Today, Governor JB Pritzker briefed from McCormick Place in Chicago which has been turned into an alternate care facility. The conversion occurred in five-days. The Governor was joined by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. This facility, and others around the state, have been or are being constructed to increase hospital capacity. The Governor continued everyone to stay home but also encouraged those who absolutely need to go out to wear some sort of face covering – whether it is a mask, bandana or other such covering.
CONSUMER SOCIAL DISTANCING
Late yesterday, the Illinois Department of Public Health issued this guidance to educate consumers on the role they need to play in social distancing. It is an excellent info-graph IRMA members are strongly encouraged to utilize this info-graph to educate consumers. You can find the guidance here.
ALL IN ILLINOIS
Yesterday, the State of Illinois launched a public awareness program All In Illinois. It is designed to give citizens practical tips and tools to keep themselves and those like medical professionals and retail workers safe. Citizens can also use it to change their social media profiles, print a sign for windows/doors, and share stories of those who are going above-and-beyond to meet the needs around them.
IRMA encourages you to visit All In Illinois and to make your employees aware as well.
FMLA & UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE WEBINAR AVAILABLE
This morning, IRMA hosted a webinar regarding what employers need to know on how the COVID-19 epidemic is impacting employers as it relates to labor issues – particularly unemployment insurance and FMLA. If you were unable to participate, you can listen to the entire presentation or view the slide deck here. This and other valuable COVID-19 information can be found on IRMA’s website. Thank you to Scott Cruz of Greensfelder, Henker, & Gale, PC. Those interested in contacting Scott directly may do so here or 312-345-5008.
RETAILERS & SOCIAL DISTANCING
Building upon the proactive work many of Illinois retailer have already done, IRMA created this best practice guidance. If you have not done so already, retailers, but particularly grocers and convenience stores, are strongly encouraged to implement some or all of these best practices as quickly as possible. You can also find this document and other valuable information on IRMA’s web page. Additionally, the Illinois Department of Public Health issued a similar but not identical guidance.
What has become abundantly clear is a one-sized-fits-all approach is counter-productive. Grocers throughout Illinois are experimenting with different approaches. Their experience will help inform everyone. However, what works and doesn’t work will vary a great deal based on sales volume, size of store, flexibility of store’s layout, etc.
Dr. Ngozi Ezike, MD, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health announced 1,209 new cases in Illinois, including 53 more deaths. Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 8,904 cases, including 210 deaths, in 64 of Illinois’ 102 counties. Additional information can be found here.