During today’s briefing, Governor JB Pritzker slightly modified Phase 3 of his Restore Illinois order. Beginning May 29th the following will now be allowed:
- Taverns and restaurants are now going to be allowed to open outdoor seating only with social distancing and other precautions.
- Boating will be allowed for up to 10 people depending on the size of the boat.
- Camping will be allowed for groups of up to 10 people.
- Indoor and outdoor tennis facilities will be allowed to open
- Golf courses will allow foursomes and carts with 1 person per cart or 1 immediate household per cart.
- All state parks will re-open May 29th including concessions.
However, the Governor clearly stated that local governments can impose stricter restrictions. In other words, a local government could undo any of the above. Therefore, it will be important to check with your local government to ensure
SNAP ON-LINE NOW AVAILABLE
Today, the federal government approved Illinois’s waiver to put in place the SNAP EBT On-line Shopping Pilot. IRMA encourages Illinois grocers to explore this opportunity.
Here are some things that must be implemented on the retailer side in order to be able to accept EBT as an online payment method. If the retailer reads and agrees to meeting the requirements, they need to send an email to the USDA and copy the Illinois Department of Human Services at DHS.LINK@Illinois.govso the state is aware of your desire to participate in Illinois. Even a retailer that already offers EBT Online will need to apply for Illinois separately.
The information regarding joining as an online EBT retailer can be found here. There is section on the page titled: How can I add SNAP EBT to my retailer web site? This will give you all of the information and instruction you will need. Below, please see the requirement section from the USDA website:
All retailers, including internet retailers, must abide by the FNS retailer stocking requirements and meet the following requirements: The retailer must:
1. Be an eligible SNAP retailer. Currently authorized retailers should note that a separate FNS authorization will be required in order to participate in SNAP online purchasing.
2. Have an online e-commerce presence.
3. Have a website capable of being updated to meet the requirements to operate online purchasing…
4. Email a letter of intent confirming the firm can meet the requirements above to firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Work with FNS to secure the necessary information for their application as an internet retailer which includes their selection of Third Party Processor (TPP) for secure PIN-entry.
6. Update its website to meet the requirements to operate online purchasing, as outlined above.
7. Successfully complete end-to-end testing in the online production environment with FNS … prior to opening up online shopping to the public…
IDPH RULE WITHDRAWN
As noted earlier today, in the face of bipartisan opposition, the Illinois Department of Public Health was forced to withdraw the emergency rule imposing Class A misdemeanor fines for violating the rule. The Governor stated that instead he would attempt to pass legislation this week to create the penalty in statute. However, Senator Bill Cunningham (D- Chicago), President Pro Tempore of the Illinois Senate, stated that any law that is passed will be written in such a way so that nothing more than a citation with a fine adjudicated thru a non-court mechanism will be adopted. This would be a last resort if the business refuses to abide by the Executive Order voluntarily.
Then Brendan Kelly, Director of the Illinois State Police, stated they would not be imposing criminal penalties or suspending licenses except as a last resort. What is baffling is why the ISP’s resources are available now but were not available to assist retail during the panic buying of mid-March or mask enforcement which continues to put retail workers at risk.
Senator Cunningham’s approach is the proper approach and IRMA has consistently cautioned retailers, for a variety of reasons including liability exposure, abide by the current Executive Order.
REGIONAL PROGRESS REPORT
Under the Governor’s Restore Illinois plan, in order to move from Phase 2 to Phase 3, each of the four medical regions must have a surge capacity of at least 14% for hospital beds, ICU beds and ventilators. The positivity rating for the region must be under 20% for a 14-day period. Any number in red means that region has not met the capacity requirement for that category. These numbers are calculated on 14-day rolling periods with a 3-day delay. Readers can find all the stats below, and more, here.
|REGION||HOSPITAL BEDS||ICU BEDS||VENTILATORS||POSITIVITY RATE|
IRMA launched a campaign called Illinois Retail Cares. It is an effort to tell the story of the many efforts retailers have undertaken during the pandemic to meet the needs of the hungry, healthcare workers, first responders, etc. These are efforts above-and-beyond the herculean efforts retailers have undertaken to meet the demands of consumers. Each week new stories will be told. If you have a story to share, we would love to share it! Please email your story to us today.
ILLINOIS COVID-19 IMPACT UPDATE
Dr. Ngozi Ezike, MD, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health announced 2,388 new cases in Illinois, including 147 additional deaths. IDPH is reporting a total of 100,418 cases, to date, including 4,525 deaths, in 100 of Illinois’s 102 counties.
Over the last 24-hours, the state has conducted 21,029 tests for a total of 642,713 to-date. .
As of midnight last night, 3,914 individuals were hospitalized for COVID-19. Of those, 1,005 (25.67%) are in the ICU occupying 29% of the 3,461 staffed ICU beds. Of those, 554 (55.12%) are on ventilators or 10.29% of the 5,383 staff ventilators.
FACE COVERINGS SUPPLIERS
In order to assist retailers in the procurement of facial coverings for employees, IRMA has created a place on it’s website. Retailers can review and contact the supplier of their choice on IRMA’s website.