Today has become a day of big news. First, we heard from Governor Pritzker about the continuation of the stay at home order with some slight modifications. Then, just before this message was ready to go out, we received news that the House had voted to approve the $484 billion infusion bill. Finally, news arrived regarding a judgement regarding the workers’ comp lawsuit filed yesterday.
Stay At Home Continuation
Governor Pritzker announced he will extend his stay at home order, previously set to expire April 30, through the end of May. He also announced that he will be easing some of the restrictions from the original stay at home order.
Here is what will be in effect starting May 1st:
- Individuals 2 and older will be required to wear a face covering in public anytime they can’t maintain 6 feet of distance from others, including at indoor places such as stores.
- Businesses will have to require that all employees and customers wear face coverings if they cannot maintain the 6 feet distance. “Essential” businesses must provide them to all employees who can’t maintain proper social distance.
- Decisions about how to enforce the face-covering requirement will be left to local authorities
- Private establishments do need to require that people who enter their establishment wear a mask if they cannot maintain the 6 feet of distance.
- Some state parks will reopen May 1. A list of parks that will be open will be available on the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website.
- Fishing and boating will be allowed in groups of no more than two people, but hunting remains suspended.
- Golf courses will be allowed to reopen with social distancing guidelines in place.
- Greenhouses, garden centers, nurseries and pet groomers have been added to the list of essential businesses beginning in May.
- Essential businesses will be required to follow new guidelines such as limiting the number of people in a store at any given time and staggering workers’ shifts.
- Retailers that are not classified as essential businesses will now be permitted to reopen to take telephone and online orders for outside pickup and delivery.
- Schools can establish procedures for students to pick up supplies and personal belongings, and college dormitories must follow social distancing protocols and other public health guidelines for students moving out.
- Some elective and nonemergency medical procedures also will be allowed to resume.
House Passes Relief Package, Awaits Signature of President Trump
As mentioned above, the House voted overwhelmingly (388-5-1) to pass legislation providing roughly $484 billion in coronavirus relief for small businesses, hospitals and expanded medical testing. The newest package is the fourth to pass through Congress since the pandemic began and now brings total relief to approximately $2.8 trillion. As we have covered over the past few days, the following is included in the newest fund infusion:
- $310 billion to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
- $60 billion of which is earmarked for community banks and smaller lenders, who tend to cater to those underserved businesses
- $60 billion for the emergency business grants and loans
- $75 billion for hospitals and community health centers
- $25 billion to boost COVID-19 testing, divided between state and federal governments
That record amount of relief however has not stopped talks of the next needed aid package. The newest proposal being the inclusion of provisions to protect November’s elections, by providing states with funding to establish all-mail voting. Check in our archive for yesterday’s update to see further proposals.
Workers’ Compensation Restraining Order
A temporary restraining order will block the recent rule that was to grant workers’ comp benefits for all employees of essential businesses that were diagnosed with the coronavirus regardless if they could provide proof of contracting at the job site. The order will last until May 1st which is the scheduled first day of oral arguments on the lawsuit.
Finally, we are hearing that the PPP and EIDL funds will open sometime tomorrow after the SBA paused the approval process for both. For those that have not yet applied, our suggestion is to get your information in ASAP as overwhelming demand remains for both funds. Watch for tomorrow’s update on our social media channels as the third installment of our weekly video recap.
Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry Staff and Board of Directors
Vice President – Government Affairs
Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry