Chemical Industry Council of Illinois (CICI) Members


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


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - Guidance Documents Available for Illinois to Move into Phase 4 This Friday; Pritzker Announces In-Person Education to Resume in Upcoming Academic Year; Applications Available for Grants to Some Businesses; Update on COVID-19 Cases; Hospitalization Rates Continue to Fall

Guidance Documents Available for Illinois to Move into Phase 4 This Friday:  With the state’s positivity rate continuing on its downward trend and hospital needs being adequately met, Illinois is moving into Phase 4 this Friday.    

This phase will allow a multitude of businesses and services to re-open but at reduced capacity for gyms and health clubs, retail stores, personal services, indoor dining, museums, zoos, meetings, etc.  These guidance documents can be found here

For all industries, these guidelines recommend:

  • In-person meetings of up to 50 people with social distancing permitted
  • All employees who can work from home should continue to do so
  • Continue to wear face covering that covers nose and mouth, maintain social distance of 6 ft., and frequently wash hands
  • Continue employee health screenings upon entry into the workplace and mid-shift screenings for employees with shifts >5 hours (virtual screening permitted)
  • Follow guidelines on capacity limits and group sizes (to be continually reassessed throughout  Phase 4)

Specific to manufacturing, these Phase 4 Manufacturing guidelines contain a number of resources including signage and others posters to print and post in public or employee areas, checklists, toolkits, and social media considerations. 

While CICI members have been deemed essential from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and, as such, have been treated differently than other businesses, the only thing to really change affecting our operations would be the allowance of in-person meetings of up to 50 people with adherence to social distancing.

Pritzker Announces In-Person Education to Resume in Upcoming Academic Year: Governor Pritzker announced today a plan for re-opening all K-12 schools, community colleges, and universities for in-person learning.  The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Guidance specifically for K-12 schools has the following requirements:

  • Require use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including face coverings;
  • Prohibit more than 50 individuals from gathering in one space;
  • Require social distancing whenever possible;
  • Conduct symptom screenings and temperature checks or require self-certification that individuals entering school buildings are symptom free; and
  • Increase schoolwide cleaning and disinfection 

For K-12 schools, each school district will determine how to implement this guidance based on its unique student enrollment, school facilities, staffing, transportation, and technological capacity.  To help schools meet these guidelines and prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) will provide public K-12 districts in Illinois with 2.5 million cloth face masks, allowing K-12 schools to provide a cloth face mask to all students and staff.

As for in-person higher education, the Illinois Board of Higher Education has already released their Higher Education Guidance and the Illinois Community College Board has released their Community College Guidance

Applications Available for Grants to Some Businesses:  As reported here last week, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will launch the first round of Business Interruption Grants (BIG) by providing $60 million to businesses experiencing losses or interruption of operations as a result of COVID-19 related closures. The BIG Program is available for up to 3,500 businesses that experienced a limited ability to operate due to COVID-19 related closures. DCEO will begin distributing funds to qualifying businesses in early July. The total program funding will amount to at least $540 million in grants for small businesses.

In the first wave of grants, priority will be given to small businesses that have been heavily restricted or completely shut down during the pandemic and are located in distressed areas of the state. Businesses eligible for the program must have experienced extreme hardship, demonstrated by eligible costs or losses in excess of the grant amount, since March and may continue to face depressed revenues or closure. Businesses must also have been in operation for at least three months prior to March 2020. An emphasis will also be placed on those businesses that are located in areas that have experienced recent property damage due to civil unrest, exacerbating the economic impacts of COVID-19.  More information and the application can be found here

DCEO has also launched a new economic recovery program that will provide $25 million to support Illinois businesses that have sustained property damage as a result of civil unrest during the recent protests and demonstrations on or after May 25, 2020.  The Distressed Capital Program will reimburse the costs to repair structural damages.  The program will prioritize small businesses, women and minority-owned businesses, underinsured or uninsured businesses, businesses that have a high community impact, and businesses in communities that have experienced historic disinvestment.  More information and how to apply for this program can be found here 

Update on COVID-19 Cases: There are currently 137,825 positive cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, an average increase of 609 new cases per day since reported here last Thursday.  In total, 1,399,510 people have now been tested in Illinois for the virus, an average increase of 23,135 tests per day since last Thursday.

Unfortunately, since last Thursday, IDPH is reporting a total of 6,707 deaths, an average increase of 34 per day since last Thursday.

Since last Thursday (5 days ago), the average statewide positivity rate is at 2.6% and for the last 7 days, this rate has fallen to 2%.  IDPH’s webpage tracks positivity and hospitalization rates for the state’s four regions.

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.

Hospitalization Rates Continue to Fall:  As of last night, IDPH is reporting that of the current 137,825, only 1,648 individuals, or 1.2% required some sort of hospital care.  Of these hospitalizations, 424 patients were in the ICU and 236 patients were on ventilators.  When the state’s COVID-19 peak was reached on April 28, over 5,000 patients were in the hospital with 1,290 patients being in the ICU.  At that time, 10% of all then-positive cases were requiring hospital care. 

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