Governor’s Office COVID-19 Daily Q & A
March 18, 2020
Executive Order 2020-7: Business Compliance
Q: Can exemptions to the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-7 prohibiting on-premise consumption and prohibiting gatherings of 50 people or more be made in counties where COVID-19 is not present?
A: No. The Governor’s Executive Order, released on March 16, 2020, is a state-wide Executive Order and applies to all counties in the State of Illinois. The prohibition for on-premise food and beverage consumption is effective through March 30, 2020. The prohibition for gatherings of 50 people or more is effective through the duration of the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation.
Q: What can we do for the “mom and pop”, independent businesses that traditionally have smaller crowds? Can they remain open?
A: Small businesses can continue to provide in-house delivery, third-party delivery (Uber Eats/Grub Hub), drive-through, curbside pick-up and carry-out services.
Q: Can restaurants cater at an individual's home under this Executive Order if there are less than 50 people in attendance?
A: Yes, restaurants and private caterers can continue to operate by providing catering services to gatherings of under 50 people.
Q: Will food trucks be impacted?
A: Food trucks may continue to operate and must ensure that they have an environment where patrons maintain adequate social distancing.
Q: Does this Governor’s Executive Order 2020-7 apply to gyms, movie theaters, and video game cafes?
A: Yes. The Executive Order applies to any public or private gathering including community, civic, public, leisure, faith -based events, sporting events with spectators, concerts, conventions, and any similar event or activity that brings together 50 or more people in a single room or a single space at the same time. This includes venues such as fitness centers, health clubs, bowling alleys, private clubs, theaters, movie theaters, and other video gaming cafes.
Q: Does the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-7 prohibit curbside pickup?
A: No. Businesses may continue to provide curbside pick up services. Businesses are also permitted and encouraged to serve food and beverages so that they can be consumed off-premises through means such as in-house delivery, third-party delivery, and drive-through.
Q: Can cafes/restaurants inside hospitals remain open for the healthcare workforce that may need to eat?
A: Yes. Dining areas in hospitals are exempted from the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-7, released on March 16, 2020.
Q: Are colleges/universities, airports, hotels and hospitals exempted from providing food services?
A: Yes. These entities may continue to provide food services. Customers may dine-in at college/university dining halls, airports, and hospitals. While customers may not dine-in at hotel restaurants, customers may receive meals to-go or through room service.
Q: How many people can participate in a church service under the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-7? There has been talk of 10 attendees but the Executive Order states less than 50?
A: Church services can still continue as long as the church maintain a crowd of fewer than 50 people.
Q: Are funerals restricted under the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-7?
A: The Cemetery Association released a notice indicating that burials and graveside services may continue to be performed so long as the cemetery and the involved family and funeral director maintain a crowd of fewer than 50 people and maintain a distance of six or more feet.
Executive Order 2020-7: Unemployment benefits/Business Insurance/Business Relief
Q: What measures can be taken to help restaurants with their losses?
A: The Administration applied to the U.S. Small Business Administration for the entire State to be eligible for Economic Injury Disaster Loan Assistance. We expect the SBA to approve of the declaration in the coming days. Once the declaration is granted, eligible impacted businesses and non-profits will be able to apply for loan assistance, up to $2 million per company at low and fixed interest rates. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact.
Q: Will Small business loans be quick to be processed and given? Will there be a lot of requirements?
A: DCEO and Small Business Development Centers will be providing technical assistance to small businesses technical in completing their applications for loan assistance.
Q: Can we confirm that all restaurant workers will receive unemployment benefits? What if they don't qualify for unemployment benefits? What about reduced hours?
A: The Small Business Association (SBA) is offering coronavirus disaster assistance loans to help impacted companies get through this period of instability, and this will ensure that all of our counties qualify for assistance.
Q: Can the Governor provide unemployment benefits to gig economy workers?
A: Currently, definition of independent contractors is very narrow, but we encourage those who need them to apply. Apply at IDES: https://www2.illinois.gov/ides/Pages/COVID-19-and-Unemployment-Benefits.aspx
Q: Does this include bars who have a package liquor license? Class 1 or Class 2 breweries which can sell growlers, etc.? What is the difference from allowing people to go into restaurants for carryout vs. carry out for package?
A: The Illinois Liquor Control Commission has published guidelines related to COVID19. Please visit: https://www2.illinois.gov/ilcc/Pages/Home.aspx
Q: How long will schools be closed?
A: Pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-05, at this time schools may reopen on Tuesday, March 31. Future decisions regarding statewide school closures will be made in consultation with public health officials.
Q: Can schools extend testing dates?
A: The U.S. Department of Education has communicated that it will make waivers available for assessments and accountability. ISBE will work in partnership with stakeholders to determine next steps for Illinois. ISBE is working to ensure this closure will not impact school year 2019-20 summative designations. View additional information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on assessments and accountability from the U.S. Department of Education.
Q: Is there any mandate relief potentially coming? What can be done via legislation?
A: ISBE is reviewing the School Code and other laws to identify sections that may need to be modified as a result of the mandated closure. ISBE and the Governor’s Office will stay in communication with legislators once requested changes are identified.
Q: How can school districts retrieve access to iPads, chrome books and other items during the school closures?
A: ISBE sent a survey asking that every school district, special education cooperative, nonpublic school, and Regional Office of Education that administers an alternative learning program complete the E-learning Technology Needs Survey at www.isbe.net/covid19. The responses will provide ISBE with a clear understanding of exactly what schools need in order to provide e-learning to all students in the immediate future, should the mandated school closure need to extend beyond March 30. ISBE is
working with the Governor's Office to explore opportunities within the philanthropic community and the private sector to meet your technology needs.
Q: How will days be counted during the mandated closure?
A: All days that a school is closed pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-05 will be counted Act of God Days. Emergency Days will not be used. Act of God Days do not need to be made up at the end of the school year.
School districts are strongly encouraged to provide instruction to students during these Act of God Days through whatever means possible.
School districts should consult with their local collective bargaining units about expectations for teachers and other staff. Decisions should be reached by mutual agreement. Teachers are paid during Act of God Days, and Act of God Days count toward Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS), Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF), and Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF) service. The Governor’s office and ISBE joined a statement with the Illinois Education Association, Illinois Federation of Teachers, Illinois Principals Association, and Illinois Association of School Administrators.
Q: How will a school deal with bus transportation reimbursement during the closure, when school buses may not be running regular routes
A: ISBE will base transportation reimbursement on expenditures. All allowable transportation expenditures incurred during the closure will be claimable for Transportation Reimbursement. School districts should work with their bus contractors to make payments to ensure that all personnel, including bus monitors and bus drivers, can continue to be paid during the closure. If school districts choose to negotiate and execute a contract amendment with their bus contractors to make payments during the closure to ensure transportation personnel will be paid in full, those expenditures will be reimbursed for state Transportation Reimbursement. Consultation with the district’s legal representation is advised.
Q: Will kids be graded based on any homework during this time?
A: Student work completed during the mandated statewide school closure must not negatively impact a student’s grades or otherwise impact a student’s academic standing. As we do not yet know the full extent of the closure and want to minimize any negative effects on students, schools may allow student work to count during the closure only to increase a student’s academic standing.
Q: Due to school closures, what will happen for the homeless students or those who cannot go home?
A: All public universities are making arrangements for, at minimum, students who are homeless, youth in care, and international students who lack other housing. For specific policies by institution, please see Please review policies by university on the Illinois Board of Education Website.
Q: Will universities have an action plan if a student contracts COVID-19?
A: All public university campuses have identified spaces in case of need to quarantine and will seek medical help for the impacted student.
Q: How will students continue online coursework if they do not have access to broadband?
A: The administration and universities are looking into options to assist in ensuring that all students have access to the technology needed to participate in online learning.
Q: Will campus childcare continue to operate?
A: Campus-childcare centers will remain open until further notice.
Q: Are all university employees to remain at work?
A: Universities are identifying remote employees/employees who serve students will be working.
Q: Are community colleges are not required to remain open?
A: Community Colleges campus will remain open and will move to online education.
Q: How will adult education programs be affected?
A: Community Colleges will be closing adult educator programs throughout the state but will not be penalized and will continue to be paid.
Q: How will this impact MAP Grants for students and federal work study?
A: No interruption for state financial aid programs is expected. With respect to work-study, the U.S. Department of Education has instructed institutions that participate in federal work-study that as long as they continue to pay other employees, they should continue to pay work-study recipients.
Q: What will happen to Veteran’s Education Benefits?
A: Additional guidance is expected this week regarding veterans’ education benefits. In the meantime the federal government has instructed that no changes in veteran eligibility for education benefits should be made.
Q: Will graduation be cancelled?
A: The University of Illinois systems has cancelled commencement services for all 3 schools and will mail diplomas. Decisions from other institutions are forthcoming.
Q: How are we addressing homeless people and shelters?
A: The governor’s office is working diligently with DHS, local EMAs and community partners to identify the needs and solutions to ensure that people experiencing homelessness are supported through this pandemic. We are yes exploring all possible solutions for housing and will have additional info in the coming days.
Q: Will DHS providers be penalized if services are cut back or eliminated temporarily?
A: DHS is working to ensure that providers will not be financially penalized if services are scaled back or shut down during this emergency. Community-based human services providers will be provided with support to maintain operations to the maximum extent possible while operations are temporarily suspended or diminished.
Q: Will there be funding for DHS grantees that are taking on additional responsibility?
A: Organizations taking on increased public responsibility during this time may receive additional funding commensurate with the temporary reorganization of services. On a limited basis, going forward, existing contracts may be amended to account for increasing needs for services on a case-by-case basis. Please contact your program liaisons for more information.
Q: Can entities such as churches and the YMCA act as temporary childcare centers?
A: The administration is working on making this method feasible for groups of 50 or less.
Q: Does DCFS have a master list of day care closures?
A: At this point each facility is required to report closures to a central database with INCCRRA. That information is being shared with local CCR&R’s. Constituents should reach out or advise their constituents to reach out to their local CCR&R’s. Below is the link to CCR&R database. https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=72101
Q: What changes are being made to allow for the transportation of supplies?
A: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic a Presential Declaration of Emergency has been declared for the nation. TO assist with the emergency response/relief as defined in the Presidential Declaration, overweight and over dimension loads not exceeding 14 feet in width and 100 feet in length are hereby authorized to be transported on roads under the jurisdiction of the State of Illinois with the following restrictions:
- A copy of this authorization, the Presidential declaration and bill of lading must be in the possession of the operator must be in possession of the operator during the process of movement and shall be available for inspection upon request to any police officer or any authorized employee of the department of transportation.
- There are no fees associated with this authorization.
- Haulers may carry up to 88,000 lbs. on 5 axels or an additional 10% above legal loads on fewer axels.
Q: The biggest issue I am seeing is how to identify seniors in need and get them food so they can self-isolate. How do we make sure everyone is covered with meals in an organized way?
A: Local Community Care Units as well as local Area Agencies on Aging continue to provide home-delivered meals. If a senior needs assistance making contact with their local Community Care Unit or Area Agency on Aging, please contact the Senior Helpline at 1-800-252-8966.
Q: Can SNAP recipients who are elderly or disabled allow someone to use their card to purchase groceries?
A: A customer can give their Link card and PIN to anyone they trust to purchase groceries for them at any time. No waivers are needed.
Q: Is the Department on Aging able to help all seniors or just those enrolled in one of IDoA’s waiver services?
A: The Department on Aging helps ALL seniors not just Community Care Program participants through the many programs we do – especially through the Older Americans Act and our Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs). The only criteria for those programs and services is 60 and older according to the Older Americans Act.
Q: Will the Department of Motor Vehicles give amnesty for the elderly and individuals with health concerns seeking to renew their driver’s license?
A: The Secretary of State has issued emergency rules to extend the expiration dates for driver’s licenses, identification (ID) cards, vehicle registrations and other transactions and document filings by 30 days. For more information, view the media release here. https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/news/2020/march/200316d1.pdf
Q: Does the state have any plans to address alleged retail price gouging?
A: Governor Pritzker has stated in is press conference that price gouging will not be tolerated. Attorney General Raoul is investigating each and every allegation of price gouging. Consumers can report COVID-19 price gouging and fraud here https://ccformsubmission.ilattorneygeneral.net/