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Pritzker unveils new proposed rules on mask-wearing - won’t apply to individuals

Friday, Aug 7, 2020

* I’ve been telling subscribers about this for a few days now…

Building on efforts to protect Illinois’ workers and communities in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor JB Pritzker announced that the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) will file emergency rules for businesses, schools, and child care establishments regarding the use of face coverings and the size of gatherings. The governor also signed SB471 to help protect workers who continue to serve on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19.

“As I’ve visited with and listened to mayors and health departments all across our state, it’s clear there is still an even greater need to get people to wear masks – especially to protect frontline workers, whether they’re at the front of a store asking you to put on your mask or whether they’re responding to 911 calls to save those in distress,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “These rules, which provide multiple opportunities for compliance before any penalty is issued, are a commonsense way to enforce public health guidelines. Illinois has made substantial progress in our fight against COVID-19 because the vast majority of communities and business owners have done the right thing. These rules will help ensure that the minority of people who refuse to act responsibly won’t take our state backward.”

“We know that face coverings are key to helping prevent the spread of COVID-19, but it only works if everyone wears them,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “We are seeing cases increasing each day and hearing about people not complying with the masking mandate. This rule is an effort to help keep all of us healthy and decrease the risk of contracting COVID-19.”

NEW IDPH COVID-19 EMERGENCY RULES

In an effort to maintain the progress we have made in Illinois’ COVID-19 pandemic response, the Pritzker administration is filing emergency rules for businesses, schools, and child care establishments regarding the use of face coverings and the size of gatherings.

These rules provide multiple opportunities for compliance before any penalty is issued, giving local health departments and local law enforcement more leeway to support community public health in a productive manner. While existing, pre-pandemic enforcement laws, like revoking a license, are stringent and severe, these rules provide flexibility for local communities and a measured process to help keep people safe.

That process is as follows:

    • First, businesses will be given a warning in the form of written notice and encouraged to voluntarily comply with public health guidance.
    • Second, businesses that do not voluntarily comply will be given an order to have some or all of their patrons leave the premises as needed to comply with public health guidance and reduce risks.
    • Third, if the business continues to refuse to comply, the business can receive a class A misdemeanor and be subject to a fine ranging from $75-$2,500.

These rules do not apply to individuals and penalties will not exceed a misdemeanor and a $75-$2,500 fine.

The emergency rules also reinforce the authority of IDPH and local health departments to investigate COVID-19 cases and reaffirm that businesses have a responsibility to cooperate with those investigations.

The proposal now goes before JCAR, which is scheduled to meet next week. Again, subscribers know more.

* SB471…

As Illinois’ essential workers continue to serve on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19, Governor Pritzker signed SB 471 to expand workplace protections. To directly protect workers in retail, the law adds a penalty for assaulting or battering a retail worker who is conveying public health guidance, such as requiring patrons to wear face-coverings or promoting social distancing. This provision sends the message that it’s vitally important for workers to be both respected and protected while serving on the front lines.

“As we continue to adapt to the changes forced on us by the current pandemic, we have to also create a response that addresses the long-time issues it has exacerbated,” said Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford. “Our essential workers put their lives at risk for us to stay safe, and it is clear that we have to continue to do better to protect working class people with a renewed commitment to providing basic rights for everyone.”

“As our state faces the challenges created by the ongoing global pandemic, we are doing all we can to support and protect our front line and essential workers,” said State Representative Jay Hoffman. “This legislation allows front line workers that have been impacted by COVID-19 to focus on recovering while sending a clear message to all our essential workers that we are behind them and will do all we can to protect their safety and well-being.”

The law also increases paid disability leave for any injury that occurs after March 9, 2020 by 60 days for firefighters, law enforcement and paramedics whose recovery was hindered by COVID-19.

More specifically, eligible employees include:

    • Any part-time or full-time State correctional officer or any other full or part-time employee of the Department of Corrections
    • Any full or part-time employee of the Prisoner Review Board
    • Any full or part-time employee of the Department of Human Services working within a penal institution or a State mental health or developmental disabilities facility operated by the Department of Human Services
    • Any full-time law enforcement officer or full-time firefighter

These measure build upon the Pritzker administration’s efforts to protect the safety and livelihood of Illinois residents by continuing to enforce all labor laws during the pandemic.

SB 471 takes effect immediately.

…Adding… Center Square

A member of the Joint Commission on Administrative Rules who has seen a draft copy of the rule expected to be addressed Tuesday in Springfield said a special session of the legislature is needed to debate the issues, rather than unilateral rules.

“I am very skeptical and uncomfortable with the administration setting up new criminal enforcement regulation outside of the legislative process,” said state Sen. Paul Shcimpf, R-Waterloo. […]

Schimpf said the legislature needed to make state laws, not the governor.

State statutes have long made any violation of an IDPH rule a Class A Misdemeanor. There’s absolutely nothing new here except for the procedure outlined above to narrow the scope and the downright harmful politics of this pandemic.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

34 Comments
  1. - lake county democrat - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 9:48 am:

    -These rules do not apply to individuals and penalties will not exceed a misdemeanor and a $75-$2,500 fine.-

    Guess the pandemic isn’t that big of a deal then.


  2. - lake county democrat - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 9:50 am:

    Three strikes your out vs. three strikes and we’ll fine you $75.


  3. - 44th - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 9:55 am:

    Sound like a good idea. Its not so much the penalty that is the key, most businesses can’t/won’t violate a governmental order. Employees employment will be on the line. Hopefully this gets people in line for return to school.


  4. - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 9:56 am:

    ===we’ll fine you $75===

    C’mon. Fines are up to $2500


  5. - JoanP - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 9:57 am:

    = it only works if everyone wears them =

    Then the rules should apply to everyone.


  6. - Simple Simon - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 9:59 am:

    Seems like a nothing-burger update.

    Schools need metrics to open and we are talking about warnings and business fines…

    sigh


  7. - MiddleGround - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 10:00 am:

    He seemed to mention “new” guidelines on mask requirements and social gatherings, but only hearing about enforcement. Did any of the underlying guidelines change today?


  8. - Pundent - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 10:06 am:

    Imagine how much further along we’d be if we had daily at home tests and mask wearing? Those two things alone would have us back to school and work. And yet here we are.


  9. - Chatham Resident - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 10:11 am:

    Is it just me or did it seem like the press conference ended abruptly? I couldn’t hear the reporters’ questions but on my feed it sounded like at least one of them tried to ask another question at the moment the Governor and everyone else left the room.


  10. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 10:18 am:

    ===flexibility for local communities===

    Why. Does the virus behave differently depending on what community it is in.

    Up to now JB has done an excellent job in reacting to this once in a lifetime disaster.

    However, I’m a little disappointed in the lack of seriousness these mask laws from his administration are taking.

    Perhaps he has better data than I do, but I do not see any reason to tread so lightly on punishing people for non-compliance.


  11. - Streator Curmudgeon - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 10:24 am:

    What about churches?


  12. - Bothanspy - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 10:29 am:

    I wonder how this will play out with places of worship


  13. - Downstate - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 10:40 am:

    “What about churches?”

    And Universities?


  14. - Bigtwich - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 10:50 am:

    ==Then the rules should apply to everyone.==

    If I recall correctly the Governor tried that but the rule was pulled due to JCAR opposition. This rule covers the people named in this law.


  15. - The original Simple Simon - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 10:55 am:

    Hey “Simple Simon,” please get your own handle. That one has been used by me for a long time.


  16. - Park - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 11:01 am:

    not opposed to the mask requirements, but how do you create a new criminal offense by executive order?


  17. - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 11:05 am:

    === create a new criminal offense by executive order===

    State law mandates than any violation of an IDPH rule is a misdemeanor. This creates nothing but a narrowed procedure. And it’s not an order. It’s a proposed rule. Catch up here.


  18. - truthteller - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 11:15 am:

    some good rules for sure, business refuses to enforce masks? Make them pay for that “freedom”. There is a price to be paid


  19. - Downstate - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 11:17 am:

    The GA has been absent, convene already


  20. - BilboSwaggins - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 11:43 am:

    This does absolutely nothing because business owners will slap a “No Mask No Service” sign on their door and continue to be too timid to call out people who walk in without a mask. Without individual penalties this means absolutely nothing.


  21. - olddog - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 11:43 am:

    == The GA has been absent, convene already ==

    Where were you in May?


  22. - Frank Miller - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 11:47 am:

    Unconstitutional, illegal, unlawful.


  23. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 11:49 am:

    === Unconstitutional, illegal, unlawful.===

    Screeching words aloud doesn’t make it true.

    Try sentences.


  24. - DownSouth - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 11:56 am:

    ==Unconstitutional, illegal, unlawful.==
    Please elaborate on how a proposed emergency rule change being filed and sent to JCAR meets those definitions/criteria?


  25. - Downstate - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 12:04 pm:

    Downstate @ 11:17 is not me. It’s someone honing in on my street cred. :)


  26. - Give Us Barabbas - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 12:14 pm:

    This is going to continue to spiral out of control until actual consequences are applied. This is the first lesson in child discipline: if you define a boundary and a consequence, and you don’t follow thru, you have lost all authority and taught the child there are no rules, do as you like. Same with bars and restaurants.

    Until you see a license yanked, for whatever period of time is deemed appropriate, the bar and restaurant owners are not going to push compliance. I believe it will only take one or two examples of a shuttered business to get the attention of the rest (” omg, they are serious now, exclamation point”).

    They get a written warning the first time. The inspector comes back in 48 hours and if they see non-compliance a fine is issued. Third strike, yoink goes their license, on the spot, for a week, maybe more. When you do it, you announce that it is protect the other, complaint businesses that are playing by the rules, and keeping the region from needing to roll back to a general overall business shutdown.

    Sometimes the parent has to do things the kid doesn’t like, for their own good. JB has been more than patient with the scofflaws.


  27. - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 12:18 pm:

    ===yoink goes their license, on the spot===

    Doesn’t work that way on the state level. Hearings, due process, etc.


  28. - lake county democrat - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 12:53 pm:

    Rich, given the state’s record to-date, I’m not encouraged how the fines will go (they might even purposefully fine a lower amount to avoid contests). Compare this to places like Miami issuing $250 tickets to individuals on the spot. The new IL rule is better than nothing but I still think it’s woefully short of what’s needed.


  29. - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 12:55 pm:

    ===it’s woefully short of what’s needed===

    LOL

    They can’t even get this one passed right now.


  30. - CEA - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 12:55 pm:

    Sure would be nice to see some legislative branch leadership on this issue at some point.


  31. - Frank Miller - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 3:34 pm:

    Oswego Willy, the mask doesn’t even pass the 1st amendment litmus test, nevermind due process. The legislature will only have one option, if the constitution and oath are still in effect.


  32. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 3:37 pm:

    === the mask doesn’t even pass the 1st amendment litmus test, nevermind due process.===

    Your basis for your opinion?

    ===The legislature will only have one option, if the constitution and oath are still in effect.===

    Besides the hyperbole, what is that option, are there 60 and 30, or 71 and 36 if your option overrides then Governor’s take?

    Thanks.


  33. - school board member - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 4:24 pm:

    Criminal penalties and fines for guidance makes guidance a rule that is mandatory. And how would this apply to schools?


  34. - Francis Banghart - Monday, Aug 10, 20 @ 9:49 pm:

    this is love


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