GOVERNOR’S HIGHLIGHTS:COVID-19 Update: All 11 Illinois regions are now operating in Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan. On Thursday, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported 3,328 new cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, including 69 additional deaths and labs reported 101,307 test results. Wednesday night, 2,341 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 513 patients were in the ICU and 265 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators. The preliminary seven-day statewide case positivity is down to 3.4%. The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity is 4.4%.
Vaccine Update: Illinois continues in Phase 1B of the state’s vaccination plan, which includes individuals roughly 3.2 million persons over the age of 65 and essential frontline workers. Governor Pritzker has drawn increasing criticism over the state’s slow rollout of the vaccine, with particular concern over the sluggish debut of the federal Pharmacy Partnership Program. An increase in vaccine shipments is expected in the coming days and Walgreens is now offering the vaccine in some Illinois locations. Governor Pritzker announced this week that in order to increase the limited supply of vaccine to eligible recipients, the state is working with Walgreens and CVS pharmacies to temporarily redirect to providers across the state approximately 97,000 vaccine doses that have not yet been used for the federal Pharmacy Partnership Program. IDPH will continue to closely monitor the program and additional doses will be directed to the program if needed or if the rate of vaccination accelerates. More information is here.
The State of Illinois is now partnering withHy-Vee (16 locations),Jewel-Osco (92 locations),Kroger (17 locations),Mariano’s (6 locations), andWalgreens (170 locations) pharmacies to provide COVID-19 vaccinations. And two additional Illinois National Guard assisted sites opened Thursday at the East Side Health District in St. Clair County and Triton College in Cook County. After saying for weeks that legislators would not be eligible for vaccinations until they meet the eligibility qualifications of the vaccine distribution plan, Governor Pritzker reversed course and will allow legislators to be vaccinated during Phase 1B. Pritzker was under increasing pressure from legislators who are hesitant to gather for an in-person session. There have been instances of individuals who participated in the lame duck session in January (at both the BOS Center and the Capitol) testing positive for COVID-19. A total of 1,629,550 doses of vaccine have been delivered to providers in Illinois with another 496,100 doses allocated to the federal government’s Pharmacy Partnership Program for long-term care facilities. A total of 1,156,453 vaccines have been administered in Illinois as of Thursday morning, including 178,848 for long-term care facilities. The 7-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 46,709 doses. On Wednesday a record 62,318 doses were administered.
102nd GENERAL ASSEMBLY: The Illinois Senate canceled in-person session for the month of February. Instead of convening in person February 9th – 11th and February 16th – 18th, the Senate will meet virtually in committee hearings. In the meantime, Senate President Harmon and his team are reviewing workplace protocols to ensure a testing and safety process is in place when in-person session resumes. Senate committee appointments are finalized. See listing of committee membership here. Information on the Senate’s Remote Legislative Hearing Process is here. Instructions to submit written testimony to Senate committees is here.House Republican Leader Jim Durkin appointed Minority Spokespersons to the House committees for the 102nd General Assembly. The list ishere. Representative Andre Thapedi is resigning after serving in the Illinois House for 12 years. Thapedi was just reappointed as Chair of the House Judiciary Civil Committee.
COMING UP: The Illinois House will convene in Springfield at the Capitol for one day on February 10th to adopt operating rules. The Senate is now scheduled to return to session on March 2nd. Thursday, February 11th is the deadline to file a substantive House Bill. The Senate has delayed the bill drafting deadline for substantive Senate Bills from February 5th to February 11th. The deadline to file a substantive Senate Bill has been moved from February 19th to February 26th.
Governor Pritzker is scheduled to share his budget/state of the state address on February 17th. With session canceled, the speech is expected to be delivered virtually. The Senate Labor Committee will hold a virtual hearing on February 10th at 10 am to discuss unemployment insurance.