• Gov. Pritzker Announces Limited Indoor Dining to Resume in Tier 1 as Three of 11 Regions Qualify to Move Out of Tier 3 Mitigations Gov. Pritzker Announces Limited Indoor Dining to Resume in Tier 1 as Three of 11 Regions Qualify to Move Out of Tier 3 Mitigations

    Gov. Announces State to Move to Phase 1B of its COVID-19 Vaccination Administration Plan on January 25; Hundreds of Pharmacy Vaccination Sites Begin to Come Online, National Guard Deploys to Cook County to Stand Up Sites, St. Clair County to Follow

    Following a decrease in COVID-19 test positivity rates and hospitalizations throughout Illinois, Governor JB Pritzker announced regions across the state are now eligible to move out of Tier 3 mitigations, the strictest tier of Illinois’ resurgence mitigation plan, implemented shortly before Thanksgiving, in response to a surge of COVID-19 statewide and across the Midwest. After weeks of careful consultation with public health experts to balance the need to save lives and support our hospital systems with protecting our economy, the Governor announced that regions could resume moving out of the tiered resurgence mitigations (Tier 3, Tier 2, and Tier 1) and back into Phase 4 on a data-driven basis. 

    The Governor also announced adjustments to the resurgence mitigations in light of ramped up vaccination efforts across the state, with Tier 1 of the resurgence mitigation plan now allowing restaurants and bars in a qualifying region to resume indoor dining with limited capacity. Youth and recreational sports may also resume play following the Illinois Department of Public Health’s (IDPH) All Sports Policy in all regions moving out of Tier 3.

    In addition, the Governor announced Phase 1A of the Illinois COVID-19 Vaccination Administration Plan is on track to be substantially completed next week, with the entire state moving to Phase 1B on Monday, January 25. In accordance with local progress, IDPH has permitted local health departments who have already substantially completed their 1A populations to move forward with 1B in order to leave no vaccine on the shelves. While vaccine shipments from the federal government remains limited, the state is aggressively building out its capacity to prepare, with hundreds of additional pharmacy sites coming online starting Monday and the Illinois National Guard deploying to support local health department vaccination sites starting Tuesday, both initially only available to the 1A population.

    COVID-19 Mitigations

    The State of Illinois remains committed to following the guidance of public health experts by implementing mitigations to keep communities safe. In response to decreased positivity rates, hospitalization rates, and hospital bed usage, any region that has met the metrics for a reduction of mitigations will move out of Tier 3 to less restrictive measures beginning today.

    Governor Pritzker and IDPH first announced the Resurgence Mitigation Plan on July 15, 2020, taking a regional approach to suppress the spread of the virus. After a wave of COVID-19 surged across Illinois and the nation last fall, all 11 of the Restore Illinois regions moved into Tier 3 mitigations on November 20, 2020. By adhering to meaningful mitigations throughout the holiday season, the state was able to bring down rates of community spread, allowing for regions to once again move forward in the state’s mitigations plan effective January 15, 2021.  

    IDPH will continue to work with local health departments to monitor regional resurgence, with the guiding short-term goal of getting as many regions as possible back to Phase 4, the last step before Phase 5, when we have enough vaccine and therapeutics available to fully reopen.

    As of today, regions that will move into Tier 2 include:

    Tier 2

    • Region 1 - North

    o Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside, Winnebago

    • Region 2 - North-Central

    o Bureau, Fulton, Grundy, Henderson, Henry, Kendall, Knox, La Salle, Livingston, Marshall, McDonough, McLean, Mercer, Peoria, Putnam, Rock Island, Stark, Tazewell, Warren, Woodford

    • Region 5 - Southern

    o Alexander, Edwards, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Marion, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union, Wabash, Wayne, White, Williamson

    At this time, Regions 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 will remain in Tier 3 Mitigations, with several likely to meet the metrics to move to Tier 2 in the coming days if current trends hold.  

    IDPH will continue to monitor the regional metrics and move regions down to Tier 2, to Tier 1, and ultimately back to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan on a rolling basis. 

    In order to move to Tier 2 mitigations, a region must meet the following metrics:

    1. A test positivity rate below 12 percent for three consecutive days, as measured by the 7-day rolling average; AND 
    2. Greater than or equal to 20 percent available staffed ICU and medical/surgical hospital beds for three consecutive days, on a 3-day rolling average; AND 
    3. A sustained decrease in the number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 for seven out of 10 days, on a 7-day average.

    In order to move to Tier 1 mitigations, a region must meet the following metrics:

    1. A test positivity rate below 8 percent for three consecutive days, as measured by the 7-day rolling average; AND 
    2. Greater than or equal to 20 percent available staffed ICU and medical/surgical hospital beds for three consecutive days, on a 3-day rolling average; AND 
    3. No sustained increase in the number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 for seven out of 10 days, on a 7-day average.

    In order to move to Phase 4, a region must meet the following metrics:

    1. A test positivity rate less than or equal to 6.5 percent for three consecutive days, as measured by the 7-day rolling average; AND 
    2. Greater than or equal to 20 percent available staffed ICU and medical/surgical hospital beds for three consecutive days, on a 3-day rolling average; AND 
    3. No sustained increase in the number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 for seven out of 10 days, on a 7-day average.

    These metrics continue to be part of a data-driven approach that helps manage the risk of community transmission as well as hospital availability.
     
    As the pandemic has evolved, so has the state's response. The updated plan accounts for months of continued deliberations by public health officials as well as the rollout of the first COVID-19 vaccines. The key change to the Mitigation Plan announced in July is resuming indoor dining with capacity limits in Tier 1.
     
    Restaurants and bars in Regions in Tier 1 can open indoor dining with capacity limited to the lesser of 25 people or 25 percent of room capacity. Additionally, establishments must serve food and indoor tables must be limited to no more than four people, with reservations limited to two hours. Outdoor dining regulations across the resurgence plan and Phase 4 remain unchanged.

    Tier 1 

    Tier 2 

    • Indoor service limited to lesser of 25% or 25 people per room 
    • Establishment must serve food for indoor service 
    • Reservations required and limited to 2 hours 
    • No tables exceeding 4 people indoors 
    • Bars and restaurants close at 11 p.m. and may reopen no earlier than 6 a.m. the following day 
    • Suspend indoor service 
    • Bars and restaurants close at 11 p.m. and may reopen no earlier than 6 a.m. the following day 
    • No tables exceeding 6 people 


    Additionally, Regions moving out of Tier 3 mitigations can resume youth and recreational sports under the statewide All Sports Policy. Greater levels of play will be permitted as metrics improve into the subsequent tier.

    Risk Level 

    Examples 

    Play Allowed Tier 1 

    Play Allowed Tier 2 

    Low 

    Baseball, Cross Country/ Track, Gymnastics, Swimming, etc. 

    Level 1: No contact training 

    Level 2: Team scrimmage 

    Level 3: Intra-conference play 

    Level 4: Out-of-conference play, tournaments 

    Level 1: No contact training 

    Level 2: Team scrimmage 

    Level 3: Intra-conference play 

    Medium 

    Soccer, Volleyball 

    Level 1: No contact training 

    Level 2: Team scrimmage 

    Level 3: Intra-conference play 

    Level 1: No contact training 

    Level 2: Team scrimmage 

    High 

    Basketball, Football, Hockey, Wrestling 

    Level 1: No contact training 

    Level 2: Team scrimmage 

    Level 1: No contact training 

     

    Vaccine Administration Plan

     
    Governor Pritzker announced that the state will move forward with an aggressive Vaccine Plan with hundreds of additional providers coming online in the coming days as the state moves to complete Phase 1A.

    The state anticipates substantially completing Phase 1A next week and moving into Phase 1B of the Vaccine Plan on January 25, 2021, at which point residents over the age of 65 and frontline essential workers can receive the vaccine. While shipments from the federal government remain limited, the state is building out wide-reaching capacity to prepare for additional shipments and ensure those eligible in Phase 1B can receive their vaccine as quickly and equitably as possible. As of January 15, 2021, Illinois including Chicago has received a total of approximately 726,475 doses since vaccinations first launched last month, not including the federal program that serves long-term care residents.

    In the initial phases of the state’s plan, IDPH is partnering with large pharmacies to launch hundreds of new sites in communities across Illinois. Additionally, the Illinois National Guard (ILNG) will deploy two teams to two sites in Cook County. The guard is also partnering with St. Clair County to deploy to sites there in the coming weeks, alongside additional deployments statewide. 

    During their initial week of service, these new sites will administer vaccinations to Illinois residents within group 1A of the state’s vaccination plan. Beginning January 25, all vaccination sites across the state will move into phase 1B of the plan and begin vaccinations for the eligible population by appointment only.

    As the state moves forward with its plan and continues to build out capacity, smaller independent pharmacies, urgent care clinics, doctors’ offices, and workplaces will all be coming online to serve as vaccination sites. Additional teams from the ILNG will also deploy to regions across the state to stand up new sites and build out additional capacity at existing sites. More information on locations and how to make appointments will be available to the public on a website to be launched prior to the start of Phase 1B.


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  • Paycheck Protection Program Applications Now Available  

     The Paycheck Protection Program has re-opened for PPP borrowers who are now eligible to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan. The SBA has released new applications for First Draw and Second Draw for the Paycheck Protection Program.

    First Draw Application - https://www.sba.gov/document/sba-form--paycheck-protection-program-borrower-application-form

    Second Draw Application - https://www.sba.gov/document/sba-form-2483-sd-ppp-second-draw-borrower-application-form

    Interim Final Rule – PPP as amended by the Economic Aid Act - https://www.sba.gov/document/policy-guidance-ifr-paycheck-protection-program-ppp-amended-economic-aid-act

    Interim Final Rule – PPP Second Draw - https://www.sba.gov/document/policy-guidance-ifr-paycheck-protection-program-ppp-second-draw-loans

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    Paycheck Protection Program Reopens January 11

    On January 8, 2021, the U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Department of Treasury, announced that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will re-open the week of January 11, 2021 for new borrowers and some existing PPP borrowers. The initial wave of loans issued on Monday, January 11, and Wednesday, January 13, will only be available to community financial institutions, but the PPP will open up to all eligible lenders shortly after.

    SBA has provided information for small business owners looking for a PPP loan, which can be found here. Additional information from SBA and the Department of the Treasury can be found at the below links.

    Interim Final Rule on Second Draw PPP Loans

    Guide to PPP Loan Forgiveness  (posted 1/7/21)

    Under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) created by the CARES Act, loans may be forgiven if borrowers use the proceeds to maintain their payrolls and pay other specified expenses. Read more here 

    For more information on the original PPP Guide and Checklist, read more here

    Gov. Pritzker Announces the Next Phase of COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan, Lowers Vaccine Age to 65

    Building on guidance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), Governor JB Pritzker announced guidelines for the next stage of COVID-19 vaccine distribution across Illinois – Phase 1B. Phases 1A and 1B of Vaccine Distribution in Illinois

    IDPH POSTS COVID-19 VACCINATION ROLLOUT PLAN (news as of January 4)

    The Illinois Department of Public Health has posted a state of Illinois COVID-19 Vaccination Plan. There is no specific timetable, but the plan contains some details you might not have read about to date. For example, the plan shows when certain groups will get vaccination opportunities during Phase 1b and Phase 1c.

     

    Public Health Officials Announce Tier Three Resurgence Mitigations to Take Effect Statewide on Friday Following Sharp Increase in COVID-19 Cases

    CHICAGO - With a new wave of COVID-19 surging across the state of Illinois, the Midwest and the nation, Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today announced additional COVID-19 resurgence mitigations will take effect in every region across the state in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus. Tier 3 mitigations build on the Resurgence Mitigation Plan released in July to suppress the spread of the virus and prevent hospitals from becoming overrun. This latest round of mitigations aims to limit gatherings and encourages residents to stay home as much as possible and follow proper safety measures when out in public. The mitigations carefully balance the paramount goal of saving lives while preserving the option for in-person learning for children and protecting as much of the economy as possible from the continued impacts of the virus.

    The Tier 3 resurgence mitigations will take effect statewide at 12:01 am on Friday, November 20, 2020.

    "To stop this spread and preserve some semblance of the holidays, all of us need to do more than just wear our masks now - though masks are mandatory throughout the state. The simple fact is that COVID-19 is spreading so quickly and so widely, and our hospitals are beginning to experience real strain and at the current infection rate they will be overwhelmed. So whenever possible, we need you to stay home," said Governor JB Pritzker. "I'm hopeful that by limiting our in-person interactions, we will succeed at avoiding a stay at home order like what we had in the spring - when the choice between saving lives and saving livelihoods was even more stark. Tier 3 may allow us to do both. Like in other states like Michigan and California and Washington, it's our best effort to avoid a stay-at-home order and save lives."

    The first tiers of the Resurgence Mitigation Plan initially suppressed the virus and protected the progress Illinois made towards bending the curve during the Spring, while allowing each of the state's eleven regions to progress through the phases based on local metrics. But with COVID-19 spread now exponential in every region of the state, our statewide positivity rate at record highs and hospitalizations already surpassing our Spring peak, an additional tier of more stringent, statewide mitigations is required to combat the surge and preserve hospital capacity.

    "There is no denying that the state is headed in the wrong direction with increased cases, hospitalizations, and deaths," said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. "There also is no denying that reducing the opportunities for the virus to spread can reverse our direction. This includes staying home as much as possible, wearing a mask and keeping social distance when we do have to go out, and not gathering with people outside our households. Until a vaccine is widely available and people understand the importance of being vaccinated, we must continue to take preventive actions to stop the transmission of the virus. Right now, our preventive actions are the best way to prevent new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths."

    While this latest round of mitigations does not include a stay at home order, if the mitigations are not adhered to and cases continue to rise in the weeks ahead, another order may be required. For all regions, additional mitigation measures taking effect Friday, November 20th include guidance for the following settings and industries:

    • Retail

    • Personal Car Services

    • Health and Fitness Centers

    • Hotels

    • Manufacturing

    • Bars and Restaurants

    • Meetings and Social Events

    • Offices

    • Organized Group Recreational Activities

    • Indoor Recreation, Theater, Cultural Institutions

    As they have since the start of COVID-19, grocery stores across the state will remain open and available. Child care facilities may continue to operate subject to guidelines from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. School districts and officials should continue to follow the extensive guidance released by the Illinois State Board of Education in August to make decisions related to in-person and remote learning at the local level.

    To prevent the further spread of COVID-19, Illinois residents are urged to stay home as much as possible and celebrate upcoming holidays with members of their household. Illinoisans over the age of two years are required to wear a face covering when out in public and social distancing is not easily achievable. Anyone exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or who may have been in contact with someone exhibiting symptoms should seek out testing and quarantine at home; anyone who has tested positive for the virus should isolate at home as directed by their physician or local health department.

    IDPH will continue to track the positivity rates and hospital capacity metrics in regions over a 14-day monitoring periods to determine if mitigations can be relaxed, if additional mitigations are required, or if current mitigation should remain in place. In order for a region to move back to Tier 2 mitigations, a region must experience less than 7-day 12 percent test positivity average for three consecutive days AND greater than 20 percent available intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital bed availability for three consecutive days AND declining 7-day COVID hospitalizations average in 7 out of the last 10 days. Follow the latest regional metrics at: https://dph.illinois.gov/regionmetrics

    In response to the rising test positivity rate statewide, the administration continues to strengthen its nation-leading testing operation. Last week, the state reported a record high of 114,370 tests within a 24-hour period, now averaging more than 97,800 tests per day. Although the administration continues to build upon this progress, the state's rate of growth in positivity is outpacing the growth in testing. It is critical to get tested before developing symptoms, as testing remains free to all Illinois residents and readily available throughout the state. To find a testing center near you, please visit DPH.Illinois.Gov/Testing.

     

    Covid-19 Business Resources

    Additional resources on the DCEO and IDPH websites regarding Phase 4 and mitigation:

    1. Phase 4 Guidelines for Reopening: Safety guidelines for Phase 4 by industry. Meetings and Social Events, Recreation, Dining, Museums, Performing Arts, Sports, Manufacturing, Offices, Retail, Fitness, Personal Care Services and others are included. If your region is in mitigation, make sure those guidelines are applied.

    2. Restore Illinois FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions on the above guidelines, updated regularly by DCEO Attorneys.

    3. Tier 1 Resurgence Mitigations: The first layer of mitigation measures that include no indoor dining or bar service, and limiting meetings and social events to the lesser of 25 guests or 25% of overall room capacity.

    4. Tier 2 Resurgence Mitigations: The second layer of mitigation measures that include no indoor dining or bar service, limiting meetings and social events to 10 people, and limiting recreational activities to the lesser of 25 guests or 25% of overall room capacity.

    5. Local Public Health Departments: Local Public Health Departments should be the first contact in the event that guidelines are violated.

    6. IDPH Resurgence Criteria: This is where you can track publicly available IDPH regional data regarding test positive rates, hospital admissions, and hospital bed availability.

     

    Kane County Health Department Business and Organization Toolkit (updated 10/23)

    This is a toolkit for COVID-19 information that may be useful to your business. Visit kanehealth.com for further information.

     

    Restaurant Employee Relief Fund Launched

    The Illinois Restaurant Association has launched a relief fund to help struggling restaurant workers that qualify with one-time $500 grants. To qualify for the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund, you must have either: been diagnosed with COVID-19, served as a caregiver for an immediate family member who had COVID-19, or quarantined with a doctor's note; or been out of work for three weeks or more without unemployment benefits. More information here.


  •  Holiday Celebration Guidelines

    photo of fall foliage and pies

    Much of the spread is happening outside of the workplace. While tempting as it gets colder, indoor residential gatherings of people from multiple households should be avoided (this includes holiday gatherings and private celebrations). People who elect to gather despite this recommendation, should include the fewest number of households and people possible. All attendees should continue to wear facial coverings, practice social distancing, and exercise good handwashing and personal hygiene. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has additional guidance here.
     


    $220 Million Available for Business Owners through Second Round of the Business Interruption Grants; $25 Million Available for Communities through the Rebuild Distressed Communities Program.

    Application information for the second round of funds and can be found on DCEO’s website at Illinois.gov/dceo and the application form will open for submissions later this week.For more information on programs available for businesses and communities, please visit DCEO’s website.


    Illinois Department of Labor Back to Business Illinois

    Back to Business Illinois, a free, voluntary service to connect small businesses of 250 employees or fewer with consultants who will help them evaluate and address workplace safety and health issues related to COVID-19. The consultants will create a plan for small businesses that promotes a safe, healthy and productive environment for workers and customers. For more information on the Back to Business Illinois program, visit the official website at: www.illinois.gov/worksafe



  • State of Illinois Business Resources - Phase 4

  • To prepare businesses and employers to implement new and updated safety guidelines in Phase 4, the State of Illinois has developed business toolkit complete with signage, posters, and other resources to ensure business and activities are conducted in accordance with the latest public health recommendations.

    Phase 4 guidelines include five new industry categories and updated recommendations for the existing categories from Phase 3. Each set of guidelines includes a common set of guidelines that are expected and encouraged among all employers and activity types, as well as workplace and program-specific guidelines.

  • At 2:30 pm today, Governor Pritzker in concert with IDPH, announced that Illinois would scale back reopening for Kane and DuPage counties in Region 8 and for Kankakee and Will counties in Region 7, and put in place heightened resurgence mitigations in accordance with the Restore Illinois plan. This order is effective as of Friday, October 23, 2020.

    The mitigation requirements will remain in place until regional COVID numbers decrease to 6.5 % for 3 consecutive days. If the positivity rate averages between 6.5% and 8%, the new mitigations will remain in place and unchanged. If the positivity rate averages greater than or equal to 8% after 14 days, more stringent tier 2 or tier 3 mitigations can be applied to further reduce spread of the virus. Get more information.

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