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Proposal expedites reopening

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce is introducing a measure, Senate Bill 3993, to expedite the reopening of business in Illinois in the safest, most equitable way possible.

The legislation, sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady (R-Bloomington), directs the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to establish the Safe Place of Business (SPB) protocols on or before May 30, 2020, to give guidance to all businesses and allowing them to reopen once protocols are met.

“The proposal put forward by the Illinois Chamber is an important step in moving the discussion forward on how we safely reopen our state and get our economy moving forward more quickly,” said Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady, sponsor of the measure in the Illinois Senate.

The protocols include customer density limits based on business facilities’ square footage and appropriate social distancing, face covering requirements for all employees and regular cleaning regimens. Protocols may vary, based on the prevalence of COVID-19 diagnoses within the 11 Department of Public Health’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) regions. Regions with higher instances of COVID-19 may have lower density thresholds and more frequent cleaning requirements. IDPH will publish additional protocols for specific customer-facing businesses as necessary. Any business that complies with their regional SPB protocols will be able to reopen and rehire staff at their discretion as soon as practical.

“Reopening should be safe and equitable for all Illinois communities,” said Illinois Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Todd Maisch. “Thousands of businesses across Illinois have been operating safely from day one of the shutdown. Any business that proves they can operate as safely as the ones that have been open this whole time should be allowed to reopen as soon as possible.”

The legislation also addresses daycare shortages to help ease the burden for parents and workers deemed 'non-essential' returning to a physical location of business and those working from home safe and reliable care. All daycares would be allowed to reopen or expand capacity at their discretion as soon as practical in compliance with SPB protocols.

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