This week has been one of monumental firsts in the history of the State of Illinois and indeed the United States of America. The federal and state governments have taken extraordinary steps that have resulted in the cancellation/suspension of any public gathering of 10 or more people in an attempt to stop the spread of respiratory virus COVID-19.
That has led to the postponement of legislative session, the extension of a temporary closing of public schools until April 8th, suspension of in-person student attendance for classes at colleges and universities, and the mass cancelation of events, church services, and a Friday Executive Order asking Illinoisans to shelter in place and travel only to access essential services.
An immense wave of information has come forth as a result of the steps being taken to stop the spread of COVID-19. Nearly every aspect of life has changed, and Americans are being asked to sacrifice for the greater good. I know that this is not an easy time for working people, business owners, our medical community and first responders, teachers, and parents
In order to try to manage and distribute the overwhelming amount of information and guidance available, House Republican staff has compiled several useful links and graphics covering major topics. I have tried to list them below in a sensible way.
The State of Illinois has developed its own website that houses information and updates on everything have to do with the COVID-19 outbreak. You can visit coronavirus.illinois.gov for updates, statistics, and guidance from the Governor’s office and the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Residents still able to go to grocery stores, pharmacies, banks and gas stations. Restaurants limited to take-out and delivery only.
Today in a effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, Governor Pritzker issued an Executive Order requiring Illinois residents to stay at home except for the purpose of obtaining essential needs. The order goes into effect tomorrow, Saturday, March 21 at 5 p.m. through April 7.
The order directs all residents to remain at their place of residence, except to conduct essential activities.
All businesses, other than essential businesses and essential government functions, are required to cease all operations. All public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single family or living unit are prohibited.
All travel, including but not limited to walking, biking, driving, or taking public transit is prohibited, except to perform essential activities, operate essential businesses, or to maintain essential government functions. Individuals may go on a walk, get exercise, or take a pet outside, as long as at least six feet of social distancing is maintained.
Essential Activities: Individuals may leave their place of residence:
- Tasks essential to maintain health and safety, such as obtaining medicine or seeing a doctor;
- Getting necessary services or supplies for themselves or their family or household members, such as getting food and supplies, pet food, and getting supplies necessary for staying at home;
- Engaging in outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking, or running provided that you maintain at least six feet of social distancing;
- Performing work providing essential services at an essential business or essential government function (defined below);
- Caring for a family member in another household;
- Caring for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons.
Exemptions. Individuals may leave their place of residence to:
Operate an essential business, which includes:
- Healthcare operations, including home health workers;
- Essential Infrastructure, including construction of housing and operation of public transportation and utilities;
- Grocery stores, farmers’ markets, food banks, convenience stores;
- Businesses that provide necessities of life for economically disadvantaged individuals and shelter facilities;
- Pharmacies, health care supply stores, and health care facilities;
- Gas stations and auto repair facilities;
- Garbage collection;
- Hardware stores, plumbers, electricians, and other service providers necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences and other essential businesses;
- Educational institutions, for the purposes of facilitating distance learning;
- Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers;
- Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, and goods directly to residences;
- Childcare facilities providing services that enable essential employees to go to work;
- Roles required for any Essential Business to “maintain basic operations,” which include security, payroll, and similar activities.
Perform an essential government function:
- This includes all services needed to ensure the continuing operation of the government agencies and provide for the health, safety and welfare of the public.
Rep. Windhorst Temporarily Closes Harrisburg District Office – Will Continue to Provide Mobile Constituent Services
HARRISBURG – State Rep. Patrick Windhorst is informing constituents in the 118th district that his office in Harrisburg will temporarily close due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. However, Windhorst’s office will still provide constituent service remotely.
“My office in Harrisburg will be closed to the public effective immediately until further notice,” Windhorst said. “However, constituents may still contact my office by calling 618-294-8703 or emailing Windhorst@ILHouseGOP.org. My staff is on-call to help constituents with any matters relating to state government and the current response to the COVID-19 outbreak.”
Small Businesses impacted by COVID-19 can now apply for low interest loans
March 19, 2020
The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved the state’s eligibility for disaster assistance loans for small businesses facing financial hardship in all 102 counties due to COVID-19. Eligible businesses can apply for up to $2 million in low-interest loans at: https://disasterloan.sba.gov
Residents urged to file price gouging complaints
March 18, 2020
The Illinois Attorney General’s office is investigating unfair pricing on essential items needed to stop the spread of the coronavirus amid a pandemic, including hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and sprays and protective gear.
Illinois residents who are subjected to unfair pricing are urged to file price gouging complaints with the AG’s office.
Online Resources for Home Learning
March 18, 2020
Keeping students engaged in learning, especially in times of uncertainty, is of critical importance. Here a few free online resources that can be sources of activities and inspiration for home learning:
Share My Lesson – More than 420,000 free lesson plans and activities including teacher-curated collections.
The Learning Network – Learning activities for students, including writing prompts, articles, quizzes, and crosswords.
Global Digital Library – Free digital reading resources and educational games for children.
Khan Academy – Free exercises, quizzes, and tests so students can practice and master skills, as well as instructional videos to help students learn or review material.
National Geographic – Free lesson plan ideas and resources including pictures, maps, and videos.
Field Museum – Free lesson plans, games, and more with a focus on science.
IMPORTANT SAFETY GUIDANCE FROM THE ILLINOIS STATE FIRE MARSHAL – DO NOT MIX CERTAIN CLEANING SUPPLIES
Filing for Unemployment:
Listed below is information that may be useful for those who are being temporarily laid off during these times of economic uncertainty. It is important to remember that the IDES system has been overwhelmed at times. If you are not able to process an application the first time you try, please try again at a later time.
Illinois Department of Employment Security Unemployment Insurance Claim Filing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
When and where do I file for benefits?
Your unemployment insurance (UI) claim should be filed once you have become unemployed. We recommend filing for benefits online at www.ides.illinois.gov.
If you have any questions, contact IDES Claimant Services at (800) 244-5631.
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 workNet Center.
Throughout the rest of this crisis, my office will only be offering remote constituent service. You can contact my office staff by emailing Windhorst@ILHouseGOP.org. Please stay safe and heed the warnings from elected officials. Together, we will get through this crisis and emerge stronger than ever. God bless you and your family and may God bless the United States of America and the State of Illinois.