COVID-19 More Frequently Asked Questions to Governor’s Executive Order 2020-10 (Stay at Home Order)
When is the Governor’s Stay at Home Order Effective?
The Governor’s Executive Order #10, (available via this link) mandating certain Illinois residents to stay at home, is effective from 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, 2020, through the duration of the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation, which currently extends through Tuesday, April 7, 2020.
What Municipal Operations May Continue Under the Stay at Home Order?
A municipality’s police, fire, public works and support personnel that are determined to be essential by the mayor may report to work. The order specifically provides that, “Each government body shall determine its Essential Governmental Functions and identify employees and/or contractors necessary to the performance of those functions.” The order exempts personnel engaged in “Essential Governmental Functions” from the stay at home provisions. This includes all first responders, emergency management personnel, emergency dispatchers, law enforcement and any other governmental employees working for or to support essential businesses and operations.
“Essential Governmental Functions” means all services, provided by the State or any municipality, township, county, subdivision or agency of government and contractors performing essential government functions, needed to ensure the continuing operation of the government agencies or to provide for or support the health, safety and welfare of the public. Personnel may leave their residence to provide any services or perform any work necessary to offer, provide, operate, maintain and repair Essential Infrastructure, which includes construction, building management and maintenance, public works construction, local infrastructure, communications and web based services.
May a Municipal Utility Shut-Off Service to Customers for Non-Payment During the State of Emergency?
Yes. However, municipalities may want to consider implementing a moratorium on disconnections and late fees during the COVID-19 state of emergency. The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) has issued an Emergency Interim Order, available via this link, that directs private utilities under ICC jurisdiction to cease disconnections for non-payment, and to suspend the imposition of late payment fees or penalties, on an interim basis, and until May 1, 2020, or until the Governor announces the end of the COVID-19 state of emergency, whichever comes later.
May a religious organization conduct sufficient operations to offer a streaming service?
Yes. The assembly for religious services would be prohibited, but the provision of this social service by a religious entity is an essential business operation. Social distancing requirements must be observed.
Are Barber Shops and Salons Allowed to Remain Open?
No. Barber shops and salons are not included in “Essential Businesses” and operations must cease. Specifically, fitness and exercise gyms, spas, salons, barber shops, tattoo parlors and similar facilities are not considered “healthcare and public health operations.” Healthcare and public health operations may remain open.
What about Funeral Services?
Funeral services are deemed essential operations under the Governor’s Executive Order. However, gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited. This prohibition includes funeral services.
Are Liquor Stores Allowed to Remain Open?
Yes. Establishments engaged in the retail sale of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are deemed essential businesses and are allowed to remain open.
Are Restaurants Allowed to Remain Open?
Yes. Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food may remain open but only for consumption off-premises through such means as in-house delivery, third-party delivery, drive-thru, curbside pick-up and carry-out. Additionally, schools and other entities that provide food services to students or members of the public may continue to do so on the condition that the food is provided on a pick-up and takeaway basis only.
Are Golf Courses Allowed to Remain Open?
No. Golf courses are places of public amusement, and operations must cease, except minimum basic operations.
Can I Take My Child to Day Care?
An employee considered an essential worker under the Order may take children 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 must be closed but may reopen as an unlicensed day care home for up to six children.
Are Auto Dealerships Allowed to Remain Open?
Yes, to support “Essential Business” functions, which include auto rental, auto supply, auto repair and related facilities. Dealerships are permitted to sell automobiles. However, patrons shall schedule an appointment with the dealership and the dealership shall comply with social distancing requirements as defined in the Executive Order, including by maintaining six-foot social distancing for both employees and members of the public at all times.
Are Accountants and CPA Offices Allowed to Remain Open?
Yes. The Governor’s Executive Order defines professional services as an essential business. “Professional Services” include legal services, accounting services, insurance services and real estate services (including appraisal and title services).
Are Banking and Other Financial Institutions Allowed to Remain Open?
Yes. Although individuals should only leave their homes to obtain necessary services, financial institutions are included as essential businesses. The definition of “Financial Institutions” includes banks, currency exchanges, consumer lenders, including but not limited to: payday lenders, pawnbrokers, consumer installment lenders and sales finance lenders, credit unions, appraisers, title companies, financial markets, trading and futures exchanges, affiliates of financial institutions, entities that issue bonds, related financial institutions and institutions selling financial products.
Are Janitorial and Custodial Services Considered Essential?
Yes. Cleaning and janitorial staff for commercial and governmental properties are considered critical trades. Critical trades also include building and construction trades, plumbers, electricians, exterminators, security staff, operating engineers, HVAC, painting, and moving and relocation services.
Have the State or Federal Governments Extended the Income Tax Filing Deadline?
On March 20, President Trump announced that the U.S. Treasury Department would be extending the deadline to file federal taxes from April 15 to July 15, without interest or penalties assessed on filers. Further guidance is expected from the Internal Revenue Service regarding this issue. The State has not yet announced an extension for filing state income taxes.
May Manufacturing Entities Continue to Operate?
Yes, in part. Manufacturing entities may continue to operate if they manufacture essential products and provide services for industries such as, pharmaceutical, technology, biotechnology, healthcare, chemicals and sanitization, waste pickup and disposal, agriculture, food and beverage, transportation, energy, steel and steel products, petroleum and fuel, mining, construction, national defense, communications, as well as products used by other “Essential Businesses and Operations.” Otherwise, manufacturers are limited to the “Minimum Basic Operations” requirement in the Executive Order.
May Landscaping and Lawn Service Businesses Continue to Operate?
Yes, in part. Landscaping businesses may operate in support of “Essential Businesses and Operations” and in support of the “Minimum Basic Operations” of non-essential businesses, in order to preserve the business’ physical plant. Residential landscaping services are not specifically addressed in the Order.
Will Public Parks Be Allowed to Remain Accessible?
Yes. The Governor’s Executive Order provides that individuals may leave their homes to engage in outdoor activity, while maintaining social distancing, which includes going to public parks and open outdoor recreation areas. The public may access park properties. However, the Executive Order provides that playgrounds must be closed as they may increase the spread of the virus. Park facilities (i.e. restrooms, clubhouses and other buildings) may be deemed non-essential and are therefore closed to the public. On March 16, 2020, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced the closure of all state parks, fish and wildlife areas, recreational areas and historic sites.
Please call the Village Hall if you have any questions.