Rep. Meier Provides COVID-19 Update Concerning Unemployment Benefits, School and State Facility Closures, Restaurant Options, Small Business Impact Survey

As our state and country continue to fight the coronavirus, State Rep. Charlie Meier is providing the public with important information concerning unemployment benefits for individuals recently laid off, restaurant operations, state closures, school closures, guidance for nursing homes and a web form asking for feedback from small businesses impacted by COVID-19. 

Rep. Meier’s office will continue to keep the public informed in the hours and days ahead. In the meantime, here is some helpful information for Illinois residents:

Unemployment Benefits

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) is 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:

Restaurants Open for Carry-Out and Delivery

Effective 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, daycare 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

State Seeks Input from Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

The State of Illinois is seeking input from small businesses on the impact of COVID-19. Responses will assist the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in evaluating Illinois’ request for an economic injury disaster declaration resulting in loans for affected businesses and non-profits.

Small businesses and not-for-profits in Illinois that have suffered economic injury as a result of COVID-19 are encouraged to submit their information to the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity.

Information obtained from this form will only be used to assist in requesting an economic injury disaster declaration from SBA and identifying the greatest areas of need.