UPDATE: Gov. JB Pritzker announced harsher penalties for businesses, schools and childcare settings that don't comply with health guidelines and announced workplace protections for frontline workers.
The governor announced harsher penalties like fines for businesses who don't enforce social distancing or mask requirements during a Friday morning press release.
Local health departments and law enforcement can warn establishments before issuing a penalty. There are multiple opportunities for a business to comply before receiving a penalty, the governor said.
Gov. Pritzker outlined a compliance process in a press release:
- Written warning where establishment is encouraged to voluntarily comply with public health guidance
- Some or all patrons ordered to leave for business to comply with social distancing and capacity guidelines
- Class A misdemeanor and fine issued ranging from $75 to $2,500
The penalties do not affect individual citizens.
The new guidelines will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Illinois, according to the governor.
"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," Gov. Pritzker said. "These rules will help ensure that the minority of people who refuse to act responsibly won’t take our state backward."
Gov. Pritzker also signed a law to expand workplace protections for frontline workers.
The law adds a penalty for assaulting or battering a retail worker who tries to enforce public health guidelines like face mask requirements or social distancing.
“Our essential workers put their lives at risk for us to stay safe," Illinois Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford said, "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.”
It also increases paid disability leave for first responders "whose recovery was hindered by COVID-19."
CHICAGO (WREX) — Illinois Governor JB Pritzker is set to announce new guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The governor is scheduled to speak at 9:30 a.m. on Friday from Chicago.
According to his press team, Gov. Pritzker will be joined by industry leaders for the announcement.
There's no word on what those guidelines might be or if they will be statewide guidelines or region specific.
We'll carry the press conference live on our website and on the 13 WREX Facebook page.