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IL COVID-19 Update #5

By March 14, 2020March 17th, 2020No Comments
Happy Saturday to all! Illinois Governor JB Pritzker just completed his daily COVID-19 briefing. What follows is a summary of his briefing. I would like to once again add that the Governor and his staff have been inclusive, communicative and cooperative.
The Governor emphasized the need for people to seriously abide by the guidance Illinois issued yesterday limiting crowds to fewer than 250 people. If you can institute remote work and limit unnecessary travel, he again encouraged employers to please do so. He noted to all citizens that the entire focus is on bending the curve as it relates to outbreaks so the medical system is not overwhelmed.
The Pritzker Administration has applied for a waiver from the Federal government to allow the medicaid program to expand medical services.
To date, the case count including those who have recovered was at 46. Eighteen new cases were added today bringing the total count to 64 spread over 8 counties including central and southern Illinois. According to Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, 30% of these cases are travel related, 30% are related to contact with an individual known to have COVID-19, and the remaining cases have unknown sources.
The rest of his comments were directed at consumer behavior.
He did close by profusely praising the response of the Illinois business community.
Dr. Allison Arwady, the Director of the City of Chicago Department of Public Health, made a clear point that while consumers should maintain social distancing, wash hands, etc, consumers should continue to shop for their daily needs according to their normal patterns. IRMA would like to thank Dr. Arwady for this much-needed message and we hope others repeat it profusely. 
IRMA has worked with Sangamon County Health Department regarding their initial notice yesterday regarding crowds of more than 250 people. You will recall from yesterday’s briefing that they had issued a requirement that no more than 250 people could gather anywhere. After conversations last night and this morning with IRMA, they are issuing a clarification that this does not apply to normal shopping. However, it will apply to restaurants in Sangamon County. This means no more than 250 people at one time within the restaurant. They refuse to move on this point. Nevertheless, IRMA would like to thank Sangamon County for their communication and willingness to clarify. 
IRMA continues to work with the Governor’s Office and others to convince the Federal Government to temporarily increase the weight limit on trucks carrying supplies to restock shelves and other items for the relief of COVID-19 to 90,000 lbs. Additionally, IRMA is working with the Governor’s office and leaders of entities representing local governments to temporarily suspend any restrictions on times trucks may deliver. The Illinois Municipal League (IML) has been particularly helpful in this area and we thank them. If IRMA members are aware of a municipality enforcing such an ordinance, please contact us.
Additionally, IRMA is attempting to convince the Governor’s Office and legislative leaders to offer up repeated statements that consumers should continue their normal shopping patterns when it comes to life necessities such as food, medicine, pet supplies, electronics, clothing, etc.
It is the feedback of IRMA’s grocery members that these actions, combined with the Feds temporarily suspending the limits on the hours truck drivers can operate, will remove a significant obstacle in the supply chain and help calm consumers.
We will continue to keep you posted. As always, please do not hesitate to contact IRMA if you have any questions.