IMA COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update - #31
The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association has been communicating directly with manufacturers across Illinois as the situation changes and will continue posting resources online at the IMA’s dedicated page .
The University of Illinois Institute of Government & Public Affairs (IGPA) prepared a new report estimating that Illinois could lose more than $28 billion between calendar years 2020 and 2023 under the most severe model of a projected pandemic-related downturn followed by a weak recovery. In all but the best-case scenario, Illinois’ state revenue impact will be worse that the Great Recession from 2007 to 2009. The IGPA used new, national models of economic outcomes to project the potential impact on the three largest sources of state revenue including the individual income tax, corporate income tax, and sales tax. The report noted that policymakers need to focus on five core principles: transparency, protection of the vulnerable, economic efficiency, minimizing borrowing for operations, and flexibility. 

Daily COVID-19 Results
Governor JB Pritzker held his daily press conference and announced:
  1. There are 1,465 new cases of coronavirus in Illinois.
  2. There are a total of 596 deaths related to coronavirus in Illinois, including 68 additional deaths announced today.
  3. A total of 17,887 cases have been confirmed in at least 81 of the 102 counties.
  4. There have been 87,527 individuals tested for coronavirus in Illinois.

Press Conference Key Updates

New or critical items of note that were discussed today by the Governor:
  1. The Governor focused his comments on protecting vulnerable populations and the need to improve the health disparities that exist in Illinois.
  2. Illinois is working on where and how coronavirus tests are being administered and putting a focus on Chicago's south and west side and the metro east area. A new state-run south suburban drive through testing center will open next week in the Markham/Harvey area.
  3. The Governor also discussed how local health departments have established local alternate housing plans for those who test positive and have low-key symptoms but need to move out of their homes as a precautionary measure for others living in the same home. The state has also established alternate living locations to help support local health departments.
  4. The state is continuing to work with Abbott Laboratories on getting tests for the 15 rapid result machines that Abbott previously gave the state. These 15 machines are being divided among qualified health centers and state correctional facilities.

Employer Resources & Programs

The IMA published a guide last week on the topics of Federal and State Grants, Unemployment Insurance, and Leave.

The IMA is continuing to offer weekly conference calls and webinars to update manufacturers and businesses about changing laws, rules, and regulations. To access previous webinars on a variety of COVID-19 related issues, such as, addressing FFCRA in the workplace and discovering how employers can take advantage of the CARES Act, please click here .

This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new interim guidelines for essential workers to ensure continuity of essential functions such as manufacturing. The CDC guidance is designed to educate employers on when workers can return to work after having been exposed to the novel coronavirus. 
Question & Answer Section
As a reminder, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has a variety of frequently asked questions and answers on their website, including a section on " Essential Businesses & Operations Frequently Asked Questions " that includes questions and answers, such as:

Q. My business falls within one of the [essential businesses and operations] categories. Can I require my employees come to work?

A. The intent of the Executive Order is to ensure that the maximum number of people self-isolate in their places of residence. Even essential businesses and operations should promote telecommuting whenever possible. Consider alternating work schedules to minimize the number of employees in the office at the same time. To the greatest extent feasible, essential businesses and operations shall comply with social distancing requirements, including maintaining six-foot social distancing for both employees and members of the public at all times. They must also take the following practice measures wherever possible:
  • Designating with signage, tape, or by other means six-foot spacing for employees and customers in line to maintain appropriate distance;
  • Having hand sanitizer and sanitizing products readily available for employees and customers;
  • Implementing separate operating hours for elderly and vulnerable customers;
  • Posting online whether a facility is open and how best to reach the facility and continue services by phone or remotely.

Q. My business is not considered an “Essential Business,” does this order require the business to shut down my facility?

A. You and your employees are allowed to perform “Minimum Basic Operations” at your work place, so long as employees maintain a distance of six feet from one another to the greatest extent feasible. Minimum Basic Operations include maintaining the value of inventory, payroll, ensuring security, and ensuring that employees can work remotely. Other than to maintain “Minimum Basic Operations,” employees can only work remotely from their residences.

Q. My business is non-essential. Can I have one person come in on a daily basis to pack up online orders and take them to the post office?

A. Yes. Maintaining inventory is considered a minimum basic operation that non-essential businesses can continue to perform. However, non-essential businesses are not permitted to have in-store pickup. The inventory must be taken to the post office or otherwise shipped. The business cannot deliver the product to the purchaser’s home. 
Mark Denzler
President & CEO
Illinois Manufacturers' Association
Disclaimer : The information in this email is provided for general informational purposes only as a benefit of your membership in the Illinois Manufacturers' Association. No information contained in this email should be construed as legal advice from the IMA or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney directly.