Governor’s Office Daily COVID-19 Q & A
April 6, 2020
Q: Are dual-credit courses still being taught?
A: For courses taught by either a high school instructor or college instructor, the class must be moved to an online platform and students should still receive credit for that course. For additional information, please review here: https://www.ibhe.org/pdf/Joint_Dual_Credit_Guidance_During_Suspension_of_In-Person_Instruction-IBHE_%20ICCB_%20ISBE%203.27.2020.pdf
Q: Can there be a waiver from Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to allow driver education behind the wheel course to continue? Private drivers ed facilities are continuing but there are students who must complete driving hours and are unable to.
A: The classroom portion of a driver education program may be completed through remote/distance learning, but the 6-hour behind the wheel portion of driver education programs must be suspended for the duration of the mandatory suspension of in-person instruction. At this time, the permit test is not able to be taken online.
Q: Where can I report employers that I believe have unsafe conditions due to COVID-19?
A: If you believe your working conditions are unsafe or unhealthful, you may file a complaint with the entity appropriate to your employer type:
• For private sector employers (e.g. gas station, manufacturer, retail, restaurant, etc.)
o FEDERAL OSHA: Private Sector Complaint Form.
o Attorney General’s Office: (844) 740-5076 or submit a complaint online.
• For State and local government employers (e.g. public works departments, police and fire departments, State of Illinois offices and agencies).
o ILLINOIS OSHA: State and Local Government Complaint Form.
Q: What are my employee rights if my employer has not closed due to COVID-19?
A: Illinois is an “employment at-will” state, meaning that an employer or employee may terminate the relationship at any time, without any reason or cause. The employer, however, cannot discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, marital status, physical or mental handicap, military service or unfavorable military discharge. For more information, visit the Illinois Department of Human Rights.
In this particular situation, staying home over concern about COVID-19, an employee may be able to use sick leave or vacation time to be away from work. However, the employee would need to consult with the employer for approval of such leave time.
Q: What protections does an employee have if they suffer retaliation for using their paid sick leave?
A: The law prohibits retaliation against an employee who uses personal sick leave benefits to care for a relative as described above. Furthermore, an employer may not discriminate against an employee for filing a complaint alleging a violation of the Act with the Department of Labor. If the employer is subject to the Families First Coronavirus Act (FFCRA) and denies paid leave, the employee may contact 1-866-4US-WAGE (1-866-487-9243). The U.S. Department of Labor Wage & Hour Division is responsible for administering and enforcing the FFCRA provisions.
For more information on workers’ rights visit the Department of Labor website.
Essential Business Compliance
Q: Are power washing businesses permitted?
A: Power washing businesses are considered essential. The business assists with sanitation of structures for owners. For business inquiries please contact DCEO at 1-800-252-2923 or CEO.email@example.com.
Q: Are moving companies considered essential?
A: Per Executive Order 10 and as extended by Executive Order 18, moving companies are essential business as they fall under Section 12(i) as shipping, delivery, and pick-up services. For more guidance, please contact DCEO at 1-800-252-2923 or CEO.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Are libraries considered essential?
A: As most libraries are a function of government, Executive Order 10, as extended by Executive Order 18, leaves it up to each governmental body to determine what governmental functions are essential. Libraries should confirm with their municipality whether they are required to close. Libraries that remain open should practice safe social distancing or limit interactions with the public. For more guidance, please contact DCEO at 1-800-252-2923 or CEO.email@example.com.
Q: Will the Governor consider closing rest stops to everyone except commercial truck drivers?
A: Rest stops will remain open. Janitorial contractors are continuing to clean and disinfect rest stops, and if there are issues with those contractors, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) can deploy Highway Maintainers to help clean while a replacement vendor is located.
Q: Why are store employees not wearing face masks?
A: The CDC does recommend wearing a masks, however it is not mandatory. The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. These specific masks are critical health supplies and must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.
Q: Are Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), Rural Health Clinics, etc. included in the waiver approval to allow providers to provide services at other locations like a mobile site or location in the community?
A: Under the Telehealth Executive Order 9, a distant site refers to the location of the healthcare practitioner providing the telehealth services. The enrolled practitioner providing services within the scope of their license or applicable certification may do so without any geographic or facility restrictions for the services delivered via telehealth. A federally qualified health center and rural clinics are included in the definition of distant sites under the order.
Department of Humans Services
Q: Is DHS implementing tele-therapy for Early Intervention services?
A: The Illinois Part C Early Intervention (EI) Teletherapy service delivery model has been created and the final steps are being finished to implement this week. The Illinois Telehealth workgroup members developed Guidance (policy/procedure) and Training for the implementation and practice of the first-ever Illinois EI Teletherapy. Tele-therapy will be live Monday night and can start once appointments are scheduled. Providers are encouraged to begin communicating with families in preparation of engaging them and preparing them for this option for EI services.
Q: Where can I view services offered by the Department of Human Services (DHS) to those impacted by the COVID-19 crisis?
A: The majority of DHS local offices remain closed as they do their part to flatten the curve. To learn more about DHS services call toll free at 1-833-234-6343 or click here. Those who wish to sign up for benefits or manage existing benefits should visit: https://abe.illinois.gov/abe/access/.
Q: How can customers of the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) within IDHS get help or information on services while DRS offices are closed?
A: Existing or prospective customers can call 1-877-581-3690 to receive assistance regarding DRS programs and services that are designed to allow those with disabilities throughout the state to live, learn, and work independently. These services include in-home services, assistive technology, vocational and occupational rehabilitation, educational services for individuals with all types of disabilities, including Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing Illinoisans, Blind people, and people with low vision, along with other supports.
This new toll-free number provides customers with another avenue to stay in touch with their local DRS office for service-related questions. By offering customers the ability to connect at 1-877-581-3690, the DRS vocational rehabilitation and home services program staff can get people with disabilities the important services they need.
Q: Is the Census still happening during the COVID-19 outbreak?
A: Yes, you can visit My2020census.gov to complete the census online call 1-844-803-2020 or text 789 789 with any questions.