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Testing for the General Public

March 27, 2020 From Village of Crete, Mayor Einhorn:

TESTING FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC

The Will County Health Department is making the following suggestions to the general public:

Members of the general public who feel that they are experiencing symptoms of COVOD-19 should consult their primary healthcare provider. 

If the healthcare provider feels that the patient qualifies for a COVID-19 test, the provider can order the test and direct the patient to a test location.

Generally speaking, patients should not report to a hospital without speaking to their healthcare provider.    

If you are having a medical emergency and trouble breathing, please go to the nearest ER or call 911.

If you decide to go to the ER, please call ahead and let them know you are experiencing symptoms.

The Will County Health Department Coronavirus Response Hotline is 815-740-8977.

Illinois Coronavirus Hotline is 800-889-3931.

Illinois Enters Phase 4

Phase 4 of ‘Restore Illinois’ went into effect today. It further eases restrictions on businesses and activities such as:

• Meetings and Social Events
• Indoor and Outdoor Recreation
• Indoor and Outdoor Dining
• Museums
• Zoos
• Theaters and Performing Arts
• Youth and Recreational Sports Guidelines
• Film Production
• Manufacturing
• Offices
• Retail
• Service Counters
• Health and Fitness Centers
• Personal Care Services
• Day Camps

Read more about the move to ‘Phase 4’ at https://dceocovid19resources.com/restore-illinois/restore-illinois-phase-4/ and https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/restore-illinois-phase-4.

The move to ‘Phase 4’ does NOT mean an end to face-covering and social distancing. Many states have seen a recent spike in new cases, and the science on immunity is not yet in – meaning that it may be possible to get infected multiple times. This would be especially disastrous in the case of asymptomatic carriers.

Village Hall Open Again

The Crete Village Hall front office has re-opened with its previous regular hours. Service is limited to two people at a time, and visitors are requested to don face coverings and observe social distancing while inside the building.

ComEd Assist Package to Customers in Need

According to a ComED press release, “the package features flexible payment options, financial assistance for past due balances; extends suspension of service disconnections and waiver of late fee charges, until either the state moves to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan or Aug. 1, 2020, whichever comes first.”

The press release goes on to say that “customers who are challenged in paying their outstanding balances and electric bills should contact ComEd’s customer care team as soon as possible at 800-334-7661, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to take advantage of new and existing assistance options. More information is also available at ComEd.com/CARE.”

Updated Phase 3 Guidelines

• Bars and restaurants will have the option to resume operations for outdoor seating, but not for regular indoor food service. Tables must be six feet apart and away from sidewalks, face coverings and distancing measures for staff must continue to be followed. Bars and restaurants will be also required to follow additional precautions and guidance that will be issued at a later date.
• All state parks will reopen on May 29. All parks concessions will reopen, as well, under guidance set for retail and food service businesses.
• Indoor and outdoor tennis facilities will be allowed to open while following IDPH safety precautions and capacity limits.
• Golf will now be allowed in foursomes, and golf carts will be allowed with capacity limits of one person per cart. One additional member of the same household will be allowed to share a cart.
• Boating or camping of up to 10 people will be allowed.
• The state will be providing additional guidance for how other outdoor recreational businesses, such as golf driving ranges, outdoor shooting ranges and paintball courses can safely reopen.

Additional PPP Guidance

The recent CARES legislation was designed to provide an economic stimulus during the Coronavirus pandemic. One of the pillars of the CARES bill was the introduction of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. These loans were established to provide working capital to borrowers so they could continue to pay their employees during the pandemic.
A key feature of the PPP loans was loan forgiveness, the opportunity for borrowers to have their loans forgiven if they spend the loan borrowings on certain items during an eight-week period. Congress dictated that the PPP loan must be spent on the following items to obtain loan forgiveness:
• Payroll;
• Interest on business loans;
• Lease payments; and
• Utilities
Of these items, Congress felt that payroll should be the focus to permit forgiveness for the borrower. The SBA established a limitation that 75% of the loan amounts must be used for payroll costs, and no more than 25% could be used for non-payroll costs (interest, rent, and utilities). These were the general parameters; however, borrowers wanted more specifics. The clock was ticking on the eight-week period, and the SBA was late in providing guidance on how the PPP loan forgiveness would work.
Much of the earlier SBA guidance on PPP loans was in the form of FAQs or “Interim Final Rules,” and borrowers were expecting more of this type of guidance. However, on May 15, the SBA issued a loan forgiveness application form that provided much of the details for borrowers. This application form and related instructions were the details borrowers were waiting for to assist them in navigating the eight-week period to maximize their loan forgiveness. While this guidance was welcomed by borrowers, there are still many uncertainties and questions—hopefully the SBA will offer additional guidance soon.
Here are some highlights of what the SBA provided in this loan forgiveness application form:
• The application form, SBA Form 3508, consists of three parts: (1) the PPP Loan Forgiveness Calculation Form; (2) PPP Schedule A; and (3) the PPP Schedule A Worksheet. Each of these forms involve detailed calculations with specific instructions to follow, and the forms flow from one to the other.
• The part of the CARES law dealing with loan forgiveness indicated that it applied for “costs incurred and payments made during the covered period” for the above indicated expenses. There was uncertainty how this would be interpreted by the SBA. In the forgiveness application form, the SBA defined “incurred and paid” to allow, with certain limitations, both expenses paid and incurred in this eight-week period.
• The application form introduced a new “Alternative Payroll Covered Period” that permits a borrower to sync up the eight-week period with the own borrower’s payroll period.
• The application form deals with a key aspect of the payroll factor involving definition and treatment of FTEs (full-time equivalent employees). The form established 40 hours as the level for a full-time employee. The calculations related to the adjustments: (1) for full-time equivalent employees; and (2) for the comparable wages are involved, but provide some options to help borrowers in some situations when trying to maximize their loan forgiveness.
• Borrowers hoping to pay bonuses to owners (or employees with annual compensation above $100,000) to maximize their loan forgiveness will find there are certain restrictions and limitations in the worksheets.
• The application form also indicates that for rent (a non-payroll cost), this expense is allowed for leases of both real and personal property. Remember, however, this applies only to leases that were in effect as of February 15, 2020. It is unclear how a lease renewal or modification will be treated.
There are many other items found in this forgiveness application for borrowers to consider. There will be some situations that are not clearly defined or addressed in the application, and hopefully the SBA will offer additional guidance to clarify these matters. Borrowers should be diligent to learn the rules spelled out in the application and then gather the required documentation that must be submitted with the application. Please contact your Sikich advisor if you have any questions or need any assistance.

FAQ about Face Coverings

This FAQ is intended to provide guidance regarding the application of the face-covering requirement in Executive Order 2020-32 for businesses and other places of public accommodation subject to Article 5 of the Illinois Human Rights Act, 775 ILCS 5/.

I. When Face-Coverings are Required

What does it mean to wear a face-covering? A face-covering is a mask or cloth face-covering that is well secured and covers your nose and mouth. The face-covering should allow for breathing without restriction. There is no requirement to wear a hospital grade mask or other specific type or brand of face-covering. You may wear a homemade facecovering, provided that it fits closely and covers your nose and mouth. For more specific information on how to make or care for your face-covering, please visit the Illinois Department of Public Health’s website at http://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/community-guidance/mask-use.

Who is required to wear a face-covering? Executive Order 2020-32 requires that any person over the age of two wear a face-covering when in a public place and unable to maintain a six-foot social distance. Face-coverings are also required in public indoor spaces such as stores. Exceptions may be made for individuals with medical conditions or disabilities that prevent them from safely wearing a face-covering. For more information, please see the questions on reasonable accommodations.

Do I have to wear a face-covering even if I am not sick? Yes. If you are in a public space, you are required to wear a face-covering even if you do not have symptoms or feel sick. People with COVID-19 are sometimes asymptomatic. They do not have fevers, coughs, or other symptoms of COVID-19. However, they could, unknowingly, spread the virus to others. Wearing a face-covering prevents the spread of COVID-19.

Does my child need to wear a face-covering? Yes. If your child is over two years old and does not have a medical condition or disability that prevents them from safely wearing a face-covering (such as respiratory, heart, or sensory issues), then your child is required to wear a face-covering if they are outdoors and unable to maintain a six foot distance from others or if they are in an indoor public space such as a store.

Can a store or business turn me away if I do not have a face-covering? Yes. A store or business can generally prohibit you from entering the building if you do not have a facecovering in order to protect the health of others. However, if you have a medical condition or disability that prevents you from safely wearing a face-covering, then you should speak with a store employee about a reasonable accommodation to help you obtain the services you need without endangering your health or the health of other shoppers. For more information, please see the questions on reasonable accommodations.

Am I required to wear a face-covering if I have already had COVID-19? Yes. Even if you have already had COVID-19, you still may be contagious or have the ability to pass the virus to others.

II. Exceptions and Reasonable Accommodations

Can a business require that I remove my face-covering in order to check my identity? Yes. There are certain circumstances when you may be required by a business to temporarily remove your face-covering for the purpose of checking identification, such as if you are purchasing alcohol, cannabis, or certain medicine. If you are asked to remove your face-covering in order to check identification, you should stand behind a partition, when present, or at least six feet away from other people and remove your face-covering carefully and without touching your face or the inside of the face-covering. You may ask the business to use hand sanitizer before removing your face-covering.

What if I have a medical condition or disability that prevents me from wearing a face-covering? If you have a medical condition or disability that prevents you from safely wearing a face-covering, you cannot be required to wear one. However, if you cannot wear one, you will need to request a reasonable accommodation and take extra precautions to protect yourself and others from contracting COVID-19. For more information, please see the questions on reasonable accommodations.

What is a reasonable accommodation? Though places of public accommodation, including businesses, reserve the right to refuse service to persons unable to comply with the requirement to wear a face-covering, they are required to provide a reasonable accommodation if it does not cause an undue hardship. Businesses are encouraged to inform their customers that there are exceptions to the requirement that all individuals must wear a mask. Individuals should either contact the business to request an accommodation ahead of their visit or do so upon arrival.

The individual and business should discuss a reasonable accommodation that will not cause the business an undue hardship or endanger other individuals. Some examples of accommodations that may be reasonable and not cause undue hardship are:

a. Provide the individual an opportunity to order by telephone or online and provide pickup at a special register or curbside or deliver to the individual’s home. b. Arrange for an employee to bring the individual the items for purchase and allow the individual to pay at a special register, over the phone, or at the front of the store.

What is a reasonable accommodation? (continued) c. Provide the individual with the opportunity to leave a list of items with the business and pick them up at a later time or arrange for delivery to the individual’s home. d. Provide the individual with an opportunity to shop during off-peak times where social distancing can be maintained.

What if a business refuses to consider my request for a reasonable accommodation? If a business refuses to consider your request for a reasonable accommodation, you should report the incident to the Illinois Department of Human Rights by visiting www.illinois.gov/dhr or by calling (312) 814-4320 or (866) 740-3953 (TTY).

Do I have to prove I have a medical condition or disability that prevents me from wearing a facecovering? No. Proof of a medical condition or disability is not required. It is enough to communicate that you have a medical condition or disability that prevents you from safely wearing a face-covering. You should speak to the business about how your medical condition or disability can be accommodated, for example, through shopping at off-peak times or using delivery services. For more information, please see the questions on reasonable accommodations.

III. Face-coverings and Non-discrimination

What if an employee asks me to remove my face-covering because the employee believes I look “suspicious”? It is a violation of the Illinois Human Rights Act for a business to take actions or profile a person based on factors such as their race, national origin, religion, or disability. Individuals who believe they have been profiled by a place of public accommodation, such as a business, can contact the Illinois Department of Human Rights to file a discrimination charge by visiting www.illinois.gov/dhr or by calling (312) 814-4320 or (866) 740-3953 (TTY).

Can a business impose different face-covering requirements based on race, national origin, religion, or age? No. A business must treat all people equally, without regard to certain protected bases such as their race, national origin, religion, or age. Individuals who believe they have been treated differently because of one or more protected bases can contact the Illinois Department of Human Rights to file a discrimination charge by visiting www.illinois.gov/dhr or by calling (312) 814-4320 or (866) 740-3953 (TTY).

What can I do if I believe a business is discriminating in the enforcement of its face-covering policy? If you believe that a business is discriminating against you or others in the enforcement of its face-covering policy, you should report the incident to the Illinois Department of Human Rights by visiting www.illinois.gov/dhr or by calling (312) 814-4320 or (866) 740-3953 (TTY).

2020 Animal Inoculation Day Canceled

The Village of Crete’s Annual Animal Inoculation Day normally held in May, has been canceled for 2020 due to the Covid-19 situation. We will reevaluate our options for next year. Please remember to review your Rabies Inoculation expiration and please renew your Village Animal Licenses by May 31st. Thank you for your understanding.

A Message from Com-Ed

At ComEd, we are committed to delivering safe and reliable energy to our customers in the communities we serve. And our highest priority in performing this critical role is the safety of our customers, communities and employees.

As all of us work to comply with Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order, ComEd has taken additional steps to help ensure its residential customers across northern Illinois have access to electric service during this critical time. If customers are currently unable to travel to a walk-in location to make a payment, please be aware that ComEd is not disconnecting service for non-payment and is waiving all new late payment charges through May 1, 2020, or until the end of the governor’s state of emergency declaration, whichever is later. Since it is not critical at this time to visit a ComEd payment location to make a payment, ComEd offers mail and electronic payment options. We are also working with customers who contact us to establish payment arrangements and identify energy assistance options to address their specific needs.

ComEd.com/CARE

ANNOUNCEMENT TO ALL SMALL BUSINESSES IN THE CRETE AREA

I have reviewed currently available information related to special financing and grants for small businesses that are experiencing financial issues due to the COVID19 event.  While I am far from an expert on this subject, my conclusion is that the State of Illinois is relying on the Department of Commerce and Economic Development (DCEO) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) to handle the situations related to bailing out businesses that are in trouble financially.  It appears that our area (Will County) will be treated differently than down state counties.  I have read that all the collar counties of Chicago will be handled like Will County.  It appears that there will be no grants allowed in our area, only low interest loans with stipulations that I am not qualified to comment on.  I have also contacted Will County to get their take on this issue.  I have scanned all the available documents and will gladly send them to any interested business if you simply send an email to me.  My email address is meinhorn@villageofcrete.org 

Mayor Einhorn