Fornaro Law hopes that you are well during this global phenomenon. We want to let you know that we are continuing to perform legal work during these unprecedented times and are here to address your concerns and questions.

Please be advised, in light of these unprecedented times, to date, our Govern J.B. Pritzker has issued four Executive Orders in response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19”). Specifically, he has issued Executive Order 2020-04, Executive Order 2020-05, Executive Order 2020-06, and Executive Order 2020-07. This blog will discuss the issued Executive Orders and their impact on our day to day lives and activities.

Executive Order 2020-04

Executive Order 2020-04 or otherwise known as COVID-19 Executive Order No. 2, was issued on March 13, 2020 in response to the new and signification outbreak of COVID-19 and imposes restrictions on public gatherings. Pursuant to Section 1 of EO 2020-04, beginning on March 13, 2020 all public and private gatherings in the State of Illinois of 1,000 or more people are cancelled for the duration of the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation. However, on March 16, 2020 in Executive Order 2020-07, Section 1 of EO 2020-04, has been amended to cancel all public and private gatherings of 50 or more people. As discussed further below.

Pursuant to Section 2 of EO 2020-04, beginning on March 16, 2020, the James R. Thompson Center (“Thompson Center”) located at 100 W. Randolph St., Chicago, Illinois is closed for the duration of the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation to members of the public, except as necessary for the conduct of state business, to obtain services from a state agency or constitutional office, or to operate a business located in the Thompson Center. This closure does not affect public access to businesses located on the ground floor in the Thompson Center.

Pursuant to Section 3 of EO 2020-04, beginning on March 13, 2020, the two-year continuous service requirement for state employees to receive advancement of sick leave pursuant to Title 80, Section 303.110 of the Illinois Administrative Code Personnel Rules, is suspended during the duration of the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation.

Executive Order 2020-05

Executive Order 2020-05 or otherwise known as COVID-19 Executive Order No. 3, was issued on March 13, 2020, and addresses Illinois schools serving pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.  Pursuant to Section 1 of E0 2020-05, beginning on March 17, 2020, all public and private schools in Illinois serving pre­kindergarten through 12th grade students must close for educational purposes through March 30, 2020. However, this requirement does not affect the availability of school buildings for the provision of food or other non-educational services, nor does it affect the availability of school buildings to serve as election polling locations.

Pursuant to Section 2 of EO 2020-05, student absences connected to the transmission of COVID-19 during the effect of the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation will not adversely impact their attendance record or contribute to the calculation of chronic absence.

Section 3 of EO 2020-05, relaxes and suspends certain policies regarding e-learning for school districts in the State of Illinois during the effect of the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation. Specifically, pursuant to Section 3 of EO 2020-05, the requirement pursuant to 10 ILCS 5/10-20.56(b) for Illinois school districts to receive approval by the school board before establishing and maintaining a program for the use of electronic-learning (e-learning) is suspended. Further, any e-learning program implemented pursuant to this Executive Order need not comply with the requirement to hold a public hearing pursuant to 10 ILCS 5/10-20.56(c) or the requirement to communicate protocol to teachers, staff, and students 30 days prior to implementation pursuant to 10 ILCS 5/10-20.56(d)(l 0). However, any e-learning program adopted pursuant to this Executive Order must be verified by the regional office of education or intermediate service center for the school district, which must ensure that the specific needs of students are met, including special education students and English learners, as required by 105 ILCS 5/10-20.56(b). Regional offices of education and intermediate service centers are not to deny e-learning plan approvals based solely on the 5 clock hours of instruction or school work required by 105 ILCS 5/10-19.05 so long as the regional offices of education or intermediate service centers determines that the plan provides substantial student learning opportunities, notwithstanding 105 ILCS 10-20.56(d)(l). E-learning programs adopted pursuant to this Executive Order may exceed the number of emergency days in the approved school calendar notwithstanding 105 ILCS 5/10-20.56(b).

Executive Order 2020-06

Executive Order 2020-06 or otherwise known as COVID-19 Executive Order No. 4, was issued on March 15, 2020, and addresses Illinois schools serving pre-kindergarten through 12th grade by providing an exception to Executive Order 2020-05 by allowing Schools operated by the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice, the Illinois State Board of Education, or the Illinois Department of Human Services to remain open for educational purposes provided that these schools are able to exercise the necessary precautions to protect the health and safety of students and staff. Section 2 of EO 2020-06, provides that EO 2020-06 supersedes any contrary provision of any other prior Executive Order and provides that any provision not contrary to EO 2020-06 shall remain in full force and effect.

Executive Order 2020-07

Executive Order 2020-07 or otherwise known as COVID-19 Executive Order No. 5, was issued on March 16, 2020, and bans on-premises consumption for businesses that offer food or beverages, imposes further restrictions on public gatherings, directs cooperation among certain state agencies, suspends the one-week wait period for unemployment claims, and suspends certain provisions of the Illinois Open Meeting Act.

Specifically, pursuant to Section 1 of EO 2020-07, beginning March 16, 2020 at 9 p.m. through March 30, 2020, all businesses in the State of Illinois that offer food or beverages  for on-premises  consumption-including restaurants, bars, grocery stores, and food halls-must suspend service for and may not permit on-premises consumption. Such businesses are permitted and encouraged to serve food and beverages so that they may be consumed off-premises, as currently permitted by law, through means such as in-house delivery, third-party delivery, drive-through, and curbside pick-up. In addition, customers may enter the premises to purchase food or beverages for carry-out However, establishments offering food or beverages for carry-out, including food trucks, must ensure that they have an environment where patrons maintain adequate social distancing. Businesses located in airports, hospitals, and dining halls in colleges and universities are exempt from the requirements of this Executive Order. Hotel restaurants may continue to provide room service and carry-out. Catering services may continue.

Pursuant to Section 2 of EO 2020-07, beginning March 18, 2020, all public and private gatherings in the State of Illinois of 50 people or more are prohibited for the duration of the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation. A public or private gathering includes community, civic, public leisure, faith-based events, sporting events with spectators, concerts, conventions, and any similar event or activity that brings together 50 or more people in a single room or a single space at the same time. This includes venues such as fitness centers/health clubs, bowling alleys, private clubs, and theatres.

This does not include venues that provide essential goods or services such as grocery stores, hospitals, pharmacies, gas stations, banks/credit unions, and shelters. This order amends Section 1 of EO 2020-04, which prohibited gatherings of 1,000 people or more.

Pursuant to Section 3 of EO 2020-07 and pursuant to Sections 7(2) and 7(3) of the Illinois Emergency Management Act, the Illinois State Police, the Illinois Department of Public Health, the State Fire Marshal, and the Illinois Liquor Control Commission are directed to cooperate with one another and to use available resources to enforce the provisions of this Executive Order with respect to entities under their jurisdiction under Illinois law.

Pursuant to Section 4 of EO 2020-07, nothing in this Executive Order shall amend or supersede the authority of the Illinois Department of Public Health pursuant to Section 2310-15 of the Department of Public Health Powers and Duties Law, 20 ILCS 2310/2310-15.

Pursuant to Section 5 of EO 2020-07, during the duration of the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation, the provision of the Unemployment Insurance Act, 820 ILCS 405/SOO(D), requiring a one-week waiting period for unemployment insurance claims is suspended for claimants who are unemployed and who are otherwise eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.

Pursuant to Section 6 of EO 2020-07, during the duration of the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation, the provisions of the Open Meetings Act, 5 ILCS 120, requiring or relating to in-person attendance by members of a public body are suspended.  Specifically, (1) the requirement in 5 ILCS 120/2.01 that “members of a public body must be physically present” is suspended; and (2) the conditions in 5 ILCS 120/7 limiting when remote participation is permitted are suspended.  Public bodies are encouraged to postpone consideration of public business where possible. When a meeting is necessary, public bodies are encouraged to provide video, audio, and/or telephonic access to meetings to ensure members of the public may monitor the meeting, and to update their websites and social media feeds to keep the public fully apprised of any modifications to their meeting schedules or the format of their meetings due to COVID-19, as well their activities relating to COVID-19.

While this situation evolves, we will continue to monitor how to best service you.

As you are aware, we pride ourselves on our ability to interact with you through technology.

As such, we can accomplish most everything without a face to face meeting through videoconferencing, E-signature, phone calls, email, and other means.

Since we are proficient at this already, we do not expect a disruption in service to our clients.

Our goal is to keep the FL Team and clients safe while remaining communicative and attentive to your needs.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

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