October 4, 2020 Update

COVID-19 Update: On Thursday, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported 2,166 new cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, including 25 additional deaths. To date, IDPH is reporting a total of 295,440 cases, including 8,696 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for September 24th – September 30th is 3.5%. Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 65,615 tests. As of Wednesday night, 1,635 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 359 patients were in the ICU and 149 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators. 
Two Illinois regions are under additional mitigation measures. After positivity rates rose above 8% for three consecutive days, resurgence mitigations were implemented in Region 1, the northwestern most counties in Illinois. The new mitigations took effect Saturday, October 3, 2020.  The mitigations will apply to bars, restaurants and social gatherings. Schools are exempt. Additional information is here. Region 4, the metro east area, also remains under mitigations.
The Illinois Department of Public Health released guidance for Halloween and Fall related activities. View the guidance here .
As of Friday, September 25th, twenty-four counties in Illinois were at a warning level for COVID-19 – Bond, Boone, Cass, Christian, Clinton, Crawford, DeWitt, Fayette, Grundy, Hamilton, Macon, Menard, Peoria, Putnam, Washington, Wayne, and Winnebago. County warning levels are updated weekly. 
A member of Governor’s staff tested positive for COVID-19. The Governor has tested negative but will self-isolate for 14 days out of “an abundance of caution”.
CARES Funding: 
The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services distributed $140 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act payments to Medicaid providers to offset the costs of fighting the coronavirus pandemic. This first round of funding will help Medicaid providers cover COVID-19 related costs, such as hazard pay for direct care workers, personal protective equipment purchases, and other previously unbudgeted expenditures incurred. In the first round of funding, long-term care facilities received $68 million, FQHCs received $50 million and safety net hospitals received $23.5 million.
Back to Business:
The Illinois Department of Labor launched a new program, Back to Business Illinois, which is a free, voluntary service to connect small businesses of 250 employees or fewer with consultants who can help the businesses evaluate and address workplace safety and health issues related to COVID-19. The consultants will create a plan for small businesses that promotes a safe, healthy and productive environment for workers and customers. Consultants will help local small businesses audit their physical operation, identify best practices and find ways to implement them efficiently. More information is here.
Gubernatorial Appointments
The Governor made the following appointments:
Illinois Finance Authority:·        Eduardo Tobon·        Jose Restituyo
Housing Development Authority:·        Rita Ali
Youth Budget Commission:
·        Jobi Cates·        Sherrie Crabb·        Melissa Flores·        Representative LaShawn Ford·        Gary Huelsmann·        Reyahd Kazmi·        Evan Krauss·        Senator Kimberly Lightford·        Latonya Maley·        Charles Montorio-Archer·        Michael Shaver·        Lisa Thompson·        Alicia Vega·        Representative Karina Villa·        Laura Zumdahl

Democratic State Representative Stephanie Kifowit announced she will challenge House Speaker Michael Madigan for the Democratic nomination for House Speaker for the 102nd General Assembly in January. Kifowit, a military veteran, was first elected to the Illinois House in 2012. Madigan is the longest serving House Speaker in U.S. history.  He was first elected Speaker in 1983 and has served in that capacity, with the exception of two years of a Republican majority, since then.  Kifowit called on Madigan to step down in July for “compromising the integrity of the office and undermining the public trust”.  This will be the first time a caucus member has challenged Madigan for his leadership post.
The House Special Investigating Committee began interviewing witnesses at a hearing in Springfield on Tuesday. David Glockner, Commonwealth Edison’s Executive Vice President of Compliance and Audit, along with his attorney, were interviewed during Tuesday’s hearing. No further hearings are scheduled at this time.
A resolution declaring racism a public health crisis, HJR128, was filed by Representative Carol Ammons. The resolution asks the Governor to create a working group to promote racial equity throughout Illinois and commits to reviewing all state laws with a racial equity lens. 
Coming Up:
The Senate Special Committee on Public Safety will hold a joint virtual hearing with the Senate Criminal Law Committee on October 6th at 1 pm to discuss violence reduction and victim services. 
The Senate Education Committee will hold a joint virtual hearing with the Senate Higher Education Committee on October 7th at noon to discuss K-12 Black history curriculum and student success programs. 
The Senate Human Services Committee will hold a joint virtual hearing on October 9th at 1pm to discuss social determinants and influencers of health and health disparities. 
Members of the public may submit electronic testimony or electronic witness slips via the General Assembly website (www.ilga.gov) in advance of the hearings. All hearings will be broadcast on the General Assembly website