Illinois Government Actions on Covid-19 Updated 10/22/2020
Today’s update discusses:
- New restrictions starting in various Illinois regions
- Governor Pritzker restarting daily COVID-19 briefings
- Lake County Health Department recommending virtual learning
- Chicago Public Schools bringing some students back for in-person learning
- Students at Chicago Public Schools petitioning for less screen time during e-learning
- Chicago’s travel order being updated
- IDPH issuing guidelines for upcoming holidays
- Various cases against Governor Pritzker facing potential dismissal in Sangamon County
- As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the state, Governor Pritzker has announced restrictions in various Illinois regions where COVID-19 cases have spiked. For example, indoor dining at restaurants and bars is now prohibited in Regions 7 and 8 (which include DuPage, Kane, Will, and Kankakee counties). Regions 1 and 5 (in northwestern and southeastern Illinois) also received new restrictions this week, while Regions 3, 4, 9, and 10 are all dangerously close to having restrictions put in place.
- As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the state, Governor Pritzker announced that he will again begin holding daily press briefings alongside public health official Dr. Ngozi Ezike. According to Pritzker, “every region of the state has started to move in the wrong direction” and the briefings will be held “until Illinois returns to a better standing. . ..”
- While schools across the state continue to assess whether in-person, hybrid, or online learning is appropriate, one health department is voicing its recommendations. The Lake County Health Department recommended this week that public and private schools should resort solely to learning remotely. This recommendation comes as concerns surrounding the ongoing pandemic continue to rise. Although some schools have expressed interest in following the recommendation, others have made the decision to maintain in-person learning.
- Late last week, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) announced plans to start bringing some students back for in-person learning later this year. According to officials, CPS has faced a significant drop in enrollment and difficulty with e-learning, which sparked the decision to bring back preschoolers and special education students as early as November. CPS also announced that additional students could return as early as January.
- As e-learning continues, students at CPS have petitioned to reduce the amount of screen time required. More than 38,000 individuals signed a petition asking CPS to reduce e-learning to only four hours a day, citing health concerns as the reason for changing the format. At this time, CPS is not planning on reducing their hours, stating that students do not spend a full eight hours in front of the screen during the school day.
- Chicago’s travel order has once again been updated to include five new states. This makes 31 the total number of states and territories on the emergency travel order. As of this week, travelers from the following states must do a 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Chicago: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
- As the pandemic continues, the Illinois Department of Public Health has released guidelines for the upcoming holidays. The guidelines provide suggestions for traveling, shopping, and gathering this holiday season. For example, those traveling are encouraged to consistently wear face coverings and not travel if sick. Those gathering with family and friends are encouraged to limit the number of guests present at one time, avoid buffet style food settings, and increase airflow if the event is held indoors.
- A Springfield circuit court judge is considering dismissing several lawsuits against Governor Pritzker for his response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The majority of these cases, including the one filed by Representative Bailey, are handled by attorney Thomas DeVore and were consolidated into one case in Sangamon County. During a hearing last week, the assistant attorney general argued that the cases should be dismissed because the Emergency Management Act gives the governor authority to act in a way that prevents future harm. DeVore, however, argued that the case should proceed so plaintiffs can conduct depositions and gather evidence to prove their case. Judge Raylene Grischow gave both sides until this Friday to submit proposed orders.