Chemical Industry Council of Illinois (CICI) Members


Mark Biel, Chief Executive Officer
[email protected] or 217/522-5805 


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update – Schools Closed for Remainder of the Academic Year; Industry Guidance on Managing Suspected/Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in the Workplace; OSHA Discretionary Enforcement Guidance; White House Guidance for States on Re-Opening Economy; Update on COVID-19 Cases; Some Illinois Cities Requiring Face Masks; IDPH Alert on Respirators  

Schools Closed for Remainder of the Academic Year:
At Governor Pritzker’s daily press briefing, he ordered schools to be closed for in-classroom learning for the remainder of the academic year. The state’s schools will continue with whatever current e-learning plans they have in place. Several press reports believe that this announcement today is an indication the Governor will also extend his current “Stay at Home” Executive Order well into May.

Industry Guidance on Managing Suspected/Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in the Workplace: Attached to this Update is an American Chemistry Council (ACC) guidance document on managing suspected/confirmed cases of COVID-19 at facilities. The guidance document is intended to help facility leaders respond to suspected and/or confirmed cases of COVID-19, including steps related to investigating and documenting the situation; communicating with employees and helping employees feel safe at work; and cleaning & disinfecting the workplace.

OSHA Discretionary Enforcement Guidance: OSHA today came out with thisdiscretionary enforcement guidance document which should be of interest to CICI members. During the course of an inspection, OSHA Area Offices will assess an employer's efforts to comply with standards that require annual or recurring audits, reviews, training, or assessments (see Annex below for some examples).  Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) should evaluate whether the employer made good faith efforts to comply with applicable OSHA standards and, in situations where compliance was not possible, to ensure that employees were not exposed to hazards from tasks, processes, or equipment for which they were not prepared or trained.

This action will take effect immediately and remain in effect until further notice. This guidance is intended to be time-limited during the COVID-19 crisis. You can also check OSHA's webpage at for updates.

White House Guidance for States on Re-Opening Economy: The Trump Administration yesterday evening unveiled guidance for a phased reopening of at least parts of the U.S. economy, but the steps enumerated in the guidance document are implementable at the statewide or county-level at the discretion of each state’s governors.  Unfortunately, for Illinois, this doesn’t seem to be in our immediate future. 

The first phase largely urges existing measures to remain in place while allowing certain businesses to reopen if social distancing is possible.  The second phase makes recommendations for states and regions with no evidence of a rebound of COVID-19 and that have twice satisfied the initial criteria on cases, hospitals and testing (see bullet points below).  The third phase, which is recommended only for states that have shown no signs of a spike in cases after restrictions are lifted, and have satisfied the initial criteria a third time, would allow public interactions and bars and restaurants to re-open.  The third phase still encourages individuals to socially distance when possible and limit their time in large gatherings, while allowing employers to resume unrestricted staffing in the workplace.

In addition, the recommendations would also like to see the following four steps occur before initiating any of the above-mentioned phases of a re-opening of social and economic activity:

  • A measurable and sustained reduction in new cases over three sets of two-week periods or the same downward trajectory of positive tests as a percentage of total tests;
  • The ability to treat all patients without crisis care (such as tent hospitals);
  • Robust testing, contact tracing, syndromic surveillance that can catch an outbreak before it actually happens, as well as surveillance testing of asymptomatic members of vulnerable populations (racial minorities, low-income, seniors, etc.); and
  • An ample supply of PPE and the ability to deploy it along with an ability to surge ICU capacity if needed. 

Update on COVID-19 Cases:The Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) is now reporting a total of 1,134 deaths, an increase of 62 deaths since yesterday, but far less that the 124 that was reported yesterday. There are currently 27,575 positive cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, which is an increase of 1,842 from Thursday, which is the largest increase in cases to date.

In total, 130,163 people have now been tested in Illinois for the virus, which is an increase of 7,574 from yesterday, inching closer to the 10,000 tests per day experts believe will provide a more precise mathematical model to evaluate how well current control efforts are working. Of those people tested, 21.1% of the results are positive for COVID-19.

You can check where these cases are occurring at the State of Illinois COVID-19 website which also contains more information on this outbreak. Also, IDPH has a case breakdown of the number of positive cases in Chicago and each county relative to the number of fatalities.  The IDPH website also now includes a breakdown of the cases under each zip code in the state. In addition, Western Illinois University has an put together this Map of COVID-19 Cases in Illinois & Surrounding States which gives you picture of where COVID-19 cases are occurring in relation to areas surrounding Illinois. 

Worldometer also has a site with pertinent statistics on a state by state breakdown and comparison. Also, the City of Chicago has a good categorization of the cases within the city.

Some Local Governments in Illinois Requiring Face Masks: CICI wanted to bring to your attention that at least 3 units of local governments – Cicero, Skokie, and Glenview for certain – have initiated orders that residents wear face masks at job sites and when in public settings such as grocery stores, etc.  This Cicero order may be typical of these types of orders with possibly more to follow.  If you know of other units of local governments doing the same, please let CICI know so we can share with the membership.

IDPH Alert on KN95 Respirators:  The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is recommending discontinuing the use of any imported KN95 respirators for procedures that require the use of an N95 or similar respirator unless their authenticity and performance through fit testing can be verified.  Some of these KN95 masks are from China and may not meet performance standards.  There have also been concerns that counterfeit KN95 masks are reportedly flooding the marketplace.  Illinois has also distributed KN95 masks throughout the state. As such, the IDPH has issued guidance attached to this Update to clarify how KN95 masks with emergency use authorization from the FDA should be used. 


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