs honor the suspension of prior authorizations and medical necessity determinations included in the waiver approval for fee-for-service? Are any necessary changes to MCO contracts underway?
A: HFS has instructed the MCOs to mirror the items that have been approved in the waiver and working together on providing guidance on how to operationalize.
Q: Has HFS/DHS suspended Medicaid terminations/renewal processing as required under the federal Families First legislation?
A: HFS has suspended closing Medicaid cases during the emergency period.
Q: What should individuals do if they want to volunteer?
A: Those who want to volunteer with the state can visit this site: serve.illinois.gov or email firstname.lastname@example.org. However, the Department of Public Health (DPH) also suggests residents contact their local health department or hospitals if they want to provide volunteer services. Individuals should use wisdom and should not volunteer if they are not feeling well or are immunocompromised.
Q: Are insurance companies no longer providing coverage for daycares under the disaster proclamation?
A: Day care insurance companies are not dropping coverage for day cares currently insured and now applying for emergency license or operating under the license exempt home day care provision. So, if an Illinois business or person was licensed under normal standards, they can continue under their current insurance policy. However, the insurer cannot guarantee. that a new (not previously licensed) person or business who applies for daycare insurance will be approved for insurance. They would be treated like any other application for insurance.
Q: Will private special education school facilities continue to receive payments from ISBE during the disaster proclamation?
A: All approved special education private facilities will continue to invoice school districts and require school districts to continue to pay the per diem approved by the Illinois Purchased Care Review Board under Section 14-7.02 of the School Code. The rulemaking also provides that the State Board of Education (ISBE) will reimburse school districts for all approved special education private facility expenditures per applicable statutory formula.
Q: Can we streamline the process or allow for external appraisals for Illinois residents that are in the process of refinancing or have had their appraisals delayed due to being in isolation?
A: Per Executive Order 10, professional services, such as legal services, accounting services, insurance services, real estate services (including appraisal and title services) are considered as essential.
Minimum Wage Increase
Q: What will the minimum wage be on July 1, 2020?
A: The statutorily set statewide minimum wage on July 1, 2020 will be $10.00 per hour.
Q: What tax credits are available for small businesses as they implement the minimum wage increase?
A: Employers with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees can claim a credit against their withholding tax liability for increasing employees’ wages to the statutorily required minimum wage. The credit for reporting periods beginning on or after January 1, 2020 and ending on or before December 31, 2020 is equal to 25% of eligible compensation.
Q: What is being done to address the public’s suggestion to require grocery store workers to wear protective masks and gloves, with hand sanitizers available at every lane.
A: The administration is working diligently to expand PPE accessibility and grocery store workers are welcome to utilize those items.
Q: Are garden centers/plant nurseries essential businesses?
A: No. However, stores that sell supplies that assist with either (a) agriculture; or (b) products for landscaping companies to purchase at wholesale can continue to sell those products. Businesses should contact DCEO at 1-800-252-2923 or email CEO.email@example.com for specific inquiries on essential business operations.
Q: What are senior citizens’ rights when it comes to employment termination? Can they be fired for not showing up to work if the company is seen as an essential business?
A: Please contact your employers to discuss extending your self-isolation. For unemployment insurance eligibility and the application process call Claimant Services at (800) 244-5631. If you have questions about whether a business is violating the Stay at Home Order by not allowing for safe social distancing or that it is not maintaining a safe and sanitary work environment to
minimize the risk of spread of COVID-19, please contact the Workplace Rights Bureau of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office at 844-740-5076 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Could you please provide the guidance for businesses facing evictions due to lack of rent payment?
A: Please contact your landlord to work a possible payment plan or the postponement of rent. If that does not work please contact the Attorney General’s office who is investigating COVID-19 evictions claims.