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*** UPDATED x1 *** National Guard patrols rumors - Auto sales are not “essential” - Daily legislative briefings - Uihlein in the news - Trib blog still shines

Sunday, Mar 22, 2020

* The Illinois National Guard is on rumor patrol at its Twitter page…


* Meanwhile, the Illinois Automobile Dealers Association sent this to its members Friday about the governor’s stay at home order

Importantly, Section 12(e) of the order provides that “Gas stations and auto-supply, auto-repair, and related facilities and bicycle shops and related facilities” are essential businesses that can remain open. In other words, motor vehicle dealerships, both the parts and service department and the related sales department are essential to the health and welfare of Illinois residents and may remain open

* A legislator asked the governor’s office about this topic…

Q: Car dealers appear to think they are essential services? Perhaps being open for service calls but new sales? Where can they receive more guidance?

A: Only auto-repair is considered an essential operation.

*** UPDATE *** Last night’s Q&A updated the position…

Q: Are car dealerships essential services?

A: Car dealerships may stay open for repair and parts. Car dealerships may also remain open by appointment for individuals who need to purchase a car for essential travel. Showrooms should be closed. For further guidance, please call DCEO’s helpline 1-800-252-2923 or CEO.support@illinois.gov.

* Legislators are submitting questions to the governor and his office is responding to them all at once every day. I have asked to be put onto that list so I can post them here. A helpful legislator forwarded a few to me today. That auto dealer guidance was in yesterday’s email…

* March 21

* Stay at home EO FAQ

* March 19

* March 18

* Remember the other day when Liz Uihlein sent an email to legislators complaining about the media overblowing COVID-19 and asked them “at what point do we go back to our normal lives?”

NY Times

And in the Midwest, Uline, a major distributor of packaging materials and industrial supplies, kept its work force going through the week, despite complaints from employees, including those crowded into its call centers, working side-by-side in cubicles.

“Nothing’s really changed,” one employee said. “It’s just nerve-racking.”

Employees received an email Thursday from the Uihlein Family, owners of the $5.8 billion company and big donors to Republican causes, thanking them for their efforts and saying that the “White House called upon us twice with huge orders” this week.

The same day, a manager at one Uline call center sent a note to employees.

“If you, or family members, are under the weather with cold/allergies — or anything aside from Covid-19,” it read, “please do NOT tell your peers about the symptoms & your assumptions. By doing so, you are causing unnecessary panic in the office.”

* A few headlines from the Tribune’s excellent live blog

* Chicago groups scramble to change 2020 census plans for ‘hard-to-count’ communities after coronavirus stay-at-home order

4 Elgin firefighters in isolation after contact with 3-year-old with coronavirus

Chicago launches website to help first responders and health care workers find day care

Confirmed COVID-19 cases reported at Loyola University, U of I Urbana-Champaign

- Posted by Rich Miller        

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