Vaccine Distribution Coming Soon for Manufacturers

Governor JB Pritzker announced yesterday that Illinois will be moving to Phase 1B in the coming days with an official announcement expected later this week. The IMA will quickly provide any updated guidance and timing when it is announced later this week.

As the IMA has reported several times recently, Illinois updated their vaccine distribution plan to reflect changes in the federal ACIP guidance and manufacturing workers are now included in Phase 1B. This phase includes:

  • Manufacturing (industrial production of goods for wholesale, retail, or other manufacturers)
  • First responders
  • Food and agriculture
  • Correctional workers and inmates
  • USPS workers
  • Public transit workers (flight crew, train conductors, bus drivers, taxis, ride share)
  • Grocery store employees
  • Shelters and day care staff

Vaccines will be provided to local departments of public health. The IMA encourages employers to check with your local department of public health to determine their specific course of action. Lake County, for example, has an online registration portal where individuals can now register and will be notified when they can make an appointment. Other counties are utilizing a first come, first serve system while others are requiring appointments.

Please note that the guidance continues to change as new recommendations from the federal government are updated.

Q: Does my company (or employees) need to register or apply to get in line for the vaccine?

A: When Illinois gets to Phase 1B, each local public health department will work with local employers and individuals in the classification to determine how vaccines will be administered. Every county is handling their system different with some requiring appointments and others using a first come, first serve approach.

Q: How will the health care provider know that my employee can get a vaccine? Is a letter or company ID required?

A: No – a letter or company ID are not required. Individuals will be asked to show identification and sign or attest that they fall within the designated category. The health care provider may follow up with additional questions if there are doubts that a person does not fall within that category.

Q: How will local public health departments prioritize the classes under Phase 1B?

A: Illinois has not created a ranking or priority list. However, local public health agencies could impose a system to try and vaccinate workers who may be more at risk than others within the 1B phase. 

Q: Do I have to be a resident of the county to get a shot?

A: Most counties currently are providing vaccines to individuals who live or work in the county. However, these decisions are left to local discretion.


Mitigation Steps

Governor Pritzker announced that the Administration will begin to relax the Tier 3 mitigation measures on Friday, January 15, in regions that qualify according to the state’s metrics. Illinois has been under Tier 3 mitigations since November 20 when the Governor announced the increased mitigation in an attempt to reduce the spread of the virus in the face of increasing cases. Manufacturing will continue operating with no changes. These reduced mitigation changes primarily focus on consumer facing businesses like restaurants and bars. In order to qualify for Tier 2, the following metrics must be reached:

  • Less than a 12% positivity rate (7-day rolling average) for three consecutive days; AND
  • Greater than 20% available ICU and medical/surgical beds for three consecutive days (3-day rolling average); AND
  • A decline in the number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital (7-day rolling average) for 7 out of the last 10 days. 

Under the Governor’s plan, Tier 2 mitigation includes:

Bars
  • All bars close at 11pm and may reopen no earlier than 6am the following day
  • No indoor service
  • All bar patrons should be seated at tables outside
  • No ordering, seating, or congregating at bar (bar stools should be removed)
  • Tables should be 6 feet apart
  • No standing or congregating indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting
  • No dancing or standing indoors
  • Reservations required for each party 
  • No seating of multiple parties at one table
  • No tables exceeding 6 people

Restaurants
  • All restaurants close at 11pm and may reopen no earlier than 6am the following day
  • No indoor dining or bar service
  • Tables should be 6 feet apart No standing or congregating indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting
  • Reservations required for each party
  • No seating of multiple parties at one table
  • No tables exceeding 6 people

Retail
  • Reduced Capacity

Meetings and Social Gatherings
  • Limit to 10 guests in both indoor and outdoor settings
  • Applicable to professional, cultural and social group gatherings.
  • Not applicable to students participating in-person classroom learning, sports or polling places.
  • This does not reduce the overall facility capacity dictated by general business guidance such as office, retail, etc.
  • No party buses
  • Gaming and Casinos close at 11:00pm, are limited to 25 percent capacity, and follow mitigations for bars and restaurants, if applicable

Organized Group Recreational Activities
  • Limit to lesser of 25 guests or 25% of overall room capacity both indoors & outdoors
  • Groups limited to 10 or fewer people
  • All Sports Guidance effective August 15, 2020, remains in effect
  • Outdoor Activities (not included in the above exposure settings) continue per current DCEO guidance
Mark Denzler
President & CEO
Illinois Manufacturers' Association