Resources for COVID-19 response and prevention

As the coronavirus 2019 continues to spread the State of Illinois and the Center of Disease Control & Prevention has recommended steps to plan, prepare and respond. It is the Grundy County Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s mission to aid, protect and help our local business community. Below are the recommendations and resources we will follow and share with our members and community.

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    The Chamber has provided free printable signage to help promote social distancing requirements. Visit here for the printable signs.

    IDPH Emergency Rules to Enforce the Use of Face Coverings and Gathering Restrictions

    Provided by Illinois Department of Public Health
    Date: 8/14/2020

    The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is proposing emergency rules pursuant to the Department of Public Health Act and the Communicable Disease Report Act regarding the use of face coverings and restrictions on gatherings to suppress the spread of COVID-19. The rule sets forth a measured and deliberate process designed to encourage voluntary compliance before a business is ordered to comply or is subject to penalties. The rules provide multiple opportunities for compliance before any penalty is issued and allow for a penalty that is significantly less severe than the penalties (like license revocation or closure) that are currently available. Individuals are not subject to any penalty under the rule.

    Requirements and restrictions:

    • Any individual over age two and able to medically tolerate a face covering is required to cover their nose and mouth with a face covering when in a public place and unable to maintain at
      least a six-foot social distance.
    • Any business, service, facility, or organization shall take reasonable steps to require employees, customers, and other individuals on the premises to wear a face covering.
    • Public and nonpublic schools, ranging from preschools through post-secondary institutions, and day care centers and homes shall require students, employees, and other individuals on the premises to wear a face covering.
    • Gatherings of more than 50 people or more than 50% of a building’s maximum capacity are prohibited unless exempted by law or Executive Order. Businesses that comply with the guidance issued by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) are complying with the Executive Order and thus are complying with this rule.

    Enforcement framework for non-compliance with face covering requirements:

    IDPH, all local boards of health, health authorities and officers, police officers, and sheriffs are
    authorized to enforce the emergency rule as follows:

    Enforcement against a business, service, facility, or organization open to the public

    • First, the establishment will be given a written notice of non-compliance by an enforcing entity and a reasonable opportunity to come into compliance.
    • Second, the establishment may be ordered to have some or all the people on the premises disperse if it does not voluntarily comply in a reasonable time after receiving a verbal or written notice.
    • Third, any establishment that refuses to comply with a written order to disperse will be subject to the penalties set forth in Section 8.1 of the Department of Public Health Act, which could
      include a Class A Misdemeanor. For an establishment, the only possible penalty is a fine of between $75 and $2500 for refusal to voluntarily comply after an opportunity to come into compliance.
    • Enforcing entities are required to take into consideration reasonable efforts taken by the establishment to ensure patrons and employees wear a face covering while they are at the
      establishment and unable to maintain a social distance of at least six feet.
    • The rule makes clear in numerous places that no individual may be subject to the penalties set forth under Section 8.1 of the Act.

    Enforcement against schools and day care establishments

    • A school or day care may be given a written notice of non-compliance and a reasonable opportunity come into compliance.
    • Schools and day cares are required to notify parents in writing that a notice of non-compliance was issued and disclose their plan to come into compliance.
    • The enforcing entity will notify the local health authority, the local school district or parent institution affiliated with the school, the Illinois State Board of Education, the Illinois Board of Higher Education, the Illinois Community College Board, or DCFS, as appropriate, if the school or day care establishment fails to comply after receiving a written notice of non-compliance.
    • Local health authorities are authorized to take necessary measures to ensure schools or day care establishments come into compliance.

    Illinois Department of Public Health COVID-19 Emergency Rules on Face Coverings & Gathering Size

    Provided by Illinois Department of Public Health
    Date: 8/14/2020

    In an effort to maintain the progress we have made in Illinois’ COVID-19 pandemic response, the Pritzker administration has filed emergency rules for businesses, schools, and child care establishments regarding the use of face coverings and the size of gatherings.

    These rules provide multiple opportunities for compliance before any penalty is issued, giving local authorities more leeway to support community public health in a productive manner. While existing, pre-pandemic enforcement laws, like revoking a license, are stringent and severe, these rules provide flexibility for local communities and a measured process to help keep people safe.

    KEY POINTS:

    • The goal here is one we should all share: prioritizing public health and encouraging compliance with public health guidance that will keep us all safe.
    • The new rules encourage voluntary compliance and offer businesses multiple opportunities to implement health guidelines before receiving a penalty, a system already utilized in other states like New York, Louisiana, and Nevada.
    • The majority of states, from our Midwest colleagues like Ohio and Wisconsin to Republican-led states like Georgia and Florida, have or had enforcement mechanisms relating to their pandemic response. This temporary emergency rule brings Illinois in line with this national practice, giving local officials more flexibility in their ability to keep their communities safe.
    • This is about businesses and organizations, not individual people. Individuals are not subject to any penalty under this rule. The vast majority of Illinoisans are already making the responsible and compassionate choice to wear a face mask when social distancing is not possible.
    • Illinois has made substantial progress in our fight against COVID-19 because the vast majority of communities and business owners have done the right thing and followed the public health guidance. These rules will help ensure that the small minority who refuse to act responsibly, won’t take our state backwards.

    13 Illinois Counties at Warning Level for Coronavirus Disease

    Provided by Illinois Department of Public Health
    Date: 8/7/2020

    SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today reported 13 counties in Illinois are considered to be at a warning level for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). A
    county enters a warning level when two or more COVID-19 risk indicators that measure the amount of COVID-19 increase.

    Thirteen counties are currently reported at a warning level – Cass, Coles, Grundy, Iroquois, Jackson, Monroe, Perry, Saline, St. Clair, Tazewell, Union, Williamson, Winnebago.

    These counties saw cases or outbreaks associated with businesses, long-term care facilities, large social gatherings, and out of state travel. There have been several instances of multiple cases
    among family members in the same, large household. Students returning to universities and colleges are also driving the recent increase in cases in several communities. Many students are
    not wearing face coverings or social distancing and are gathering in large groups and at bars.

    Several counties are taking swift action and implementing mitigation measures to help slow spread of the virus. Examples include working with university administrations for student
    education and contact tracing, working with county boards of health, and cancelling events and festivals.

    IDPH uses numerous indicators when determining if a county is experiencing stable COVID-19
    activity, or if there are warning signs of increased COVID-19 risk in the county.

    • New cases per 100,000 people. If there are more than 50 new cases per 100,000 people in the county, this triggers a warning.
    • Number of deaths. This metric indicates a warning when the weekly number of deaths increases more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.
    • Weekly test positivity. This metric indicates a warning when the 7-day test positivity rate rises above 8%.
    • ICU availability. If there are fewer than 20% of intensive care units available in the region, this triggers a warning.
    • Weekly emergency department visits. This metric indicates a warning when the weekly percent of COVID-19-like-illness emergency department visits increase by more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.
    • Weekly hospital admissions. A warning is triggered when the weekly number of hospital admissions for COVID-19-like-illness increases by more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.
    • Tests perform. This metric is used to provide context and indicate if more testing is needed in the county.
    • Clusters. This metric looks at the percent of COVID-19 cases associated with clusters or outbreaks and is used to understand large increase in cases.

    These metrics are intended to be used for local level awareness to help local leaders, businesses, local health departments, and the public make informed decisions about personal and family
    gatherings, as well as what activities they choose to do. The metrics are updated weekly, from the Sunday-Saturday of the prior week.

    A map and information of each county’s status can be found on the IDPH website at https://www.dph.illinois.gov/countymetrics.

    Credit: https://www2.illinois.gov/IISNews/21893-13_Illinois_Counties_at_Warning_Level_for_Coronavirus_Disease.pdf

    Staying Home” for Grundy County

    Provided by the Grundy County Health Department

    The Health Department is reinforcing to the public each person’s responsibility in slowing the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).  Local medical and first responder resources may soon reach a concerning level, and it is only with our immediate action that they can be available for our neighbors and each of us during times of crisis.

    Governor Pritzker’s “Stay at Home” executive order is now effective through April 30, 2020.

    While most residents have the best of intentions with complying and cooperating, below is additional guidance intended to better articulate what we should and should not be doing right now.

    What STAYING HOME looks like:

    • Being indoors with your usual household members
    • Being outdoors in your yard with usual household members
    • Cleaning up winter debris from your yard and other lawn care/gardening
    • Going for a walk or bike ride in the neighborhood, keeping a distance of at least 6 feet from neighbors you encounter
    • One household member (when possible) going on infrequent and brief trips to the grocery store
    • One household member (when possible) picking up dinner from a local restaurant

    What STAYING HOME does NOT look like:

    • Inviting friends over for a play date or to play video games
    • Inviting neighbors over for a back yard barbeque
    • Gathering to play a contact sport or one with shared equipment, such as basketball
    • Hosting a small dinner party with extended family, even if the limit is fewer than 10 persons

    We are in the early stages of this pandemic, and yet our local resources are becoming exhausted.

    It is not time to panic.   It is time to act.   The more strictly we adhere to these guidelines now, the sooner we can resume our normal schedules.

    It is important that each person and household evaluate how each can contribute to the solution.

    Daycare options

    The state has implemented a daycare closure, but there are options for essential workers. Click here for those options and more information on childcare at this time.

    SBA Disaster Assistance Loans

    SBA Loan information can be found on the Chamber's SBA Loan Information page here.

    For additional information, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail [email protected]

    Visit https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Information/EIDLLoans to apply.

    Chamber member restaurants providing carryout, curbside and/or delivery services.

    CDC employee safety tips:

    Actively encourage sick employees to stay home:

    • Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home and *not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
    • Ensure that your sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of these policies.
    • Talk with companies that provide your business with contract or temporary employees about the importance of sick employees staying home and encourage them to develop non-punitive leave policies.
    • Do not require a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work, as healthcare provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely way.
    • Employers should maintain flexible policies that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member. Employers should be aware that more employees may need to stay at home to care for sick children or other sick family members than is usual.

    Separate sick employees:

    • CDC recommends that employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and be sent home immediately. Sick employees should cover their noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available).
    • Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees:
      • Place posters that encourage staying home when sickcough and sneeze etiquette, and hand hygiene at the entrance to your workplace and in other workplace areas where they are likely to be seen.
      • Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees.
      • Instruct employees to clean their hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-95% alcohol, or wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.
      • Provide soap and water and alcohol-based hand rubs in the workplace. Ensure that adequate supplies are maintained. Place hand rubs in multiple locations or in conference rooms to encourage hand hygiene.
      • Visit the coughing and sneezing etiquette and clean hands webpage for more information.

    Perform routine environmental cleaning:

    • Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.
    • No additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended at this time.
    • Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees before each use.
    • Advise employees before traveling to take certain steps:
      • Check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for the latest guidance and recommendations for each country to which you will travel. Specific travel information for travelers going to and returning from China, and information for aircrew, can be found at on the CDC website.
      • Advise employees to check themselves for symptoms of acute respiratory illness before starting travel and notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
      • Ensure employees who become sick while traveling or on temporary assignment understand that they should notify their supervisor and should promptly call a healthcare provider for advice if needed.
      • If outside the United States, sick employees should follow your company’s policy for obtaining medical care or contact a healthcare provider or overseas medical assistance company to assist them with finding an appropriate healthcare provider in that country. A U.S. consular officer can help locate healthcare services. However, U.S. embassies, consulates, and military facilities do not have the legal authority, capability, and resources to evacuate or give medicines, vaccines, or medical care to private U.S. citizens overseas.

     

    For a full listing of CDC recommendations click here.

    ComEd offers assistance to customers

    ComEd is taking action to help its customers with payment assistance programs and by imposing a moratorium on service disconnections and waiving new late payment charges through at least May 1, as many businesses and institutions are following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by taking temporary measures to shut down or limit operations to control the spread of COVID-19.

    Click here for more information from ComEd.

    Nicor Gas provides energy assistance resources

    In recognition that the evolving landscape surrounding the new coronavirus (COVID-19) may cause financial hardship for its customers impacted by employment changes or business slowdown, Nicor Gas voluntarily has suspended service disconnections for non-payment, effective immediately for both residential and commercial customers through May 1

    Click here for more information.

    Morris Hospital & Healthcare Center restrictions

    For the safety of the community, Morris Hospital is implementing strict precautions to limit the number of persons coming to the hospital or any of its medical facilities.

    Click here for more info.

    IDPH: FAQ for Businesses Concerning Use of Face-Coverings During COVID-19

    This FAQ is intended to provide guidance regarding the application of the face-covering requirement in
    Executive Order 2020-32 for businesses and other places of public accommodation subject to Article 5 of the Illinois Human Rights Act, 775 ILCS 5/.

    Restore Illinois - Actions to Combat a Resurgence of COVID-19

    From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Illinois followed the science and listened to public health
    experts by putting mitigations in place and then deliberately and gradually lifting many of them. As
    other states see their cases and positivity rates surge, Illinois has one of the lowest positivity rates in
    the nation because we let public health guide our decisions....READ MORE

    HOW TO APPLY: $5,000 EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE (ERA)

    Assisting household impacted by COVID-19: To see if you qualify, READ MORE