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On Thursday April 23, 2020 Governor Pritzker announced that he was extending and modifying the existing Stay at Home Order for Illinois, which was set to expire April 30, 2020. The new executive order will run through the end of May and will include the following modifications effective May 1, 2020:
- OUTDOOR RECREATION: State parks will begin a phased re-opening under guidance from the Department of Natural Resources. Fishing and boating in groups of no more than two people will be permitted. A list of parks that will be open on May 1 and additional guidelines can be found on the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website. Golf will be permitted under strict safety guidelines provided by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and when ensuring that social distancing is followed.
- NEW ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES: Greenhouses, garden centers and nurseries may re-open as essential businesses. These stores must follow social distancing requirements and must require that employees and customers wear a face covering. Animal grooming services may also re-open.
- NON-ESSENTIAL RETAIL: Retail stores designated as non-essential businesses and operations may re-open to fulfill telephone and online orders through pick-up outside the store and delivery only.
- FACE COVERINGS: Beginning on May 1, individuals will be required to wear a face-covering or a mask when in a public place where they can't maintain a six-foot social distance. Face-coverings will be required in public indoor spaces, such as stores. This new requirement applies to all individuals over the age of two who are able to medically tolerate a face-covering or a mask.
- ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES AND MANUFACTURING:Essential businesses and manufacturers will be required to provide face-coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain six-feet of social distancing, as well as follow new requirements that maximize social distancing and prioritize the well-being of employees and customers. This will include occupancy limits for essential businesses and precautions such as staggering shifts and operating only essential lines for manufacturers.
- SCHOOLS:Educational institutions may allow and establish procedures for pick-up of necessary supplies or student belongings. Dormitory move-outs must follow public health guidelines, including social distancing.
- ELECTIVE SURGERIES: The Illinois Department of Public Health will also be issuing guidance to surgery centers and hospitals to allow for certain elective surgeries beginning May 1. They will need to meet specific criteria, including providing personal protective equipment, ensuring enough overall space for COVID-19 patients remains available, and testing of elective surgery patients to ensure COVID-19 negative status.
Employers should be mindful of the new requirements for essential businesses and manufacturing as they will require careful monitoring to fully comply with the new order. Additionally, several questions still remain unanswered, such as what is an “essential line” for manufacturers? Stay tuned here for more updates as they become available regarding the extension and modification of the Stay at Home Order for Illinois, as well as modifications to orders in other states.