COVID-19

IL COVID – 19 Update #59

By April 30, 2020 May 1st, 2020 No Comments

The new EO is effective May 1st thru May 30th. 

GOVERNOR’S BRIEFING

Today, the Governor’s briefing focused on testing. The state is adding two new additional testing sites to the existing five. The two new sites will be in East St. Louis and Waukegan. 

NEW EXECUTIVE ORDER

During his briefing, Governor JB Pritzker noted that his new Executive Order will  be effective May 1st thru May 30th.   

The following social distancing measures have to be implemented by essential stores “to the greatest extent possible”


A. Facial coverings are required in public places or when working and unable to maintain a six-foot social distance. This requirement applies to anyone over the age of two who is able to medically tolerate a face-covering. The face covering must cover the nose and mouth. Employers must provide face coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain a minimum six-foot social distance at all times.

NOTE: The Governor’s office agreed that the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will issue a guidance that retailers are NOT required to confront consumers who are not wearing face coverings. Instead, the retailer must have a sign at the entrance notifying consumers that they are required to wear a mask. If the retailer notices a number of customers not wearing masks as required, the retailer needs to call local officials and request enforcement. If those two things happen, the retailer has done its job. However, at this writing, that guidance is not available. IRMA will pass it along as soon as it is issued. 

IRMA GUIDANCE:

  1. Treat the face covering requirement as an absolute. Do not attempt to rely upon the qualifying phrase “unable to maintain a six-foot social distance”.
  2. Expect active local enforcement and customers calling law enforcement or the state to complain every time they see an individual without a face covering.
  3. Post a prominent sign at the entrance stating something to the effect of “At the order of Governor JB Pritzker, all consumers are required to wear a facial covering while in this store.”
  4. If you have consumers who are not wearing a face covering, contact local law enforcement, explain that you have customers who are not wearing face coverings and request their assistance in enforcing pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order. Log this call.
  5. Be aware there will be localities, such as the City of Chicago, who will be looking to impose substantial fines for the slightest violation and they will be looking to do so on businesses as they do not have the political courage to do so on individuals. 


B. Occupancy limits are being imposed. The EO limits occupancy to 50% of store capacity OR at the occupancy limits based on store square footage set by DCEO. NOTE: At IRMA’s request, the Governor’s Office will be directing DCEO to issue a guidance that gives retailers the alternative option of imposing a 5 people per 1,000 square foot standard. This was a request of IRMA as a result of member feedback. However, at this writing, that guidance is not available. IRMA will pass it along as soon as it is issued. 

IRMA GUIDANCE: IRMA strongly suggests retailers post a sign at the entrance stating how many consumers are allowed in the store at one time pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order.

C. One-way aisles aree required “where practicable” with “conspicuous signage and/or floor markings”. NOTE: DCEO will be issuing a guidance that one-way does not apply to front, middle, or back aisles. This was requested by IRMA members and recognizes the experiences of retailers who have tried one-way aisles.

However, at this writing, that guidance is not available. IRMA will pass it along as soon as it is issued. For those stores with very small foot prints, please note the EO states “where practicable”. 

D. Communicate social distancing requirements “through in-store signage, and public service announcements and advertisements”. NOTE: As a result of IRMA’s two-week radio campaign, the Governor’s office told IRMA we have covered the ‘advertisement’ requirement so retailers do not have to worry about that. Thank you to the IRMA members who helped make that campaign possible. IF a local government takes a different stance, please let IRMA know promptly. 

E. Discontinue the use of reusable bags. NOTE: IRMA has asked on a number of occasions for the City of Chicago to remove the bag tax. They have steadfastly refused and given no indication of a willingness to remove it. If you are in a location that imposes a bag tax, and that location has not suspended it, please continue to collect it as you can be certain the local government in question will come looking for their money.

Other items of note: 

Households must limit the number of members who enter stores to the minimum necessary. There is no enforcement requirement here and you will note it is listed separately from the requirements on ‘essential businesses’.

So called ‘non-essential stores are allowed to re-open for curbside and delivery fulfillment of telephone and on-line orders. The employees of the store must follow social distancing requirements and must wear a face covering within 6-feet of another employee or customer.

All businesses are required to ‘evaluate’ which employees are able to work from home and are encouraged to facilitate remote work from home where possible. NOTE: At IRMA’s request, DCEO will be issuing guidance that retailers do not have to do such evaluations because retail employees can’t function from home. However, at this writing, that guidance is not available. IRMA will pass it along as soon as it is issued. 

On page 14, under the “Enforcement’ section, please note businesses are specifically prohibited from retaliating against an employee for disclosing information where the employee has reasonable cause to believe that the information discloses a violation of the Executive Order. 

Finally, a few moments ago, IRMA communicated directly with the Director of DCEO regarding the aforementioned guidances. We will be notifying you as soon as we have them.  

FACE COVERINGS SUPPLIERS

Beginning May 1st, everyone will be required to wear a facial covering when they cannot maintain social distancing and are in a public place. In order to assist retailers in the procurement of facial coverings, IRMA will pass along supplier information as received. Retailers can review and contact the supplier of their choice on IRMA’s website

ILLINOIS COVID-19 IMPACT UPDATE

Dr. Ngozi Ezike, MD, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health announced 2,563 new cases in Illinois, including 141 additional deaths.  IDPH is reporting a total of 52,918 cases, to date, including 2,355 deaths, in 96 of Illinois’ 102 counties. 

Over the last 24-hours, the state has conducted 143,200 tests for a total of 269,867. 

As of midnight last night, 4,953 individuals were hospitalized for COVID-19. Of those, 1,289 (26%) are in the ICU. Of those, 785 (60.9%) are on ventilators. 

Additional information can be found here. COVID-19 stats by zip code can be found here