Re-Opening Resources

As Illinois’ stay-at-home order is extended through May 30 not all of our businesses are able to fully reopen. Some are able to offer limited services and products through curbside pick-up, delivery, and virtual offices. Some have to wait until this all passes. But whether your business is opening now or later, the truth is it will not be business as usual. Social-distancing requirements will be a must for employees and customers, protective equipment and materials will be mandated, among other possibilities.

This page will contain continuous information as we receive it or create it on tips, considerations, requirements, and guidelines for reopening. Please visit here often and get in touch with us if you have questions or recommendations as we put together information for our business community.

This Rethink-Reopen-Rebound piece below offers topics and questions to consider as you prepare your reopening plan. Take some time to consider these as you plan for the future of your business.

Below is the latest executive order with requirements and changes for some businesses starting May 1, 2020.

Executive Order 2020-32 (April 30, 2020)

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    Requirements per Executive Order starting May 1st

    While the latest Executive Order from the Governor is not officially released yet, the Chamber has been receiving questions regarding preparations for those who can now open starting May 1 (tomorrow). Media outlets have published the draft order and below are some of the requirements you as business owners and managers need to be prepared for. The full order published by media can be read here. Please continue to visit for COVID-19 response updates. When the governor's site releases the official order and more guidelines, they will be on our website and social media pages. Please email [email protected] or call President & CEO Christina Van Yperen at 815-715-2806 if you have any questions.

    Key requirements from the order:

    "Wearing a face covering in public places or when working. Any individual who is over age two and able to medically tolerate a face-covering (a mask or cloth face-covering) shall be required to cover their nose and mouth with a face-covering when in a public place and unable to maintain a six-foot social distance. Face-coverings are required in public indoor spaces such as stores.

    Requirements for essential store: Retail stores (including, but not limited to, stores that sell groceries and medicine, hardware stores, and greenhouses, garden centers, and nurseries) designated as Essential Businesses and Operations under this Order shall to the greatest extent possible:

    • provide face coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain a minimum six-foot social distance at all times;
    • cap occupancy at 50 percent of store capacity, or, alternatively, at the occupancy limits based on store square footage set by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity;
    • set up store aisles to be one-way where practicable to maximize spacing between customers and identify the one-way aisles with conspicuous signage and/or floor markings;
    • communicate with customers through in-store signage, and public service announcements and advertisements, about the social distancing requirements set forth in this Order (Social Distancing Requirements); and
    • discontinue use of reusable bags. Households must limit the number of members who enter stores to the minimum necessary.

    Requirements for non-essential stores: Retail stores not designated as Essential Businesses and Operations may re-open for the limited purposes of fulfilling telephone and online orders through pick-up outside the store and delivery –which are deemed to be Minimum Basic Operations. Employees working in the store must follow the social Distancing Requirements, and must wear a face covering when they may come within six feet of another employee or a customer.

    Requirements for manufacturers: Manufacturers that continue to operate pursuant to this Order must follow Social Distancing Requirements and take appropriate precautions, which may include:

    • providing face coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain a minimum six-foot social distance at all times;
    • staggering shifts;
    • reducing line speeds;
    • operating only essential lines, while shutting down non-essential lines;
    • ensuring that all spaces where employees may gather, including locker rooms and lunchrooms, allow for social distancing; and
    • downsizing operations to the extent necessary to allow for social distancing and to provide a safe workplace in response to the COVID-19 emergency.

    Requirements for all businesses: All businesses must evaluate which employees are able to work from home, and are encouraged to facilitate remote work from home when possible. All businesses that have employees physically reporting to a work-site must post the attached guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health regarding workplace safety during the COVID-19 emergency."

    -Gatherings of 10 or more are still prohibited.

    Some businesses are still required to be closed such as "All places of public amusement, whether indoors or outdoors, including but not limited to, locations with amusement rides, carnivals, amusement parks, water parks, aquariums, zoos, museums, arcades, fairs, children’s play centers, playgrounds, fun plexes, theme parks, bowling alleys, movie and other theaters, concert and music halls, and country clubs or social clubs shall be closed to the public."

    A reminder the link to the full order is above.

    Governor Pritzker Announces Restore Illinois: A Public Health Approach To Safely Reopen Our State

    Office of the Governor

    JB Pritzker

    Tuesday, May 5, 2020


    [email protected]

    Governor Pritzker Announces Restore Illinois: A Public Health Approach To Safely Reopen Our State

    Restore Illinois is a Five-Phase, Regional Plan for Saving Lives, Livelihoods, and Safely Reopening Illinois

    Chicago – Building on data, science, and guidance from public health experts and after consulting with stakeholders across the state, Governor JB Pritzker announced Restore Illinois, a five-phase plan focused on saving lives, livelihood, and safely reopening Illinois.

    “"We have to figure out how to live with COVID-19 until it can be vanquished – and to do so in a way that best supports our residents’ health and our healthcare systems, and saves the most lives," said Governor JB Pritzker. "Restore Illinois is a public health plan to safely reintroduce the parts of our lives that have been put on hold in our fight against COVID-19. This is also a data-driven plan that operates on a region-by-region basis, a recognition that reality on the ground looks different in different areas of our state."

    The five-phase plan is guided by public health metrics designed to provide a framework for reopening businesses, education, and recreational activities in each phase. This initial plan can and will be updated as research and science develop and as the potential for effective treatments or vaccines is realized.

    The five-phase plan is based on regional healthcare availability and recognizes the distinct impact COVID-19 has had on different regions of our state as well as regional variations in hospital capacity. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has 11 Emergency Medical Services Regions that have traditionally guided its statewide public health work. For the purposes of Restore Illinois, from those 11, four health regions are established, each with the ability to independently move through a phased approach: Northeast Illinois; North-Central Illinois; Central Illinois; and Southern Illinois.

    The five phases of reopening for each health region are as follows:

    Phase 1 – Rapid Spread: The rate of infection among those tested and the number of patients admitted to the hospital is high or rapidly increasing. Strict stay at home and social distancing guidelines are put in place and only essential businesses remain open. Every region has experienced this phase once already and could return to it if mitigation efforts are unsuccessful.

    Phase 2 – Flattening: The rate of infection among those tested and the number of patients admitted to the hospital beds and ICU beds increases at an ever slower rate, moving toward a flat and even a downward trajectory. Non-essential retail stores reopen for curb-side pickup and delivery. Illinoisans are directed to wear a face covering when outside the home, and can begin enjoying additional outdoor activities like golf, boating and fishing while practicing social distancing. To varying degrees, every region is experiencing flattening as of early May.

    Phase 3 – Recovery: The rate of infection among those tested, the number of patients admitted to the hospital, and the number of patients needing ICU beds is stable or declining. Manufacturing, offices, retail, barbershops and salons can reopen to the public with capacity and other limits and safety precautions. All gatherings limited to 10 or fewer people are allowed. Face coverings and social distancing are the norm.

    Phase 4 – Revitalization: The rate of infection among those tested and the number of patients admitted to the hospital continues to decline. All gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed, restaurants and bars reopen, travel resumes, child care and schools reopen under guidance from the IDPH. Face coverings and social distancing are the norm.

    Phase 5 – Illinois Restored: With a vaccine or highly effective treatment widely available or the elimination of any new cases over a sustained period, the economy fully reopens with safety precautions continuing. Conventions, festivals and large events are permitted, and all businesses, schools, and places of recreation can open with new safety guidance and procedures in place reflecting the lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Until COVID-19 is defeated, Restore Illinois recognizes that as health metrics tell us it is safe to move forward, health metrics may also tell us to return to a prior phase. With a vaccine or treatment not yet available, IDPH will be closely monitoring key metrics to immediately identify new growth in cases and hospitalizations to determine whether a return to a prior phase is needed.

    As millions of Illinoisans continue working together by staying at home and following experts’ recommendations, the result has been a lower infection rate, lower hospitalizations, and lower number of fatalities than without these measures. As the state’s curve begins to flatten, the risk of spread remains, and modeling and data point to a rapid surge in new cases if all mitigation measures are immediately lifted. The governor and his administration continue to urge all Illinois residents to follow the state’s stay at home order and to follow the guidance issued by the state and public health experts.

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines

    The CDC website, provides abundance of information on guidelines and requirements for reopening your business keeping it safe for you, your employees, and your customers. In addition, click here: for the OSHA Guidance for Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19.

    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/.

    US Chamber Resources for Re-Opening

    The US Chamber has provided resources for businesses consisting of industry-specific guidelines for reopening, an employee screening questionnaire, a “Ready to Reopen Playbook,” and many other resources to help business owners and managers through this process.

    Some of the information is downloadable here (see below) and the full list of resources through the US Chamber can be accessed by visiting

    Industry specific guidelines, such as for retailers, hair salons, offices and more sectors are available here:

    As Grundy County comes up with its own reopening plan, the Grundy County Chamber will share localized information here as well as through our eblasts and social media outlets. In the meantime, these tools can aide you in developing a plan for reopening.

    US Chamber article: "5 Ways to Support Employees Returning to Work During Covid-19"

    Keeping The Tables Turning (Resource for Restaurants)