We will be having our regular County Board on Thursday, March 26th at 5:30pm. The agenda from March 17th will be adjusted to address the County’s highest priority issues.
As of Saturday, March 21st, we have 3 new confirmed cases of COVID-19. You can read the full Press Release here:
You can see the Governor’s full Executive Order here:
* Launched a new website [coronavirus.illinois.gov] to provide Illinois residents with information on the state’s response to COVID-19 as well as additional resources available throughout the state.
* The website centralizes breaking updates from state government, prevention and preparation tips, frequently asked questions and resources from public health experts.
Governor’s Disaster Proclamation
– State and local partners benefit from a disaster proclamation in the following ways:
– Allows federal reimbursement for state response costs;
– Allows use of State Disaster Relief Fund, covering direct state costs and reimbursements to Illinois National Guard and mutual aid groups;
– Allows use of the state’s mutual aid network, groups of public safety response professionals — including hundreds of health care providers and management professionals, law enforcement officers, fire fighters, emergency medical technicians and disaster response professionals — that are available to deploy to areas of shortage;
– Authorizes the Governor to activate Illinois National Guard reservists, some of whom may be doctors and nurses;
– Allows expedited procurement should it be necessary; and
– Authorizes additional executive authorities to protect public health and safety
Public Utility Relief
– Attorney General Raoul and Governor Pritzker urged Illinois Commerce Commission to immediately institute a moratorium on shutoffs for all utility companies across the State (including energy, telecommunications and water) until the state disaster proclamation is lifted.
– The request includes changes to payment and collection policies to ensure Illinoisans aren’t saddled with utility debt
Loans for Small Businesses
– US Small Business Administration approved Illinois’ eligibility for disaster assistance loans for small businesses facing financial hardship in all 102 counties due to COVID-19.
– The low-interest loans offer up to $2M in assistance per eligible small business/non-profit organization that applies. These loans can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The interest rate for businesses without credit available elsewhere is 3.75%, and the non-profit rate is 2.75%. According to the Small Business Administration, loans are available with long-term repayments to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years.
Sales Tax Deferral for Bars and Restaurants
– The Governor has directed the Department of Revenue to defer sales tax payment for more than 24,000 small- and medium-sized bars and restaurants, accounting for nearly 80% of such entities statewide.
Expand Medicaid Coverage – the Governor’s administration through the Department of Healthcare and Family Services filed a federal waiver to expand Medicaid coverage
– If approved, Illinois will be able to expand Medicaid services through the addition of new medical providers, increased access across the state and ramped up services to many of the state’s most vulnerable populations
– Pritzker administration is specifically seeking to increase access to telehealth and the number of health care providers that can screen patients and allow 90-day prescription supplies without prior authorization and early refills
Telemedicine – Governor Pritzker has implemented measures to remove regulatory barriers for health providers and increase opportunity for patients while allowing more providers to get reimbursed for these services
– For plans regulated by the Department of Insurance, the executive order calls for providers to be reimbursed at the same rate at which they are reimbursed for in-person visits and prohibits private health insurers from imposing nay cost-sharing for in-network providers
– For Medicaid, the emergency rules also require providers to be reimbursed at the same rate at which they are reimbursed for in-person visits
The administration filed emergency rules to clarify that individuals unemployed due to COVID-19 can generally qualify for unemployment benefits to the full extent permitted by federal law.
– Individuals without access to paid sick leave or unable to work due to COVID-19 can apply for unemployment insurance under the administration’s expansion. The governor’s executive order waives the 7-day waiting period for residents to apply for unemployment benefits, meaning anyone who qualifies can file and become immediately eligible instead of experiencing a week-long lag during this challenging time. Gov. Pritzker is working with the federal delegation and congressional leadership to push the Trump administration to allow the state to increase
the length of benefits beyond 26 weeks as this crisis continues to provide significant fiscal challenges for Illinois families.
-The administration is also asking Congress to waive interest on any federal loans that Illinois and other state Unemployment Trust Fund accounts might require due to added strain from the outbreak, as well as maintaining the full federal unemployment tax credit for employers in states that may require those loans.
Illinois Dept of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR):
IDFPR issued a series of variances that provide relief from the provisions of certain Administrative Rules pertaining to license renewal terms and to continuing education requirements.