ALL 11 Illinois regions move to Mitigations Tier 3 Starting November 20th 2020. With COVID-19 spread now exponential in every region of the state, our statewide positivity rate at record highs and hospitalizations already surpassing our Spring peak, all 11 regions will move into Tier 3 effective November 20, 2020 at 12:01am. Mitigation Plan Tier 3
The new mitigation requirements to combat the surge of COVID-19 across Illinois are as follows:
School districts and local officials should follow extensive guidance released by IDPH and ISBE in August and make decisions related to in-person and remote learning at the local level, based on the unique needs of their communities.
Retail (including service counters)
Operate at no more than 25% capacity, including general merchandise stores, "big box" stores that offer groceries and pharmacy, and convenience stores
Grocery stores and pharmacies may operate at up to 50% capacity
Encourage delivery or curbside pickup options wherever possible
When in-store shopping is necessary, promote efficient trips and consistent circulation
Personal Care Service
Operate at lesser of 25 clients or 25% capacity
Face coverings must be worn at all times by clients and service providers
Suspend services where a face covering cannot be worn (e.g. facials, beard trims)
Physical, occupational and massage therapy allowed as deemed necessary by a medical provider, but appointments must be spaced by a minimum of 15 minutes and facilities should take steps to sanitize and circulate clean air through service rooms before and after each service
Virtual consultations recommended
Health and Fitness Centers
Operate at no more than 25% capacity
No indoor group classes
Face coverings must be worn at all times, including while engaged in individual exercise regardless of person or machine spacing
Locker room areas should be closed
Hotel room occupancy should be limited to registered guests only, with the maximum allowance being the number of individuals permissible per existing fire code for each applicable guest room
Fitness centers should be closed, or operated only on a reservation model, with capacity limited to 25% of the maximum occupancy for the room.
Grab and go food allowed
Event and meeting space closed
Additional COVID training for all employees required even if previous training occurred
Operators should coordinate with IDPH to implement testing protocols and contact tracing, upon request, consistent with available testing supplies
All employees must wear face coverings at all times unless eating or drinking. Exemptions only for safety purposes.
Only manufacturing staff and key personnel allowed in facilities. Non-production employees must work remotely. Non-essential staff and visitors are not permitted. Exemptions only for critical equipment repairs, supply deliveries and safety reasons (“critical visitors”).
All critical visitors must have an Employee Health and Safety (EHS)-approved risk-assessment done in advance, including travel history, tracking, and temperature check prior to entrance.
Implement additional workstation realignment when feasible
Stagger and space shifts, and designate shift entrances and exits (when possible) to minimize interactions of employees across unique shift groupings
Station sanitation required at beginning and ending of shifts
Operators must suspend covid-related incentive pay and promote staying home when sick or showing symptoms
Implement temporary leave policies to accommodate workers who are sick
Develop and implement safety protocols for employee travel vans to promote spacing, require face coverings, temperature checks, air circulation, and vehicle sanitization.
Bars and Restaurants
All bars and restaurants close at 11pm and may reopen no earlier than 6am the following day
No indoor service
All bar and restaurant patrons should be seated at tables outside
No ordering, seating, or congregating at bar (bar stools should be removed)
Tables should be 6 feet apart
No standing or congregating outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting
No dancing or standing indoors
No tables exceeding 6 people
Reservations required for each party
No seating of multiple parties at one table
Indoor gaming terminals must suspend operations
Includes private clubs and country clubs
Meetings, social events and gatherings (including weddings, potlucks, etc.)
Limit in home gatherings to household members
Meeting rooms, banquet centers, private party rooms, private clubs and country clubs may not host gatherings
No party buses
Funerals are limited to 10 family members of the decedents, not including staff, see IDPH guidance
All employees who can work remotely should work remotely.
Organized group recreational activities (sports, indoor sports and activity facilities, etc.)
Pause all indoor group sporting and recreational activities including youth and adult recreational sports, individual training may remain (with facility reservation)
Includes park districts and travel leagues
Outdoor sports and recreation allowed
Participant groups and practices outdoors limited to 10 persons or less with social distancing
Face coverings required for all activities at all times
Locker rooms should be closed
Indoor recreation, theaters, cultural Institutions (e.g. casinos, bowling, arcades, movie theaters, museums and zoos)
Gaming and casinos close
Indoor recreation centers, including theaters, performing arts centers and indoor museums and amusement centers close
Live streaming of performances encouraged with social distancing of performers and minimum operational staff
Outdoor activities allowed at 25% capacity or less
Outdoor group activities limited to 10 persons or less, participants/guests must wear face coverings at all times
Reservations required for each guest for outdoor activities
Round 2: A $220 million second round of BIG aims to provide relief for all types of small businesses, but with a particular focus on businesses downstate, in disproportionately impacted areas (DIAs), and for heavily impacted industry and regions – representing businesses that have been unable to reopen or operating at a severely diminished capacity since the spring. The second wave of funds includes the following provisions to ensure a wide distribution of funds geographically and across business type:
Heavily Impacted Industries - $60 million for heavily distressed industries, such as movie theatres, performing arts venues, concert venues, indoor recreation, amusement parks, and more.
Disproportionately Impacted Areas - $70 million set aside for DIAs, defined by zip codes identified by the General Assembly for communities that are most economically distressed and vulnerable to COVID-19. A map of DIAs is shown below.
Downstate Communities– DCEO has committed to ensuring that at least half of all remaining funds, totaling more than $100 million, are reserved for businesses in downstate and rural communities of Illinois.
Priority Businesses– Apart from the $60 million for heavily impacted industries, applications from the following types of businesses will be prioritized for review for remaining funds: businesses directly affected by regional mitigations implemented by the state or local governments, independently owned retail, tourism- and hospitality-related industries including accommodations, and more.
Agriculture - $5 million of the remainder of funds will be set aside for livestock production disruptions. Applications will be available in the coming weeks from the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
Grants and Loan Forgiveness for Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan recipients - As authorized by the General Assembly, DCEO will offer grants for businesses that have incurred eligible costs to offset loans received under the Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan program. This round of loan forgiveness and grants will go to businesses that have received loans or remain on the wait list and the program will sunset going forward as DCEO and its partners focus on making BIG awards.
Businesses outside the categories listed above are also eligible to apply and receive funding under the program but may be reviewed later than priority businesses. All businesses will receive a decision on their grant application within four to six weeks of application submission.
BIG Application, Tips, Q&A (English) September 23, 2020 - 10AM (Register here)
BIG Application, Tips, Q&A (Spanish) September 23, 2020 - 11AM (Register here)
Additional Grant Resources
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker on June 17 joined members of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucuses of the state legislature and small business owners to announce a package of more than $900 million in state grant programs to support communities and businesses impacted by the pandemic and recent civil unrest. The package funded more than 10 programs and four state agencies to help working families and small businesses who have been hit the hardest by Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic’s economic impact, which was compounded by recent property damage and civil unrest. To ensure families and businesses receive ongoing support to maintain their livelihoods, the new package of grant programs operate with equity requirements, ensuring that disproportionately impacted areas (DIA) receive their fair share of support. EMERGENCY RENTAL/MORTGAGE ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS
DISTRESSED CAPITAL PROGRAM The IDCEO’s new economic recovery program will provide $25 million to support Illinois businesses that have sustained property damage as a result of civil unrest during the recent protests and demonstrations on or after May 25, 2020.
The Distressed Capital Program will reimburse the costs to repair structural damages, including repairs to storefronts and entrances, improving electrical systems, and restoring exterior work.
The program will prioritize small businesses, women and minority-owned businesses, underinsured or uninsured businesses, businesses that have a high community impact – such as grocery stores – and businesses in communities that have experienced historic disinvestment.
The Rebuild Distressed Communities NOFO will solicit applications from regional and local organizations that will perform outreach, coordinate local qualified vendors, and provide funds to cover the cost of repairs and building improvements for businesses in their region. The Distressed Capital Program also includes provisions to ensure BEP-certified contractors, including minority- and women-owned businesses, are the first in line to do the repair work.
IDCEO will invite applications for the Distressed Capital Program with a NOFO made available on Monday, June 22. POVERTY ALLEVIATION STRATEGIES
Updated Guidelines During Phase 4 Restaurants & Bars
NEW: Patron should wear face coverings over their nose and mouth when approached and serviced by establishment employees, including but not limited to when employees take patron orders, deliver food and beverages, and service tables, whether dining indoor or outdoor.
NEW: Patrons should wear face coverings over their nose and mouth when picking up carry out orders. Encouraged Best Practices
NEW: Patrons should be encouraged to wear face coverings over their nose and mouth when picking up food at a drive-thru window.
For a complete overview of the updated guidelines click here.
Restore Illinois - Phase 4 Guidelines
Illinois entered phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan on June 30th 2020.
To prepare businesses and employers to implement new and updated safety guidelines in Phase 4, the State of Illinois has developed this business toolkit complete with signage, posters, and other resources to ensure business and activities are conducted in accordance with the latest public health recommendations.
Overview of the phase 4 changes can be found here.
Industry specific tool kits and guidelines can be found here.
The State of Illinois Releases Industry-Specific Guidelines to Ensure Safe Reopening During Phase 3
On Sunday May 24th, Governor JB Pritzker released new industry-specific guidelines to allow for a safe re-opening of businesses as the state progresses into the next phase of the Restore Illinois plan. All four regions of the state are expected to advance to Phase 3 of the plan in the coming days. Phase 3 is expected to see many businesses reopen across the state and hundreds of thousands of workers back to work.
A program to support DuPage County small businesses and independent contractors impacted by COVID-19. In an effort to assist small businesses and independent contractors impacted by COVID-19, DuPage County in conjunction with Choose DuPage is providing grants to use for employee retention payroll, utilities, and rent.
CRITERIA Small businesses with fewer than 15 full-time employees and less than $1.5 million in annual revenue may apply for a grant up to $15,000. Independent contractors with more than 50% of their annual income coming from 1099 work, and an annual income of less than $100,000 may apply for a grant up to $7,500.
Businesses and contractors that have received other funds intended for this purpose (i.e. PPP, EIDL) are not eligible. Additionally, no member of the DuPage County Board or the Chairman, Choose DuPage Board, members of the grant decision committee, or the immediate family members thereof shall be eligible for this grant.
For further information about this program and to see if you qualify please visit: Choose DuPage
An informational webinar will be held on Friday May 15th @ 11 a.m To register click here: Informational Webinar
“Stay at Home” Extension Gov. Pritzker’s current “Stay at Home” Executive Order will expire after April 30 and his new EO will take effect on May 1 and run through May 31.
Face Coverings Beginning on May, individuals will be required to wear a face-covering or mask when in a public place where six feet of social distancing can’t be maintain and in public indoor spaces, including stores. This new requirement applies to all individuals over the age of two who are able to medically tolerate a face-covering or mask.
New Essential Businesses Greenhouses, garden centers and nurseries may re-open as essential businesses, as can animal grooming businesses. Social distancing requirements must be maintained and both employees and their customers are required to wear a face-covering.
Non-Essential Retail Retail store not currently designated as essential businesses may re-open to fulfill telephone on online orders through pick-up outside the store and for delivery.
Essential Businesses and Manufacturing Essential businesses and manufacturers will be required to provide face-coverings to all employees who are unable to maintain six feet of social distancing, along with following new requirements that maximize social distancing and prioritize the well-being of employees and customers, including occupancy limits and precautions such as staggered shifts and operation of only essential lines for manufacturers.
Schools While to closed, educational institutions may allow and establish procedures for pick-up pf necessary supplies or student belongings. Resident hall move-outs must follow public health guidelines, including social distancing.
Health Care The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) also will be issuing guidelines to surgi-centers and hospitals to allow for certain elective surgeries for non-life-threatening conditions, starting on May 1. Facilities will need to comply with certain criteria, including proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), testing of elective surgery patients to ensure COVID-19 negative status and ensuring enough overall space remains available for COVID-19 patients.
Outdoor Recreation State parks will begin a phased re-opening under the guidance of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). Fishing and boating of no more than two people will be permitted. Golfing will be permitted under strict safety guidelines provided by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (IDCEO) and when social distancing is ensured. Small Business PPP Relief Refunding The $484 billion in new federal relief funding includes $310 billion to replenish PPP—which exhausted $349 billion in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Stability (CARES) Act in only two weeks—$75 billion for hospitals, $25 billion for COVID-19 testing and additional monies for the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program.
Congressional Democrats also are pushing for a fifth piece of legislation to provide federal relief to states and cities, and chambers of commerce, business and trade associations and other Internal Revenue Service (IRS)-designated 501(c)(6) not-for-profit organizations not eligible for PPP funding in the CARES Act or the newly-appropriated bill.
Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) and Representative Mike Quigley (D-Illinois 5th District) are part of the Illinois Congressional delegation supporting additional federal relief.