The novel coronavirus (COVID-19), now classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization, is causing rapidly cascading events in Illinois and across the globe. The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association has been communicating directly with manufacturers across Illinois as the situation changes and will continue posting resources online at
. This page will be updated with official information and facts continuously as events warrant and resources become available.
Governor JB Pritzker held his daily press briefing this afternoon, joined by Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County Board President Tony Preckwinkle, and offered several updates:
- There are seven new cases of the coronavirus in Illinois today including a child (two in Chicago, one each in Kane and McHenry Counties, and three in Cook County)
- A total of 32 cases have been confirmed in Illinois and some individuals have already recovered.
- The primary election will occur next Tuesday, March 17, with voters encouraged to vote early or by mail.
- State workers will be encouraged to tele-work and businesses are encouraged to do the same.
There are six key items of note that were discussed today by the Governor and leaders.
- Governor Pritzker and Mayor Lightfoot are using emergency powers to implement a ban on all events with more than 1,000 attendees in Illinois. This includes sporting events, concerts, and banquets but does not include closing airports, stores, or trains.
- The Governor, Mayor, and Board President are urging the cancellation or postponement of all events with more than 250 attendees. This is not a mandate.
- The Governor and Illinois State Board of Education are not closing public schools at this time. However, Mayor Lightfoot indicated that individual Chicago schools may be closed if cases of COVID-19 are confirmed with links to the schools. Gov. Pritzker did indicate that local school districts can make closure decisions for their own districts on their own authority, in consultation with state and local public health officials.
- The James R. Thompson Center in Chicago (State of Illinois building) will be closed for all individuals without official business in order to protect state workers who are working to keep the state operating.
- Chicago is not requiring the closure of businesses. They are considering proposals to reduce the impact on employers.
- Chicago is not closing public transportation.
Separately, Mayor Lightfoot noted that Comcast is providing free wireless service to low-income residents for 60 days and doubling internet speed to help individuals work from home. In a meeting today, the Mayor noted that Chicago has lost more than $200 million in economic activity due to trade show closures with an identical amount at risk in April and May.
As the IMA noted yesterday, the Governor is working on a paid leave program using the Unemployment Insurance program. The Department of Employment Security is filing emergency rules tomorrow that will be in place for 150 days that will expand eligibility to individuals impacted by COVID-19 by changing the “ability to work” standard. The IMA and employers are opposed to proposals that increase taxes on individual companies – the cost should be universalized or funded by state or federal government. This could impact the UI Trust Fund in the event of a recession.
The IMA is in constant contact with the Governor’s office and White House along with federal, state, and local health and emergency officials. We will continue to monitor and provide accurate information on a timely basis.