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IL COVID-19 Update #8

By March 16, 2020March 17th, 2020No Comments

Governor JB Pritzker just concluded his daily briefing. What follows is an overview as well as additional information related to COVID-19.

The Governor’s briefing occurred in Springfield at the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Emergency Response Center.
At 9:00 p.m. tonight all restaurants and bars must close their dining rooms throughout Illinois.
Schools are being encouraged to expand meals to ANY student. Not just those eligible for free or reduced lunch.
Casino and video gaming operations are suspended thru March 30th. The Illinois Gaming Board notice can be found here.
Currently, IDPH is reporting 105 cases in 15 counties in Illinois.  Cases have occurred in all age ranges and the number of cases that do not have a clear connection to travel or a known COVID-19 case is increasing. Tracking can be found here.
As of 9:00 p.m. (CST) this evening, restaurants and bars in Illinois have been ordered to cease in-restaurant/bar service. However, restaurants can continue to offer drive-thru service, curb-side service, delivery, and take-out (i.e. consumer enters, orders, pays, gets food, leaves). Take-out was not part of the original announcement but was added, in part, through the joint efforts of IRMA and McDonald’s. You can view the Executive Order here.
IRMA has developed and distributed through media outlets, elected officials, etc. this infograph to help inform consumers. Please feel free to utilize as you deem appropriate. IRMA would like to thank the Governor’s Office for their consideration of this change and its importance to giving consumers options and hopefully relieving the pressure on grocers while still accomplishing the goals of containment.
In an effort to try and calm consumers, IRMA issued this release this morning. Additionally, IRMA communicated with all four legislative caucuses and asked that each of their members echo IRMA’s message. That message is: “There is plenty of food if everyone practices common-sense and returns to normal shopping patterns. As an example, if you shop on Thursday for the following week, then shop on Thursday and get what you need for the following week. Not for the next three weeks. There is ZERO need for hoarding. Hoarding is creating a problem that doesn’t need to exist. Even in countries that have imposed in-home quarantines, people have been allowed free access to necessities. Simply practice good hygiene and social-distancing when you shop.”
We are a LONG way from the end and will have more challenges to overcome but I want to take a moment in the midst of the crisis to thank those IRMA members who have been willing to constructively coordinate with IRMA’s efforts to protect the Illinois retail community as much as possible thru this crisis. For example, grocer members of all sizes have been extremely open as to the challenges they were facing in the supply chain and willing to engage in a targeted way to support IRMA’s efforts to remove those obstacles. Additionally, they have been very helpful in leveraging relationships in other states to support IRMA’s efforts in Illinois to obtain an increase in truck weight limits. Another example is in the restaurant area. McDonald’s (IRMA Board member Ashli Nelson) coordinated closely with IRMA in obtaining a change to the Governor’s order to allow take-out in addition to drive-thru, curb-side, and delivery. On behalf of IRMA staff, I want to say thank you and emphasize how close coordination is the most effective way to accomplish change – whether in a crisis or the regular course of business.