Caulkins Provides COVID-19 Update Concerning Unemployment Benefits, School and State Facility Closures and Restaurant Options

As Illinois continues to combat the spread of the coronavirus, State Representative Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur) is providing the public with information concerning restaurant operations, unemployment benefits, state facility closures, school closures and today’s recent guidance for nursing homes.

Unemployment Benefits

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced on March 11 they are taking additional steps to support workers and families impacted by COVID-19. Individuals unemployed due to COVID-19 can generally qualify for unemployment benefits to the full extent permitted by federal law.

Employees laid off due to COVID-19 may obtain more information and how to file for unemployment insurance by visiting the following website offered by the Illinois Department of Employment Security here.

Restaurants Open for Carry-Out and Delivery

Effective now through March 30, 2020, all businesses in Illinois that offer food or beverages for on-premises consumption, including restaurants, bars, grocery stores, and food halls must suspend service and are encouraged to serve food and beverages to be consumed off-premises through means such as in-house delivery, third-party delivery, drive-through, and curbside pick-up. Customers may enter the premises to purchase food or beverages for carry-out.

SOS Driver’s License Facilities Closed

All Illinois Secretary of State offices and Driver Service facilities are CLOSED to the public through March 31, 2020.

Expiration dates for driver’s licenses, identification (ID) cards, vehicle registrations and other transactions and document filings will be extended by 30 days through an emergency rule.

K-12 Schools Closed Statewide

K-12 schools will remain closed in Illinois through March 30. As of March 17, day care centers will remain open and will follow strict health and safety guidance.

Updated Guidance for Nursing Homes (as of March 17):

• Restrict all visitation except for certain compassionate care situations, such as end of life residents

• Restrict all volunteers and non-essential health care personnel (e.g., barbers)

• Cancel all group activities and communal dining

• Implement active screening of residents and health care personnel for fever and respiratory symptoms

Additional guidance for long-term care facilities is on the IDPH website.

State Parks and Historic Sites Closed

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) announced on March 16 the closure of all state parks, fish and wildlife areas, recreational areas, and historic sites as well as the cancellation of upcoming scheduled events. A complete listing of state sites can be found on the IDNR website here.