Today, Governor JB Pritzker‘s briefing focused on updates related to testing. In short, testing continues to lag. The machines the state currently has in their own labs produce results within two-days but are not as accurate as the state would like. Federal labs take 7-10 days to generate results. The Governor also laid out strategies his administration is undertaking to increase testing.
EMPLOYER WAGE REPORT FILINGS
The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced that effective immediately employers will not face a penalty fee for filing their February 2020 wage reports late. However, employers are still encouraged to file their February 2020 wage reports, which are due to IDES on March 31st, as soon as possible. This assists IDES in making monetary eligibility determinations for workers who have been laid off as a result of COVID-19.
Yesterday, IRMA sent this letter to all mayors and village presidents through the Illinois Municipal League (IML). Read the letter here. Recently, a few local governments have implemented or threatened to implement additional social distancing measures that are often contradictory to the guidance issued by the state or are divorced from reality or expect enforcement measures retailers have no power under the law to exercise. I want to emphasize, only a few. But a few make things more difficult for all under normal conditions let alone during a state of emergency. The letter was an effort to restore common-sense and ensure local governments do not make fighting the pandemic more difficult. As readers of this brief know, IRMA and the IML have attempted to coordinate closely throughout.
ALL IN ILLINOIS
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.
ILLINOIS COVID-19 IMPACT UPDATE
Dr. Ngozi Ezike, MD, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health announced 1,529 new cases in Illinois, including 82 more deaths – the largest increase to-date. Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 15,078 cases, to date, including 462 deaths, in 79 of Illinois’ 102 counties. Additional information can be found here. Dr. Ezike also announced that beginning later today, COVID-19 stats by zip code will be available here.