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Executive Order 2020-12


March 24, 2020



WHEREAS, in late 2019, a new and significant outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) emerged; and,

WHEREAS, certain populations are at a higher risk of experiencing more severe illness as a result of COVID-19, including older adults and people who have serious chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, lung disease or other conditions; and,

WHEREAS, COVID-19 is a novel severe acute respiratory illness that can spread among people through respiratory transmissions and present with symptoms similar to influenza; and,

WHEREAS, I, JB Pritzker, Governor of Illinois, declared all counties in the State of Illinois as a disaster area on March 9, 2020 (“Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation”); and,

WHEREAS, on March 11, 2020, WHO characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic; and,

WHEREAS, despite efforts to contain COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have declared that it is expected to spread; and,

WHEREAS, in communities with confirmed COVID-19 cases, the CDC currently recommends mitigation measures, including practicing social distancing, staying at home when sick, staying home when a household member is sick with respiratory disease symptoms or when instructed to do so by public health officials or a healthcare provider, and keeping away from others who are sick; and,

WHEREAS, social distancing, which consists of maintaining at least a six-foot distance between people, is the paramount strategy for minimizing the spread of COVID-19 in our communities; and,

WHEREAS, the current testing availability has identified further spread of confirmed cases throughout the State of Illinois, and it is expected that increased testing capacity would demonstrate that COVID-19 is circulating in communities across Illinois that currently have not identified a confirmed case; and,

WHEREAS, the ongoing spread of COVID-19 and the danger the virus poses to the public's health and wellness requires an expansion of the healthcare workforce to ensure there are sufficient practitioners to help support the healthcare response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Illinois; and,

WHEREAS, the CDC, taking note of a need to reduce unnecessary healthcare visits and prevent transmission of respiratory viruses at healthcare facilities, currently recommends that healthcare providers increase the use of telehealth systems, formal or otherwise, to assess and care for patients to decrease the volume of persons seeking care in facilities; and,

WHEREAS, on March 20, 2020, I issued Executive Order 2020-10 to prohibit any gathering of more than ten people, except for limited activities identified in that order, and to require individuals to stay in their home or place of residence, except to conduct essential activities, essential governmental functions, or to operate essential businesses; and,

WHEREAS, it is a priority of the Illinois Department of Public Health to limit the potential exposure of healthcare workers to COVID-19, including those providing services with home health, home services, and home nursing agencies, and the patients they serve; and,

WHEREAS, the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (IDJJ) has youth in its custody at five Illinois Youth Centers across this state and these youth, because of their close proximity and contact with each other in housing units and other areas of the facilities, are vulnerable to contracting and spreading COVID-19; and,

WHEREAS, pursuant to the Unified Code of Corrections, 730 ILCS 5/3-2.5-20, the IDJJ is authorized to determine the date of release of a youth to aftercare and the conditions of aftercare release for youth committed to the Department under Section 5-750 of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987; and,

WHEREAS, the IDJJ must urgently continue its work to prepare for and respond quickly to COVID-19 and, as part of this effort, the Director of the IDJJ may need to exercise the discretion provided by the Unified Code of Corrections to release youth; and,

WHEREAS, the Coal Mining Act, 225 ILCS 705, requires that monthly examinations provided by the Miners’ Examining Board be administered in person and under oath of the applicant, in a public venue; and,

WHEREAS, it is unknown how many applicants will arrive for a certification examination by the Miners’ Examining Board on any given examination date; and,

WHEREAS, it is necessary and appropriate to suspend certification examinations by the Miners’ Examining Board to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and protect the public’s health; and,

WHEREAS, it is necessary and appropriate for the State of Illinois to immediately take measures to promote and secure the safety and protection of the State’s residents in response to this COVID-19 outbreak including measures to ensure the provision and coverage of health care services while the many members of the public, including health care providers, become ill with COVID-19;

THEREFORE, by the powers vested in me as the Governor of the State of Illinois, and pursuant to Sections 7(1), 7(8), and 7(12) of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act, 20 ILCS 3305, I hereby Order the following:

Section 1. During the duration of the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation, the provisions in the Healthcare Worker Background Check Act, 225 ILCS 46/33(g), that prohibit an individual from being hired to work as a certified nursing assistant if they have been inactive on the Health Care Worker Registry are suspended if the individual (1) has been in inactive status for a period of no more than 5 years, (2) was in good standing at the time they became inactive, and (3) completes and submits any forms required by the Department of Public Health.

Section 2. During the duration of the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation, the provision in the Health Care Worker Background Check Act, 225 ILCS 46/33(l), limiting conditional employment of certified nursing assistants to 3 months pending the results of a finger-print based criminal history record check is suspended. The Department of Public Health shall not permit a certified nursing assistant to continue conditional employment beyond 6 months without obtaining the results of a finger-print based criminal history record check.

Section 3. During the duration of the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation, the provision of the Unified Code of Corrections, 730 ILCS 5/3-2.5-85, requiring the Department of Juvenile Justice to provide written notice to the prosecuting State’s Attorney’s office no less than 30 days prior to a youth’s target release date, is suspended. In connection with any release pursuant to this provision of the law, the Department of Juvenile Justice shall take steps to ensure the State’s Attorney’s office is notified as far in advance as possible or as quickly as possible.

Section 4. During the duration of the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation, the provision of the Coal Mining Act, 225 ILCS 705/8.06, requiring the Miners’ Examining Board to hold an examination once in each calendar month, is suspended.

Issued by the Governor March 24, 2020
Filed by the Secretary of State March 24, 2020