Today, Governor JB Pritzker‘s briefing focused on bending the curve utilizing hospitalization rates and ventilator data. The Governor noted the doubling rate – the number of days it takes to double case-counts, hospitalizations, or deaths – have increased substantially. On March 22nd the doubling-rate was 2 days. On April 1st is was 3.6 days; and yesterday, April 12th, it was 8.2 days. The mortality rate in early April was 2.5 days. Today it is 5.5 days. The Governor stated that there is a clear deceleration and Illinois is bending the curb. However, the Governor also noted that hospitalization data has increased to 4, 283 today meaning we are not out of the proverbial woods.
The Governor re-emphasized that re-opening requires test, trace and treat and that the necessary components are not currently available.
The Governor has repeatedly expressed his opposition to delaying the July 1st minimum wage increase from $9.25 to $10.00. During a daily briefing, the Governor even stated the minimum wage increase was needed now more than ever. In response, IRMA organized a letter from a large variety of organizations representing impacted employees. The letter was also provided to the four legislative leaders and their chiefs-of-staff. You may read the letter here.
SOCIAL DISTANCING EDUCATION CAMPAIGN
Yesterday, IRMA launched a statewide radio consumer education campaign on tips for shopping safely. The tips include to wear a cloth face covering, stay at least 6-feet away from the nearest person, bring no more than one or two members of the family to the store, and, when possible, avoid using cash. As Governor Pritzker has noted several times, businesses are doing all they can and they need consumers to do their part. The press release announcing the educational effort can be found here. You can listen to the ads here.
As noted yesterday, in a surprise move, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission voted to authorize an emergency rule creating a rebuttable presumption that an employee who comes down with COVID-19 is presumed to have caught the virus at work and it casually related to work. This makes it extremely difficult for employers to defend against claims. Further, the process may have violated the Open Meetings Act and made a change by rule that can only be changed by statute.
ILLINOIS COVID-19 IMPACT UPDATE
Dr. Ngozi Ezike, MD, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health announced 1,222 new cases in Illinois, including 74 additional deaths. Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 23,247 cases, to date, including 868 deaths, in 88 of Illinois’ 102 counties. Additional information can be found here. COVID-19 stats by zip code will be available here.