Governor’s Office Daily COVID-19 Q & A
May 15, 2020
Q: When the plan discusses a “gathering,” is it a gathering in the same building or the same room? For example, what if there is a church or center with multiple rooms and there are 10 or less in each room? A: The limit on gatherings is meant to protect from the risk of infection since the more time spent with a person with COVID-19 in close quarters, the more likely it is that the disease will be transmitted, and the more people in a room the higher the risk that someone may have COVID-19. Depending on the size and configuration of a building and its rooms, it is possible that more than one 10-person gathering could occur within a single building (such as school building with many classrooms). However, the guidance remains to keep gatherings to the fewest number possible with social distancing and no more than 10 people in proximity to each other.
Q: Legislators are actively engaged in trying to help people who have issues with the Illinois Department of Unemployment Security (IDES) system and have been reaching out to the department’s liaison and with only one person actively answering legislator questions it takes a few days to receive a response. Has the agency thought about adding additional legislator contacts in regards to constituent unemployment issues?
A: The administration has enlisted additional help from another agency legislative liaison to assist with legislator questions. IDES also has created an email for people who are having difficulties with the unemployment application process. Please email IDES at firstname.lastname@example.org. Individuals should include their claim number and contact information for follow up.
Q: Why is the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) limited to 8 weeks if the hot spots are still closed for business? What is the State of Illinois doing to protect our business and health interests as it relates to the PPP and Covid-19? Please explain the state’s position on this and how they are positioned best to help protect small businesses while also getting Federal support?
A: The Federal CARES Act passed by Congress limits PPP to 8 weeks. You can learn more about the federal PPP parameters by visiting the federal Treasury Department FAQ https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Paycheck-Protection-Program-Frequently-Asked-Questions.pdf. At a state level, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has been working around the clock to provide technical assistance to residents through their First Stop Business Information Center and their Small Business Development Centers. DCEO has had incredible interest in the Federal grant and small business loan programs, and they are working to get those in the hands of businesses as soon as possible. To learn more about the resources available to small businesses at this time, please click here https://dceocovid19resources.com/for-businesses/.
To read more about the Governor’s plan for safely reopening our state, Restore Illinois, please click here https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/sfc/servlet.shepherd/document/download/069t000000BadS0AAJ?operationContext=S1.