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Illinois governor issues guidance amid COVID-19 pandemic

Illinois leaders are mandating all large-scale gatherings with more than 1,000 people be canceled. The state suggests any gatherings of 250 people or more be postponed until May 1.

Posted: Mar 12, 2020 6:16 PM
Updated: Mar 13, 2020 3:02 PM

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has issued new guidance for the state amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Illinois leaders are mandating all large-scale gatherings with more than 1,000 people be canceled. The state suggests any gatherings of 250 people or more be postponed until May 1.

See the full statement below.

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Following CDC guidance and recommendations by local public health experts, the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago are issuing new guidance to residents to prevent further spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). These new precautionary measures were developed with large events and gatherings in mind, and will promote social distancing practices – a key recommendation to prevent community spread of the disease with the least disruption possible to people’s daily lives.

“The guidance I am issuing today is for the entire state of Illinois. We have seen what works and what doesn’t work from other countries around the world – especially in the earliest days of community spread of this virus. Don’t be fooled into thinking your community is immune,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “I am not going to hesitate to take the most aggressive measures possible to protect the people of our state. We need to reduce social contact in order to try and control the spread of the virus and prevent our medical infrastructure from dealing with too many cases at one time. We all have responsibilities to the most vulnerable among us and that means making sacrifices in the immediate term.”

“As we’ve said before, and as we will continue to say, the health and wellness of residents not only throughout the city, but also the entire state, is our top priority as we continue to learn more about COVID-19 and adjust our response plans accordingly,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “This new guidance is not meant to elevate fear, but rather allow the City to prevent further spread throughout the community and safeguard the health and wellness of the general public, and we will continue to review and amend these protocols and procedures as the situation evolves.”

Specifically, the State of Illinois and City of Chicago are issuing the following guidance:

COMMUNITY EVENTS
The State and City are mandating all large-scale events exceeding 1,000 individuals be cancelled for the next 30 days. The City of Chicago will be enforcing this ban.
Additionally, the State and the City are encouraging that community events of 250 people or more should be cancelled or postponed until May 1. This includes personal and social events. Residents should use good judgment about canceling events in their own communities.
For events less than 250 people, residents should closely consider who is likely to attend the event and, if it includes vulnerable populations, strongly consider canceling.
All major sporting events with large spectator crowds should be cancelled until May 1. This should include school and college events as well as major league sporting events. The Governor has spoken with the owners of all the major sports teams in Illinois and they are in full support of these measures to protect the health of their fans and will cancel all games until May 1.

SCHOOLS
At this time, the City and the State do not recommend that school be cancelled. While schools will remain open, local jurisdictions should develop their own local guidance.
The State of Illinois is working closely with school districts around the state on their own guidance and policies, and currently recommends schools do not hold large assemblies, including sports with spectators exceeding 250 people. . While every school district is different, the State encourages school administrators and faculty to make responsible decisions, guided by recommendations from the CDC and the state, that are in the best interest of the health and safety of their students.
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is issuing guidance for cancellation of events of 50 people or more and has cancelled sports. CPS will also restrict access to school buildings to essential personnel, and limit district-sanctioned trips beyond city limits.
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) system has collaborated with CDPH to issue its own unique guidance, which includes cancellation of events of 50 people or more and suspending sports until further notice. CPS will also restrict access to school buildings to essential personnel, and limit district-sanctioned trips beyond city limits.

GOVERNMENT
The Office of the Governor will remain open and operating, as we are fully committed to ensuring that the government will continue to serve the people of Illinois during this time.
The Office of the Governor is working closely with all state agencies to ensure essential services will continue to be provided, while taking steps to protect the health and safety of state workers.
The James R. Thompson Center will be closed to people who don’t have business with the state in the building for the foreseeable future, beginning Monday. The essential government functions that the people in this building perform will continue during this time.
City Hall will remain open, and there is no plan to cancel meetings of the City Council for the next week. However, the City is strongly recommending, in accordance with guidance from CDPH and the CDC, that residents view next week’s meeting via livestream instead of in-person to ensure City business moves forward safely and efficiently.

BUSINESSES AND WORKPLACES
The State encourages businesses across the state to take advantage of teleworking capabilities.
Every business that can have employees work remotely should consider doing so immediately.
For those who cannot, we encourage employers to take proper precautions to keep individuals safe in the workplace. This includes reminding staff to stay home when sick or with a fever; considering a plan for teleworking where feasible; remaining flexible on leave policies; and promoting robust mitigation approaches, such as hand washing, cleaning, and offering hand sanitizer. The City is also developing an addendum to its sick leave policies, as well as guidance on teleworking for employees.

ELECTIONS
The election will proceed as scheduled on Tuesday, March 17. This is a fundamental function of government, and the state is committed to making sure the election proceeds with as little disruption as possible.
Local jurisdictions are encouraged to expand hours for early voting over the weekend to reduce the number of people who would need to vote on Election Day.
Voters who have not already submitted a vote by mail application can pick up a vote by mail ballot through Monday at their local election offices.

VULNERABLE POPULATIONS
The State and the City continue to focus outreach efforts for those most vulnerable to severe illness from the coronavirus, our elderly and immunocompromised residents.
Individuals who fall into these categories should take extra caution when attending gatherings of any size and avoid exposure to large groups of people whenever possible.
The state has implemented new staffing procedures and strict guidelines restricting visitors at state-operated long-term care facilities and is also working closely with private nursing home and assisted living associations on the adoption of similar guidelines.

“Although there is no evidence of spread in community across Illinois, we anticipate there will be,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “Now is the time to implement aggressive strategies to limit introduction or spread of the virus in communities. This will mean small, and sometimes large sacrifices, but these strategies are vital for the health of our state and we ask for everyone’s help in protecting our most vulnerable populations.”

“I want to echo Mayor Lightfoot and reiterate the health and wellness of Chicagoans remains our top priority as we continue our robust response to the Coronavirus 2019 outbreak,” said Allison Arwady, M.D., Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health. “Our team has been working around the clock and communicating with health experts at every level to develop the proper response to address this constantly evolving situation. Most importantly we urge those in vulnerable populations to use additional caution and stay home whenever possible.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health has a statewide COVID-19 hotline and website to answer any questions from the public or to report a suspected case: call 1-800-889-3931 or visit IDPH.illinois.gov.

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Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 363740

Reported Deaths: 9647
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1700395390
DuPage21776605
Lake20042507
Will17616425
Kane16038345
Winnebago9736179
St. Clair7759216
Madison6957153
McHenry5943120
Champaign589328
Peoria438868
McLean399731
Rock Island382289
Sangamon372262
Unassigned3631260
Kankakee328878
Macon279449
Kendall255528
Tazewell252252
LaSalle228161
DeKalb221342
Coles182838
Williamson180059
Boone177425
Adams173015
Clinton168725
Vermilion16198
Jackson149126
Whiteside129725
Randolph122015
Knox119016
Ogle11377
Effingham11214
Grundy9237
Franklin9138
Marion89617
Jefferson88845
Monroe88428
Bureau87917
Morgan86524
Stephenson8657
Henry8207
Christian80027
Macoupin76010
Union74625
McDonough70817
Fayette66022
Lee6581
Crawford6396
Shelby63111
Douglas6048
Livingston59710
Montgomery58715
Woodford56814
Logan5664
Saline5249
Bond4839
Warren4747
Wayne47312
Iroquois46819
Jersey46721
Jo Daviess4617
Fulton4601
Cass45511
Perry41516
Moultrie3905
Carroll3839
Johnson3320
Richland32516
Lawrence3238
Pike3044
Clay29813
Mason2941
Clark29210
Hancock2924
Washington2891
Greene28015
Cumberland2626
Jasper25810
De Witt2484
White2482
Mercer2376
Pulaski2301
Piatt2240
Wabash2165
Ford18711
Menard1711
Edgar1508
Massac1462
Marshall1423
Henderson1210
Hamilton1142
Alexander1131
Gallatin1062
Brown1030
Edwards1010
Scott1000
Putnam880
Schuyler841
Stark832
Calhoun670
Hardin530
Pope381
Out of IL50

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 155246

Reported Deaths: 4065
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion25151785
Lake13570355
St. Joseph9145161
Elkhart8759135
Allen8129228
Hamilton6117113
Vanderburgh576760
Tippecanoe369515
Hendricks3268133
Monroe325738
Porter313649
Johnson3105128
Clark293961
Delaware293274
Vigo260538
Madison235093
Cass224022
LaPorte222858
Warrick192965
Kosciusko182625
Floyd179167
Howard162466
Bartholomew141558
Dubois138626
Marshall137426
Wayne126930
Henry125429
Grant125339
Boone122250
Hancock118245
Noble115933
Jackson112915
Dearborn94928
Morgan93740
Lawrence87436
Daviess87133
Gibson87111
Clinton84716
Shelby81730
LaGrange80115
Harrison76224
Knox75610
Putnam72816
Posey7146
DeKalb71011
Fayette66618
Steuben6278
Miami6095
Jasper5945
White58515
Montgomery58322
Greene53337
Scott51813
Decatur50439
Adams4837
Whitley4556
Clay4467
Ripley4418
Sullivan43714
Wells4288
Wabash4119
Starke4077
Orange40425
Huntington3905
Spencer3906
Washington3753
Franklin37225
Jennings36713
Fulton3523
Randolph3529
Jefferson3415
Pike33018
Carroll32513
Perry31014
Jay3056
Fountain2943
Tipton27523
Vermillion2411
Parke2323
Newton22511
Rush2154
Blackford2093
Owen2051
Martin1990
Crawford1581
Pulaski1521
Brown1393
Ohio1297
Benton1100
Union1100
Switzerland920
Warren781
Unassigned0234