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As the state of Illinois sets up alternative care sites in the battle against COVID-19, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is calling on all licensed health care professionals to join Illinois HELPS, an emergency alert system that, when activated, would deploy volunteers to areas of urgent need, likely at one of the new sites.

All physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, physician assistants, medics, LPNs, CNAs, podiatrists and dentists are encouraged to register on the Illinois HELPS website.
Stay-at-home order. Executive Order 2020-10 requires Illinois residents to stay in their homes to avoid the risk of catching and transmitting the COVID-19 virus. Exceptions are carved out from this order for: (a) essential business, such as buying food and day-to-day necessities of life, and (b) the work and workplaces of “essential workers” which includes hospital workers, first responders, mail carriers, supermarket workers, and many other types of personnel.
As we head into the spring months, the risk of severe thunderstorms typically increases across the state of Illinois, including the risk for tornadoes. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the recommended social distancing parameters, people who rely on public sheltering from tornadoes could be faced with the difficult choice of sheltering from the tornado in a community shelter or refraining from going to the shelter in order to limit potential exposure to COVID-19. 
Millions of Illinoisans are subject to the state’s “stay at home” order because of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. But while we all endeavor to hang out at home as much as possible, accidents still happen. Sprained ankles, earaches, rashes and any number of other maladies; some small, some large; occur on a daily basis.

But the last thing anyone wants to do these days is go to a doctor’s office or an ER unless they have to. So what to do? Many Illinois health care institutions are expanding their telemedicine services to meet the need during this emergency.
Just across Monroe Street from the Capitol building, the ashes of the Illinois State Armory were still smoldering as state officials worked to determine just how bad the loss was. The 1934 fire had wrecked the building; that much was obvious. But more than just a structure had been lost, and the state had learned an important lesson about protecting irreplaceable artifacts.

As the fire burned, firefighters had wisely decided to direct their hoses toward the tons of ammunition and gunpowder stored in the building (now kept at Camp Lincoln on the outskirts of Springfield, rather than in the middle of downtown). Unfortunately, materials stored in other parts of the building had not been saved, and these included innumerable paper records of Illinois soldiers dating back to the Civil War.
To avoid costly plumbing repairs and wider problems affecting public sanitary sewer systems and the environment, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) today is reminding residents to toss away trash, not flush it down the toilet. Blocked drains and sewers can lead to severe consequences such as manhole overflowing, flooding in our homes and on our roadways, and pollution of watercourses. 
Three new programs from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to help small businesses were announced today.

Hospitality Emergency Grant Program
To help hospitality businesses make ends meet in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, DCEO is launching the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program with $14 million drawn from funds originally budgeted for job training, tourism promotion, and other purposes. Grant funds are available to support working capital like payroll and rent, as well as job training, retraining, and technology to support shifts in operations, like increased pick-up and delivery. Bars and restaurants that generated between $500K and $1M in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $25,000, and bars and restaurants that generated less than $500K in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $10,000. Hotels that generated less than $8M in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $50,000.