Coronavirus: Illinois Essential Services List, Businesses


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Governor JB Pritzker issued a shelter-in-place order for residents on Friday in an effort to stop the coronavirus pandemic. It goes into effect Saturday at 5 p.m. and lasts until April 7.

Pritizker issued a press release with the list of what it considers essential businesses and operations:

  • Health care and public health operations: working in hospitals or obtaining services from hospitals; clinics; dental offices; pharmacies; public health entities; healthcare manufacturers and providers; blood banks; medical cannabis facilities; reproductive health care providers; eye care centers; home care service providers; mental health and addictions care providers; ancillary health care services – including veterinary care and excluding fitness and exercise rooms, spas, salons, hair salons, tattoo parlors and similar facilities

  • Human Services Operations: any provider funded by DHS, DCFS, or Medicaid; long-term care facilities; home and residential settings for adults, the elderly, children and/or people with disabilities or mental illness; transitional installations; field offices for food, cash assistance, medical coverage, child care, professional services or rehabilitation services; development centers; adoption agencies; businesses that provide food, housing, social services and other necessities of life to people in need – excluding child care centres, day care centres, group day care centers and licensed day care centers in accordance with section 12(s) of the order

  • Essential infrastructure: Work in the production, distribution and sale of food; construction; building management and maintenance; airport operations; operation and maintenance of utilities, including water, sewer and gas; electric; Distribution centers; petroleum refining and biofuels; roads, highways, railways and public transport; ports; cybersecurity operations; flow control; collection and removal of solid waste and recycling; and internet, video and telecommunications systems

  • Stores that sell groceries and medicines

  • Food, Beverage and Cannabis Production and Agriculture

  • Organizations that provide charitable and social services

  • Media

  • Gas stations and shops necessary for transport

  • Financial institutions

  • Hardware and supply stores

  • Critical trades including plumbers, electricians, exterminators, cleaning and janitorial staff for commercial and government properties, security personnel, operations engineers, HVAC services, painting, moving and relocation, and other service providers who maintain the safety, sanitation and essential functioning of residences, essential businesses and essential businesses and operations

  • Courier, post, shipping, logistics, delivery and pick-up services

  • Educational institutions, for the purpose of facilitating distance learning, performing critical research, or performing essential functions

  • Laundry services

  • Restaurants for off-premises consumption

  • Supplies for working from home

  • Supplies for essential businesses and operations

  • Transportation, for the purpose of essential travel

  • Home care and services

  • Residential facilities and shelters

  • Professional services

  • Day reception centers for employees exempted by this decree

  • Manufacturing, distribution and supply chain for critical products and industries

  • Core union functions

  • Hotels and motels, insofar as they are used for accommodation and take-out or delivery services

  • Funeral services

All non-essential activities and operations must cease, except for minimal basic operations. Business can continue with employees working from home. Minimum core operations include the minimum activities necessary to maintain inventory value, preserve the condition of facilities and equipment, provide security, process payroll and benefits, and facilitate remote employee working.

The order also closes licensed child care centers and all child care centers serving more than six children. The Pritzker administration is working to expand the availability of child care services for essential workers, while protecting the health of children and child care teachers and home providers. A new emergency childcare center license is being created with more flexibility but much smaller group sizes to ensure social distancing for children in care.

Only essential travel is permitted at this time and must be carried out in accordance with social distancing requirements. This includes travel related to:

  • Execution of essential activities, essential government functions, essential activities and operations or minimum basic operations

  • Caring for the elderly, minors, dependents, disabled people or other vulnerable people

  • Receive materials for distance learning, to receive meals and any other related service from an educational institution

  • Returning to a place of residence from outside the jurisdiction

  • Following directions from law enforcement or a court order, including to transport children pursuant to a custody agreement

  • Return to out-of-state residence for non-residents

This story was originally published March 20, 2020 5:34 p.m.

Michelle J. Kelley