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Illinois Government Responses to Covid-19 Updated 5/19/2020

Today’s update discusses:

  • statewide contact tracing initiative
  • Governor’s warning to residents defying statewide stay-at-home order
  • Chicago Mayor's warning to churches
  • topics the state GOP wants to discuss this week


  • Governor Pritzker announced this week a statewide plan to begin contact tracing, called “The Illinois Contact Tracing Collaborative.” This initiative will help track people who may have been exposed to the virus so that they can properly quarantine and slow the spread. Once someone tests positive, health officials will attempt to retrace that person’s steps and notify anyone who has come in close contact with the infected person. According to Pritzker’s “Restore Illinois” plan, the state must have met the contact tracing benchmarks, among other things, before moving on to Phase 4. The initiative will launch in pilot programs in Lake and St. Clair Counties. The number of new cases being reported is still too high to conduct contact tracing statewide.


  • During his briefing on Monday, Governor Pritzker expressed concern that failure to follow the stay-at-home order could cause a new wave of the virus. He stated, “if people don’t follow the plan, or if people don’t wear face coverings when they’re out in public as directed, more people are going to get [the] coronavirus.” He further conveyed that abiding by the stay-at-home order now can be daunting, but any significant surge in cases and hospitalizations could result in the same locked down position the state was in a month ago.
  • Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot warned on Monday that churches defying the statewide stay-at-home order will be fined. This warning results from at least two churches with over 100 people attending multiple services. Lightfoot previously sent a letter to various churches urging them to comply with the stay-at-home order and highlighting the vulnerability of many attendees.


  • As the General Assembly prepares to meet this week, the state GOP leaders plan to challenge Governor Pritzker’s directives to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak, starting with filing a motion to suspend the emergency rule criminalizing a business’s reopening in defiance of the stay-at-home order. Republicans are also calling for the graduated income tax issue to be removed from the November ballot.


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