As COVID-19 has spread across the country, other states have followed Illinois’ lead by limiting crowds, closing nonessential businesses, and instituting shelter-in-place orders.

To address the uncertainty and instability many Americans are facing during this outbreak, the federal government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which provides assistance to hospitals, nonprofits, individuals, and businesses.

If you are wondering about what the CARES Act means for you and your community, here’s some information that may help you navigate the legislation:

How will the CARES Act help individuals and families?

  • Individuals who earn less than $75,000 annually will receive a direct payment of $1,200, plus an additional $500 for every qualifying child age 16 or under. Married couples who file a joint return and earn less than $150,000 are eligible for up to $2,400 plus an additional $500 for every qualifying child age 16 or under.
  • Eligible workers will get an extra $600 per week on top of state unemployment benefits to cover lost wages. Part-time, self-employed, and gig-economy workers are newly eligible for benefits.
  • States will receive $3.5 billion in Child Care Development Block Grants to help provide child care to health care workers, first responders, and other essential employees.
  • Federal student loan payments will be suspended until Sept. 30.

What about protections for health care workers and first responders?

  • Over $120 billion in assistance will go to hospitals and health agencies to help them cover COVID-19 expenses, replenish life-saving supplies, and purchase tests.

Will the CARES Act support local and state governments?

  • State and local governments will receive $150 billion to pay for new expenses related to COVID-19. The CARES Act also doubles the amount of FEMA funding available to state governments, local governments, and nonprofits.

What kind of benefits will schools receive?

  • Schools across the country—including colleges and universities—will receive over $30 billion in emergency support.

Will businesses get relief?

  • Small businesses and non-profits will have access to $350 billion in forgivable loans to help them retain employees and pay for expenses like rent, mortgages, and utilities.
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering $10 billion in emergency grants of up to $10,000 to provide immediate relief to local business owners. SBA has also established the Debt Relief Program to cover six months of interest payments for small businesses with existing loans.

If you have other questions about the CARES Act, I encourage you to read this summary from the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means.

The COVID-19 outbreak is bigger than Illinois—it’s a nationwide crisis. When we follow recommendations from our top health experts by washing our hands, keeping our distance from others, and staying home as much as possible, we are protecting our fellow Illinoisans and our fellow Americans from this illness.

Updates and guidance on the COVID-19 crisis are available 24/7 from the Illinois Department of Health or at the state’s dedicated COVID-19 response website, coronavirus.illinois.gov.

And as always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office with questions and concerns. My staff is working remotely, but we are still responding to calls and emails. You can contact us at 618-251-9840 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Stay safe and healthy.

Category: News

health resources

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic

WOOD RIVER – With the number of possible Coronavirus cases increasing daily, State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) is urging doctors, nurses and other professionals in Missouri to apply for Illinois’ new Out of State Temporary Practice Permits.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has issued a proclamation to allow out-of-state physicians, nurses, physician assistants, and respiratory care therapists to provide care to Illinois residents affected by COVID-19.

“Representing a district on Illinois’ border, it is a priority of mine to get all available health care professionals to cross state lines in order to help our residents suffering from COVID-19,” Crowe said. “There have been an impressive amount applying for temporary licenses already, but my hope is to encourage more to do so.”

Applications for Out of State Temporary Practice Permits are available online at IDFPR’s website here

Category: Press Releases

It’s no longer “business as usual”—the coronavirus has disrupted many of our jobs, social lives and daily routines. It may seem frustrating, but right now, the most important thing is to stay home as much as possible. According to our leaders and health experts, social distancing could help slow the spread of the virus, protect our most vulnerable citizens and reduce stress on our health care system.

Since the first cases of coronavirus were diagnosed in Illinois, Gov. JB Pritzker has been offering daily updates on some of the measures to ensure minimal spreading of the coronavirus.The governor has launched a new website putting all relevant information in one place: coronavirus.illinois.gov. As always, the Illinois Department of Public Healthwill continue to provide updates on the status of the outbreak.

Remember: Transmission doesn’t discriminate. Regardless of your health or age, it is vital that we take the proper precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus.For the sake of the health and safety of everyone in our communities, we must all do our part to help contain the virus.

Schools

  • The Illinois State Board of Education is working to provide meals every day to all students, no questions asked. Grab-and-go meals are available statewide for students who need them, and some schools are even offering delivery. Contact your child’s school district for more information.

Restaurants & Businesses

  • Despite school and restaurant closures, Gov. Pritzker assures that essential services—including pharmacies, grocery stores and gas stations—will remain open. It’s a good idea to be prepared, but only buy what you really need. Hoarding supplies prevents others from accessing the basics. Experts recommend keeping on hand about what you need for two weeks at a time.
  • All bars and restaurants are closed through March 30. Restaurants will have take-out, drive-thru and delivery options still available.
  • Many grocery stores are offering special shopping hours for seniors. Residents can contact local stores for their specific hours.
  • To provide some relief to local eateries during the coming weeks, Grubhub is suspending commissions and Uber Eats is waiving delivery fees on orders from independent restaurants. Some larger restaurants are offering free delivery. Many delivery services have introduced no- or low-contact delivery options.

Utilities

  • Ameren and ComEd are suspending any disconnections and waiving late payment fees. Other major utility companies, like People’s Gas and Nicor, are suspending disconnections as well.
  • The Illinois Commerce Commission has banned utility service disconnections during the outbreak and has pledged to assess late fees through at least May 1. AT&TComcastSpectrumViasat and others are offering accommodations to those in need of telecom services during the crisis.

Government Services

  • The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has extended license expiration dates and continuing education deadlines. Licensees may complete continuing education requirements and other coursework online.
  • The Office of the Illinois Attorney General encourages residents to file a complaintif they notice price gouging on essential items related to the coronavirus outbreak, including hand sanitizer, cleaning products and protective gear.
  • All Illinois Secretary of State offices and Driver Services facilities are closed to the public through March 31. Expiration dates for driver’s licenses, ID cards, vehicle registration and other transactions will be extended by 30 days. More information and some services are available online.

Economic Assistance

  • The Illinois Department of Employment Security is allowing workers who are unemployed due to COVID-19 to apply for unemployment.
  • The Small Business Administration is providing disaster assistance loansfor small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
  • In an effort to assist eating and drinking establishments impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, effective Thursday, March 19, the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) is waiving any penalty and interest that would have been imposed on late Sales Tax payments from qualified taxpayers. More information here.

Even as we practice social distancing, we must stick together. Call, text or email friends and family, particularly seniors and immunocompromised individuals, who may feel especially isolated and afraid during this challenging time. Reaching out could save a life.

Continue to check the Illinois Department of Public Health’s website for daily updates. 

Category: News

Chicago — Building on state guidance issued yesterday to promote social distancing and minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, Governor JB Pritzker announced that the state of Illinois will close all schools from March 17 through March 30 and implement additional economic measures to reduce the burden on Illinois families. As of now, day care centers will remain open and will follow strict health and safety guidance.
 
“All of these choices have cascading effects for citizens and vulnerable populations when it comes to food access, safety, childcare, and social services," said Governor JB Pritzker. “We’ve seen what happens in places that didn’t move with urgency. I ask all of you not to hesitate to do the right thing for your family, your friends, and your community. One small step at a time, we will get through this together.”
 
“We have seen evidence from influenza outbreaks that community mitigation strategies, such a school closures, have an effect on decreasing the severity of the outbreak,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “By taking these actions now, we hope to slow and limit widespread transmission of this virus, which is essential to ensuring our health care system is not overwhelmed as the disease progresses through our state. School closures will help slow the progression of the virus and we are asking for everyone’s help in reducing the spread.”
 
“This is an unprecedented event in our lifetime, and we will get through this together,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen I. Ayala. “Our administrators and educators have shown extraordinary leadership during a time of very difficult decisions. Schools closing will affect each community differently, and I want our teachers, our students, and our families to know that the Illinois State Board of Education is open and is here to help.”

 
SCHOOL CLOSURES

 
Following extensive state-level analysis of coronavirus spread in various countries and the social distancing measures that were put in place, the State is taking the precautionary measure of closing all K-12 schools in the state of Illinois from March 17 through March 30. Schools with a spring break that falls outside of this window should move their spring break to within this timeframe.
 
The Pritzker administration is working to ensure critical support functions remain available to students across the state – including their access to food, child care and safe environments.
 
Gov. Pritzker has assured school administrators that the state will issue no penalties as a result of this closure. To provide support to school districts across the state, the Illinois State Board of Education will be fully staffed over the coming weekend and during the closure period to work through individualized issues and challenges in each district. An executive order to provide school districts flexibility during this period is forthcoming.
 
On Thursday, the Illinois State Board of Education was granted a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to continue providing meals to students in non-group settings. Students receiving free and reduce priced breakfasts and lunches will be able to receive grab-and-go meals each day, with some districts having the ability to deliver and others offering parent pick up.
 
The Department of Children and Family Services is working closely with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the Illinois Department of Public Health to ensure emergency and preparedness plans are in place to keep youth in care and staff safe. All DCFS group homes will remain open and take extra safety precautions.

 
ECONOMIC MEASURES

 
The Governor has also announced new economic measures to reduce the burden on Illinois families.
 
Gov. Pritzker and Attorney General Raoul have urged the Illinois Commerce Commission to immediately institute a moratorium on shutoffs for all utility companies across Illinois – including energy, telecommunications and water – until the state disaster proclamation has been lifted. The administration is also requesting changes to payment and collection policies to ensure Illinoisans aren’t saddled with utility debt as a result of COVID-19.
 
The Governor is contacting the leaders of Illinois’ utility companies and urging them to maintain services for all Illinoisans, regardless of their ability to pay, during this public health crisis.
 
The Pritzker administration is working directly with the eight major food banks across Illinois to expand services. The administration is reaching out to food manufacturers to ensure food banks are prioritized and can provide our vulnerable residents the food they need.
 
Earlier this week, the administration filed emergency rules granting workers who are unemployed due to COVID-19 access to unemployment benefits. The rules provide relief to people who may be restricted in the type of work they can perform due to the outbreak.

 
AVAILABILITY OF TESTING

 
The Illinois Department of Public Health is working with state labs and hospital partners to significantly increase testing capability. At this time the administration believes testing can be sufficiently increased to ensure the minimum level of surveillance testing needed to appropriately monitor the spread of the virus.
 
Gov. Pritzker is continuing to pressure the federal government for more tests to allow the state to deploy full surveillance testing.

 
HEIGHTENED VIGILANCE FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC

 
Vulnerable populations remain a top priority as community spread continues around the state, country and globe. Elderly and immunocompromised residents 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.

Anyone experiencing symptoms should stay home, call their doctor and plan a safe visit for examination. The general public is encouraged to take social distancing practices, including avoiding events of more than 250 people, working from home if possible and maintaining social distance (6 feet) from anyone experiencing symptoms.
 
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.

SOURCE: https://www2.illinois.gov/Pages/news-item.aspx?ReleaseID=21247

Category: News

COVID19 Updates

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Contact Info

District Offices
35 Executive Plaza Court
Maryville, IL 62062
(618) 251-9840 P

111 N. Wood River Ave., Suite A
Wood River, IL 62095
(By appointment only)
(618) 251-9840 P

Springfield Office
311B Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-5247 P

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