A few moments ago, Governor JB Pritzker completed his daily briefing and he was joined by Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul.
The Governor opened by expressing his condolences to the family of the first COVID-19 related death in Illinois. A female patient in Chicago in her 60’s with underlying conditions. On behalf of its members, IRMA joins the Governor in extending our condolences to the family of the victim.
The Governor clarified his comments yesterday regarding restaurant closings. As IRMA worked out with Governor’s Office, restaurants can provide ready-to-eat meals via curb-side, drive-through, take-out and delivery. This info-graph provides an easy explanation. Additionally, the Governor’s Executive Order made it clear. The Governor recommended that customers contact their favorite contacting restaurants individually to see what is available. The Governor’s Administration noted that several large restaurant delivery companies have agreed to suspend charges to restaurants during this time.
The Governor also emphasized that price gouging will not be tolerated (see ‘Price Gouging’ below)
Governor Pritzker noted the actions he has taken to protect citizens including unemployment insurance expansion, utilities agreeing to halt shut-offs, filing waivers with the federal government for medicaid coverage expansion, filing waivers with the federal government to expand SNAP and WIC eligibility, as well as working to protect small employers.
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has secured necessary documentation to file a statewide injury declaration with the Small Business Administration. Once approved, small employers negatively impacted by the COVID pandemic will be able to file for and receive assistance. Filing can be accessed through the DCEO website.
The Governor noted that the prohibition on gatherings of more than 50 people applies to event venues, fitness centers, bowling alleys, theaters, and faith-based events. Grocery stores, pharmacy, hospitals, etc. are not included.
During Q&A, the Governor commented that they are in continual discussions on various scenarios including possible uses for the Illinois National Guard. An example he gave was using the Guard to help deliver groceries in areas of the state where people can’t make it out.
Attorney General Kwame Raoul stated his office has received complaints from consumers around the state of suspected price-gouging particularly on items related to the COVID pandemic. This includes items like face masks, disinfectants sprays, hand sanitizers, wipes and equipment for medical providers have been the most commonly mentioned. AG Raoul strongly urged businesses to refrain from any hint of price-gouging. He mentioned he had been in contact with IRMA on that point – which he has been. They are also offering on-line sales.
He also warned the public to be ignore claims of items being a cure or preventing COVID-19. he noted that at this time such products do not exist. You can read the Attorney General’s press release here.
The Attorney General echoed IRMA’s message and implored people not to hoard. To buy only what they need.