Essential businesses defined; latest update from Public Health

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What is an ‘essential business?’

On Friday afternoon, Governor Pritzker issued an emergency “stay at home” order for all “non-essential” businesses throughout the state through Tuesday April 7. Some businesses and other institutions have been exempted from the order, including gas stations, grocery stores, banks, hospitals, doctors’ offices, pharmacies and many more.

Click here for a quick explainer on which places are considered to be “essential businesses” during this emergency.

The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has established a helpline for business owners who have questions about whether they are considered essential. That number is 1-800-252-2923.

Latest numbers from the Department of Public Health

Sunday’s briefing from the Department of Public Health reported an additional 296 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Illinois, including the first case confirmed in Livingston County. Of the five counties in the 106th district, there have now been confirmed cases detected in Woodford and Livingston counties, as of Sunday’s report. Statewide, there are now more than 1000 cases confirmed statewide, and nine deaths.

All the latest information from state government is available at coronavirus.illinois.gov and by visiting my website at repbennett.com and clicking on COVID-19. Anyone with questions or concerns about the illness can call the Illinois Department of Public Health’s toll-free statewide coronavirus hotline at 1-800-889-3931.

The state has also set up a website for Illinoisans who wish to volunteer or donate goods and services to the fight against coronavirus. You can find that information at serve.illinois.gov. Illinois is calling on trained health care workers who have retired or otherwise allowed their licenses to lapse. The state will waive fees and expedite licensure, and licenses issued by IDFPR which stand to expire between March 1 and July 31 will be automatically extended to September 30. Information about the licensure changes can be found at idfpr.com.

Contact for those with coronavirus-related goods and services

Information for contractors looking to connect with state agencies regarding coronavirus-related goods and services can be obtained by contacting the Governor’s office at covid.procurement@illinois.gov.

Secretary of State office closure extended to April 7, many services available online

Illinois Liquor Control Commission updated guidance for retailers

Disaster loan information for small businesses

Latest guidance from the Department of Children and Family Services, including information for day care centers

This situation continues to develop, and I will continue to keep you informed of information from state agencies as it becomes available. Please continue to follow the advice about staying at home, avoiding crowds and washing hands frequently. Please check on your friends and neighbors, be considerate when shopping and buy only what you need, rather than hoarding goods. We remain all in this together.