05092018KS4926CHICAGO - State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) issued the following statement in response to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health showing shockingly high and disproportionate rates of COVID-19 related deaths for African-American communities in Chicago and Cook County:

“As devastating as it is, these results have been years in the making. Higher rates of underlying health conditions, less access to preventative care, barriers to treatment -- these things have burdened the black community for decades. The failure by leaders at every level to take bold action to reduce long-standing health inequities has placed black communities in the eye of the storm, and now those families are paying a profound and unprecedented price.

“Closing the vast health disparities can no longer be an afterthought. It must be an urgent and primary priority for leaders at every level of government, and I stand ready to work with them to deliver targeted healthcare resources and services necessary to build an equitable health care system.”

According to IDPH’s data, of the 86 recorded deaths related to COVID-19 in Chicago, 61, or 70% were of black residents. Blacks make up 29% of Chicago’s population. In Cook County, black residents account for 107 of the 183 COVID-19-related deaths.

Hunter has long advocated for stronger efforts by the state to address health disparities and improve access to comprehensive health care for black and underserved communities.

Category: Uncategorised

Twitter UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS 1

To address the uncertainty and instability many Americans are facing during this outbreak, the federal government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which provides assistance to hospitals, nonprofits, individuals, and businesses.

 If you are wondering about what the CARES Act means for you and your community, here’s some information that may help you navigate the legislation:

 How will the CARES Act help individuals and families?

  • Individuals who earn less than $75,000 annually will receive a direct payment of $1,200, plus an additional $500 for every qualifying child age 16 or under. Married couples who file a joint return and earn less than $150,000 are eligible for up to $2,400 plus an additional $500 for every qualifying child age 16 or under. However, no one must claim you as a dependent on their income tax returns in order to qualify.
  • Eligible workers will get an extra $600 per week on top of state unemployment benefits to cover lost wages. Part-time, self-employed, and gig-economy workers are newly eligible for benefits.
  • States will receive $3.5 billion in Child Care Development Block Grants to help provide child care to health care workers, first responders, and other essential employees.
  • Federal student loan payments will be suspended until Sept. 30.

Will businesses get relief?

  • Small businesses and non-profits will have access to $350 billion in forgivable loans to help them retain employees and pay for expenses like rent, mortgages, and utilities.
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering $10 billion in economic injury grants of up to $10,000 to provide immediate relief to local business owners. This is in addition to its ordinary Economic Injury Disaster Loan, which provides loans of up to $2 million for working capital. SBA has also established the Debt Relief Program to cover six months of interest payments for small businesses with existing loans.
  • The new Paycheck Protection Program will provide loans as an incentive for small businesses to keep workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive PPP loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest or utilities. Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders.

What about protections for health care workers and first responders?

  • Over $120 billion in assistance will go to hospitals and health agencies to help them cover COVID-19 expenses, replenish life-saving supplies, and purchase tests.
    Will the CARES Act support local and state governments?
  • State and local governments will receive $150 billion to pay for new expenses related to COVID-19. The CARES Act also doubles the amount of FEMA funding available to state governments, local governments, and nonprofits.

What kind of benefits will schools receive?

  • Schools across the country—including colleges and universities—will receive over $30 billion in emergency support.
Category: Uncategorised

SPRINGFIELD - On Friday, March 20, Illinois Governor Pritzker issued Executive Order 2020-10 requiring all Illinoisans to stay in their homes to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. The order prohibits things like visiting the homes of friends and holding gatherings of any size and closes all nonessential establishments, including most retail, recreation and entertainment businesses. It does NOT prohibit essential activities like going to the grocery store, receiving medical care, or taking your pet for a walk. For more information on what this order means for you, please see the FAQs below.

When does the order take effect?

The order will take effect Saturday, March 21st at 5pm CST.

Where does the Stay at Home order apply?

The Governor’s executive order includes the entire state. Unless you work for an essential business or are doing an essential activity, you should stay home. Work from home is permitted and encouraged where possible.

Is this mandatory or just guidance?

This order is mandatory. To help prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in Illinois and protect our friends, neighbors, and vulnerable populations, please stay home.

How will this order be enforced?

Staying home is critical to reducing the spread of COVID-19 in your community. The Illinois State Police will work with local law enforcement to enforce this order but adhering to the order will save lives and it is the responsibility of every Illinoisan to do their part.

Will the Illinois National Guard be enforcing this order?

No. The Illinois National Guard will be supporting logistics, transportation, and medical response efforts. The Guard will not be enforcing this order. I work in an essential service.

How will the police know I’m allowed to be outside my house?

Law enforcement officials will not stop residents who are on their way to or from work or who are out for necessities like going to the pharmacy or getting groceries, or just taking a walk. People gathering in groups over 10 may be asked to social distance or go home. Illinoisans should abstain from all nonessential activities. Adhering to the order will save lives and it is the responsibility of every Illinoisan to do their part.

Will grocery stores be open?

Yes, essential services will still be operational including, but not limited to:

  • Grocery stores
  • Gas stations
  • Pharmacies
  • Police stations
  • Fire stations
  • Hospitals, clinics and healthcare operations
  • Garbage/sanitation
  • Public transportation
  • Public benefits (i.e. SNAP, Medicaid) hotlines

A full list can be found in the executive order at coronavirus.illinois.gov.

How can I get medical care if I need it?

If you are feeling sick, call your doctor, a nurse hotline, any telehealth hotline set up specifically for COVID-19 (check with your insurance company) or an urgent care center.If you are experiencing symptoms or are currently in isolation, you should stay at home and follow the guidelines provided by your physician. Do not go to an emergency room unless necessary. Nonessential medical care like eye exams and teeth-cleaning should be postponed. When possible, healthcare visits should be done remotely. Contact your healthcare provider to see what tele-health services they provide.

What is the guidance for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities?

State Operated Developmental Centers, Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities and Community Integrated Living Arrangements will continue to provide care. All in-home direct care staff are considered essential staff and should continue to support individuals in the home setting. If you have any specific questions about your support and services, please reach out to your provider or Individual Service Coordination (ISC) Agency. To receive updated information on DDD services, please sign up for our email database, or to update your contact and service information, please visit www.DDD.Illinois.gov.

What if I still have to go to work?

Unless your work is an essential function (i.e. healthcare provider, grocery store clerk, first responder), you should stay home. If you have been designated essential by your employer, you should continue to go to work and practice social distancing. If you are experiencing symptoms or are currently in isolation, you should stay at home and follow the guidelines provided by your physician.

What if I think my business should be closed but I’m still being asked to operate?

Essential businesses will remain open during the Stay at Home order to provide services that are vital to the lives of Illinoisans. Those businesses include, but are not limited to, pharmacies, certain government offices, day care centers that provide care for the children of essential employees, and restaurants providing take-out meals. If you work for an essential business, you should continue to practice social distancing and should stay at home outside of work hours. If you believe your business is nonessential but are still being asked to show up to work, you may discuss with your employer.

Can I order food/groceries?

Yes, grocery delivery will be available as well as meal-delivery, drive through, and take-out options.

A certain service is essential for me, but the Governor didn’t include it, what do I do?

The Stay at Home order was issued to protect the health, safety and well-being of Illinoisans. While some businesses like fitness centers and salons will be closed, essential services will always be available.

Will public transportation and ridesharing be available?

Public transportation and ridesharing should be used for essential travel only. When possible, walk or drive yourself.

Will roads in Illinois be closed?

No, the roads will not be closed in Illinois. You should only travel if it is essential to your work or health.

Can I take a flight out of state?

Planes and any other form of travel should only be used for essential purposes.

What if my home is not a safe environment?

If it is not safe for you to remain home, you are able and urged to find another safe place to stay during this order. Please reach out so we can help. You may call the domestic violence hotline at 1-877-863- 6338 or contact your local law enforcement.

What about homeless people who can’t stay at home?

The administration wants to protect the health and safety of all Illinoisans, regardless of where they live. State agencies are partnering with community organizations to provide funding and resources to ensure our homeless population has safe shelter.

Can I visit friends and family?

For your safety, as well as the safety of those in your community, you should remain at home to help fight the spread of COVID-19. You may visit family members or friends who need medical or other essential assistance, such as ensuring an adequate supply of food.

What about my pet?

You are allowed to walk your dog and seek medical care for your pet should they require it. Be sure to practice social distancing while out on walks, maintaining at least 6 feet from other neighbors and their pets.

Does the Stay at Home order mean I can’t take my kids to the park?

State parks will be closed during the Stay at Home order. Families will still be able to go outside, including to local parks and outdoor spaces that remain open, and take a walk, run, or bike ride but should continue to practice social distancing by remaining 6 feet away from other people. Playgrounds are closed because they pose a high risk of increasing transmission.

What is the difference between the Stay at Home order and social distancing?

Social distancing is an important first step in preventing the spread of a disease like COVID-19 that allows people to go about their daily activities while taking extra health and safety precautions. The Stay at Home order requires people to remain in their homes unless they have an essential job or are doing an essential task like going to the grocery store or walking a pet. 

Can I leave home to exercise?

Yes. Outdoor exercise like running or taking a walk is perfectly acceptable; however, exercise gyms, fitness centers and associated facilities will be closed to reduce the spread of coronavirus. While exercising outside, you should still practice social distancing by running or walking at least six feet away from other people.

Can I pick up meals being provided by my child’s school?

Yes. Schools that provide free food services to students will continue on a pick-up and take-home basis.

Can I go out to do laundry?

Yes. Laundromats, dry cleaners and laundry service providers are considered essential businesses that will remain open.

Can I take my child to day care?

If you are considered an essential worker under the Order, you can take your child to a day care that is licensed on an emergency basis for the purpose of childcare for essential workers. Licensed day care homes for up to 12 children will be closed but may reopen as an unlicensed day care home for up to 6 children. 

Category: Uncategorised

COVID update

Small business relief

  • Sales tax deferment: To help alleviate some of the unprecedented challenges facing bars and restaurants due to COVID-19, Gov. Pritzker has directed the Department of Revenue to defer sales tax payments for more than 24,000 small- and medium-sized bars and restaurants — accounting for nearly 80% of all such entities statewide. For more information, please view IDOR's informational bulletin available at tax.illinois.gov.
  • Small business disaster loans: Gov. Pritzker announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration has approved the state's eligibility for disaster assistance loans for small businesses facing financial hardship in all 102 counties due to COVID-19. Eligible businesses can apply for up to $2 million in low-interest loans here.
  • Counseling for small businesses: Advisors at Illinois Small Business Development Centers across the state are available to assist businesses with preparedness planning and accessing disaster loans approved for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic. You can find the location and contact information of your nearest SBDC here.

Health care assistance

  • Telemedicine expansion: Through emergency rules imposed by the Pritzker administration, the state has significantly relaxed rules around telemedicine for both Medicaid and private insurers, allowing more providers to get reimbursed for these services that allow patients more flexibility and safety.
  • Health care access for families: The State of Illinois has filed a waiver with the federal government to loosen restrictions on Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The Pritzker administration is seeking to increase access to telehealth and the number of health care providers that can screen patients, allow 90-day prescription supplies without prior authorization and early refills, as well as several other items that will increase flexibility and provide additional resources.

Food Security

  • Food assistance for children and families: The Department of Human Services has filed a federal waiver to ease eligibility requirements for food assistance programs like SNAP and WIC, which cover 1.8 million Illinoisans and 174,000 pregnant women and parents of young children respectively.
  • Free meals for students: The Illinois State Board of Education is working to provide meals every day to all students, no questions asked. Grab-and-go meals are available statewide for students who need them, and some schools are even offering delivery. Contact your child’s school district for more information.
  • Grocery store hours for seniors: Gov. Pritzker announced yesterday that a growing coalition of grocery stores statewide will set aside one or more hours of operation for older residents to shop, before stores open to the general public. Among the grocers with new hours for elderly shoppers are Whole Foods and Shop & Save in the Chicagoland area and Hy-Vee and Valli Produce throughout Illinois. Contact your prefered store to see if they are participating.
  • Food for the homeless and at-risk famlies: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Greater Chicago Food Depository is hard at work responding to the increased need for food. Locations of soup kitchens, food pantries and food distribution centers can be found here.

The Illinois Department of Public Health has a statewide COVID-19 hotline and website to answer any questions from the public or to report a suspected case: call 1-800-889-3931 or visit IDPH.illinois.gov.

Category: Uncategorised

COVID19 Updates

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Office Information

Springfield Office:
619 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-5966
(217) 782-1631 FAX
 
District Office:
2929 S. Wabash Ave., Suite 102
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 949-1908
(312) 949-1958 FAX

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