COVID-19

IL Covid-19 Update # 159

By January 29, 2021 No Comments

SUMMARY OF REPORT

1. Unemployment Fraud

2. Vaccine Distribution

3. Regions 8 and 9 Move to Tier 1

4. Mitigation Structure

5. Mitigation Tiers

UNEMPLOYMENT FRAUD

Fraudulent unemployment insurance claims have been an unfortunate result of the pandemic and a persistent problem that continues to plague employees and employers alike. Illinois has been particularly savaged. The fraud has taken many forms and has become highly sophisticated.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) recently issued information guides and new tools to help employees and employers alike combat the attempted fraud.

SIDES

Employers are strongly encouraged to register for the State Information Data Exchange System (SIDES). This system provides an easy, efficient, and secure method of electronically receiving and responding to unemployment insurance Notice of Claims information requests. These notices allow employers to compare the name on the request with any layoffs to know if potential fraud is in the works. Employers should screen these notices and respond in a timely fashion.

Reporting Identity Theft Fraud

IDES has developed a new reporting form for employers to report instances of identity theft which resulted in fraudulent claims being filed under the names of one or more of their employees. This guide explains how to securely submit an identity theft report at MyTax.Illinois.gov. Additional guidance to protect employees against identity theft fraud is available on IDES’s employer fraud webpageIDES requests that all employer ID theft fraud claims now be submitted using the MyTax form and not through any individual IDES email accounts or telephone calls.

1099-G Tax Forms

IDES is in the process of finalizing the annual 1099-G form mailing to all individuals who received unemployment insurance (UI) benefits in 2020. The Department understands that employers often field questions from current or former employees regarding various forms they receive from state and federal agencies. IDES wants to share information regarding the 1099-G form, along with materials employers may find useful.

  • IDES has established a 1099-G page on the Department’s websitehttps://(ides.illinois.gov/1099G) to provide answers to frequently asked questions, along with directional guidance should an individual feel they have received a 1099-G in error.
  • IDES has created this infographic and this explanatory sheet for your use.
  • IDES has dedicated resources to handling 1099-G calls and investigating reports of fraud.

VACCINE DISTRIBUTION

On Monday, January 25, 2021, Phase 1B will begin, allowing frontline essential workers and residents age 65 and over to get vaccinated. The frontline essential workers designation includes many residents who carry a higher risk of COVID-19 exposure because of their work duties, often because they are unable to work from home, and/or they must work closely to others without being able to socially distance. This includes first responders, education, food and agriculture, manufacturing, corrections workers and inmates, USPS workers, public transit workers, grocery store workers and staff at shelters and day cares.

In Phase 1B, Grocery Workers include: Baggers, cashiers, stockers, pick-up, and customer service representatives.

You may find the complete list HERE.

WHERE TO GET VACCINATED

As more vaccine is distributed by the federal government, several thousand vaccination providers will be available, including but not limited to doctors’ offices, retail pharmacies, hospitals, and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), across the state.

The local health departments may be found HERE.

Pharmacies that include, Walgreens, CVS, Jewel-Osco, Kroger, Hy-Vee and Mariano’s are available for appointments.

If you are a pharmacy and are serving as a vaccination distribution location, please let us know. Additionally, please provide us a link to your sign-up page.

According to the Governor only 126,000 vaccination doses are currently available for the approximately 3.2 million eligible individuals in Phase 1B. Because supplies are limited, individuals may only receive the vaccine via appointment only.

You may find vaccination locations HERE. As more pharmacies come online and more vaccination doses are available the number of locations will increase. Please check the link periodically.

Please check periodically until it is available.

VACCINE DATA DASHBOARD

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has added a vaccination data dashboard to their website. Information includes total Illinois doses/total administered doses, vaccine administration 7-day rolling average and by individual county information. You can access the information, here.

MITIGATION RELAXED FOR ADDITIONAL REGIONS

Region 4 qualifies for Tier 2.

METRO EAST: Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair, Washington

WEST SUBURBAN: DuPage, Kane

NORTH SUBURBAN: Lake, McHenry

Regions 7, 8, 9 10, and 11 qualify for Tier 1.

SOUTH SUBURBAN: Kankakee, Will

WEST SUBURBAN: DuPage, Kane

NORTH SUBURBAN: Lake, McHenry

SUBURBAN COOK: Suburban Cook

CHICAGO: City of Chicago

Regions 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 have met the metrics to return to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan.

NORTH: Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside, Winnebago

NORTH-CENTRAL: Bureau, Fulton, Grundy, Henderson, Henry, Kendall, Knox, La Salle, Livingston, Marshall, McDonough, McLean, Mercer, Peoria, Putnam, Rock Island, Stark, Tazewell, Warren, Woodford

WEST-CENTRAL: Adams, Brown, Calhoun, Cass, Christian, Greene, Hancock, Jersey, Logan, Macoupin, Mason, Menard, Montgomery, Morgan, Pike, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott

SOUTHERN: Alexander, Edwards, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Marion, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union, Wabash, Wayne, White, Williamson

EAST-CENTRAL: Champaign, Clark, Clay, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, De Witt, Douglas, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Iroquois, Jasper, Lawrence, Macon, Moultrie, Piatt, Richland, Shelby, Vermillion

Please see below for an explanation of the Tiers.

MITIGATION EXIT PLAN

In order to move to Tier 2 mitigation, a region must meet the following metrics:

  1. A test positivity rate below 12 percent for three consecutive days, as measured by the 7-day rolling average; AND
  2. Greater than or equal to 20 percent available staffed ICU and medical/surgical hospital beds for three consecutive days, on a 3-day rolling average; AND
  3. A sustained decrease in the number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 for seven out of 10 days, on a 7-day average.

In order to move to Tier 1 mitigation, a region must meet the following metrics:

  1. A test positivity rate below 8 percent for three consecutive days, as measured by the 7-day rolling average; AND
  2. Greater than or equal to 20 percent available staffed ICU and medical/surgical hospital beds for three consecutive days, on a 3-day rolling average; AND
  3. No sustained increase in the number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 for seven out of 10 days, on a 7-day average.

In order to move to Phase 4, a region must meet the following metrics:

  1. A test positivity rate less than or equal to 6.5 percent for three consecutive days, as measured by the 7-day rolling average; AND
  2. Greater than or equal to 20 percent available staffed ICU and medical/surgical hospital beds for three consecutive days, on a 3-day rolling average; AND
  3. No sustained increase in the number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 for seven out of 10 days, on a 7-day average.

RESTAURANT AND BARS

Restaurants and bars in Regions that reach Tier 1 can open indoor dining with capacity limited to the lesser of 25 people or 25 percent of room capacity. Additionally, establishments must serve food and indoor tables must be limited to no more than four people, with reservations limited to two hours.

You may find more information HERE.

UPDATED MITIGATION TIERS

TIER 3

Bars and Restaurants

  • Suspend indoor service
  • Outdoor, delivery and takeout service continues under updated hours
  • No tables exceeding 6 people

Cultural Institutions

  • Operations paused

Gaming and Casinos

  • Operations paused

Hotels

  • Limited to registered guests
  • Fitness centers closed or operating on reservation model at 25% capacity

Household Gatherings

  • Limiting to household member is encouraged

Indoor Fitness Classes

  • Operations paused

Meetings, Events, and Gatherings

  • No gatherings in meeting rooms, banquet halls, party rooms, private clubs, etc.
  • Funerals limited to 10 family members of decedents

Offices

  • Remote work encouraged

Organized Group Recreational Activities

  • Indoor sports and recreation paused
  • Outdoor sports and recreation, individual training allowed
  • Groups limited to 10 people

TIER 2

Bars and Restaurants

  • Suspend indoor service
  • Outdoor, delivery and takeout service continues under updated hours
  • No tables exceeding 6 People

Cultural Institutions

  • Open under Phase 4 rules

Gaming and Casinos

  • Open under Phase 4 rules from Illinois Gaming Board

Hotels

  • Limited to registered guests
  • Fitness centers closed or operating on reservation model at 25% capacity

Household Gatherings

  • Limiting to 10 people is encouraged

Indoor Fitness Classes

  • Groups limited to 10, including fitness classes

Meetings, Events, and Gatherings

  • Limit to 10 guests indoors and outdoors

Offices

  • Open under Phase 4 rules

Organized Group Recreational Activities

  • Limit to lesser of 25 guests or 25% overall capacity indoors and outdoors

TIER 1

Bars and Restaurants

  • Indoor service limited to lesser of 25% or 25 persons per room
  • No tables exceeding 4 people indoors
  • Suspend indoor service if not serving food
  • Outdoor, delivery and takeout service continues under updated hours

Cultural Institutions

  • Open under Phase 4 rules

Gaming and Casinos

  • Open under Phase 4 rules from Illinois Gaming Board

Hotels

  • Open under Phase 4 rules

Household Gatherings

  • Allowed with public health guidelines

Indoor Fitness Classes

  • Open under Phase 4 rules

Meetings, Events, and Gatherings

  • Limit to lesser of 25 guests or 25% overall capacity indoors and outdoors

Offices

  • Open under Phase 4 rules

Organized Group Recreational Activities

  • Recreation, fitness centers and outdoor activities follow Phase 4 guidance

You may find Tiered Mitigation HERE.

Phase 4

You may find the specific industry guidelines for Phase 4 HERE.

In general Phase 4 consists of the following:

Gatherings:

  • All gatherings of 50 people or fewer are allowed with this limit subject to change based on latest data & guidance

Travel:

  • Travel should follow IDPH and CDC approved guidance

Health care:

  • All health care providers are open

Education and child care:

  • P-12 schools, higher education, all summer programs, and child care open with IDPH approved safety guidance

Outdoor recreation:

  • All outdoor recreation allowed

Businesses: Please click on the provided link above for industry specific guidance.

Manufacturing:

  • All manufacturing open with IDPH approved safety guidance

“Non-essential” businesses:

  • All employees return to work with IDPH approved safety guidance; Employers are encouraged to provide accommodations for COVID-19-vulnerable employees

Bars and restaurants:

  • Open with capacity limits and IDPH approved safety guidance

Personal care services and health clubs:

  • All barbershops, salons, spas and health and fitness clubs open with capacity limits and IDPH approved safety guidance

Entertainment:

  • Cinema and theaters open with capacity limits and IDPH approved safety guidance

Retail:

  • Open with capacity limits and IDPH approved safety guidance