Today’s updates discusses a shift in the COVID-19 “peak” in Illinois and the state’s shipment of the COVID-19 treatment remdesivir. Additionally, this update discusses Madison County scheduling a vote about reopening despite Illinois’ statewide stay-at-home order and the Illinois Supreme Court declining to immediately rule on a lawsuit against Governor Pritzker. Finally, this update discusses the continued economic impact of the pandemic and the Chicago Mayor’s plan to enforce the stay-at-home order against churches meeting in person.
- Governor Pritzker announced on Monday that based on the latest models, Illinois’ COVID-19 “peak” has shifted and will likely occur in mid-June. The Governor explained that “a pushing out of [Illinois’] estimated ‘peak’ is a natural consequence of flattening the curve.” Governor Pritzker acknowledges that the temptation to reopen at the end of May is tempting, but could “jeopardize the progress that the state has made in fighting the spread of the virus.” For more information, visit https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/coronavirus/illinois-may-not-hit-coronavirus-cases-peak-until-mid-june-pritzker-warns/2270062/.
- The Illinois Department of Public Health announced that Illinois has received 140 cases of remdesivir, the only FDA-approved treatment for COVID-19. According to the IDPH, the shipment will treat approximately 700 patients. The state is directing most of the treatment to the state’s virus hotspots. For more information, visit https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/coronavirus/illinois-receives-first-shipment-of-remdesivir-with-most-vials-going-to-cook-county/2270276/.
- Madison County officials will vote Tuesday evening on reopening the county’s economy, despite Governor Pritzker’s statewide stay-at-home order. County leaders believe reopening is crucial for businesses and have created a phase-in plan, which could be implemented as soon as tomorrow. Phase One, if passed, would be in place until May 27 and would allow restaurants to reopen at 25% capacity, personal services to reopen for appointments only, social gatherings to be limited to 10 or less, and retail businesses and other nonessential recreational businesses to open at 25% capacity. For more information on the county’s proposal, visit https://www.ksdk.com/mobile/article/news/local/madison-county-illinois-to-vote-reopening/63-d7a18ea8-c083-4f3c-b8ab-4e2d21a9fae9.
- Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is ready to take action against places of worship that are meeting in defiance of the stay-at-home order. During her news conference Monday, Lightfoot announced that the city will enforce the stay-at-home orders, including against places of worship. Lightfoot has discussed the situation with leaders of some churches that have been meeting, and she expressed hope that they will find other ways to worship until the orders are lifted. For more information, visit https://www.chicagotribune.com/coronavirus/ct-coronavirus-chicago-church-lightfoot-20200512-jehrucsm7jbvzbfnes4jzm4uru-story.html.
- As previously reported, Representative Darren Bailey won a temporary restraining order from a Clay County Circuit Court Judge regarding Governor Pritzker’s stay-at-home order. The Governor and the Illinois Attorney General assured residents the state would file an appeal asking the Illinois Supreme Court to take the case and issue a ruling on Governor Pritzker’s authority. On Monday, the Illinois Supreme Court declined to “weigh in on a lawsuit challenging” the extent of Governor Pritzker’s extended stay-at-home order at this point. The court’s decision does not speak to the merits of the action. The case remains pending in the Illinois Appellate Court, Fifth District. For more information, visit https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2020/05/11/illinois-supreme-court-declines-to-intervene-in-rep-darren-baileys-lawsuit-against-gov-jb-pritzkers-stay-at-home-order/.
- The coronavirus continues to affect the state’s economy as Illinois sees an estimated 2.3 million jobs become vulnerable, 1.6 million of those located in Cook County alone. The industries likely to be hit the hardest include the food industry, retail, and lodging, effecting primarily women and people of color. For more information on the economic impact in Illinois, visit https://www.chicagotribune.com/coronavirus/ct-coronavirus-illinois-vulnerable-jobs-20200511-7ntwkhsllbblfkvnsu5xuigunu-htmlstory.html.
HeplerBroom attorney Emilee M. Bramstedt contributed to this blog post.