On Thursday, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced 1,527 new cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, including 104 additional deaths. Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 115,833 cases, including 5,186 deaths, in 100 counties in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from May 21-May 27 is 8.3% As of midnight, 3,649 individuals were hospitalized with COVID-19 and of those 1,009 patients were in the ICU and 576 patients were on ventilators The Illinois Department of Public Health reported that the COVID-19 recovery rate is estimated at 92%. And in a hopeful sign, the Department noted that last week was the first week that there were fewer deaths reported than the previous week.
Effective today, May 29th, all regions in Illinois moved to Phase 3 of the Governor’s Restore Illinois Plan. Phase 3 allows for bars and restaurants to open for on-site outdoor business. Other businesses, like hair salons can open following new guidance. Horse racing is set to resume with the ability to place on-line bets; there will be no live audiences. A complete listing of what is allowed to open and a copy of the additional Restore Illinois guidance is here.The Department of Public Health issued further guidance for churches during Phase 3. Churches have been allowed to hold in-person activities and worship with 10 or fewer persons and drive-up worship services. The new guidance is here. The Illinois Department of Public Health filed a rule requiring each long-term care facility to develop its own individualized testing plan and document an established relationship with a testing lab, whether it’s a commercial lab, a local hospital lab or a state lab. IDPH is requiring every long-term care facility in Illinois to test all residents and staff for COVID-19 as recommended by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. IDPH will provide training and assistance with testing if needed and will help identify laboratory services if requested. Each facility will be required to report to public health officials the number of residents and staff tested, and the number of positive, negative, and indeterminate test results. The facility must also make sure a copy of the facility’s infection control policies and procedures is provided to residents, and to the resident’s family or representative, along with IDPH or local health departments, upon request.
As the Illinois Secretary of State driver’s services begin to reopen statewide, the office announced that from June 1st through July 31st, driver services facilities will focus on serving ONLY new drivers, customers with expired driver’s licenses/ID cards and vehicle transactions.
101st GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
A group of Republican legislators is asking the state Auditor General to audit the Department of Employment Security in response to the unemployment crisis.
Republican State Representative Skillicorn initiated the process to recall Governor Pritzker, citing the Governor should have done more and anticipated more to deal with the impacts of the pandemic, particularly with respect to unemployment. The recall process requires the submission of a recall affidavit signed by a bipartisan group of at least 20 House members and 10 Senate members. Once signed, Illinois citizens would have 150 days to circulate a recall petition which would require signatures of at least 15% of the votes cast for the Governor in the preceding election. Voters in at least 25 counties would have to sign the petition. The question would then appear on the November ballot. While the recall petition is not expected to advance, the move continues to illustrate the depth of the partisan divide over the state’s response to the pandemic.
An employee of the BOS Center in Springfield tested positive for COVID-19 following session last week. The Illinois House moved session to the BOS Center in order to allow for greater social distancing of members. A note to members encouraged them to get tested and self-isolate for 14 days. The risk to the members is said to be slight.
The General Assembly adjourned the 2020 spring session in the early hours of Sunday morning. In total, the General Assembly only passed 22 bills (7 House Bills/15 Senate Bills) this session. A complete list of the bills passed this year is below.