Illinois – Coronavirus State Actions

Governors are working closely with federal and local officials as well as private sector partners to address the threat of the novel coronavirus. This page lists select actions taken to date. It is not intended to be exhaustive but is meant to highlight key actions and resources that may inform other states and territories as they prepare for and respond to the novel coronavirus. All state actions can be viewed here, or visit Coronavirus: What You Need To Know for additional information and resources.


  • Illinois state coronavirus response page.
  • Illinois Department of Public Health coronavirus resource page.
  • March 2, 2020—The Illinois Department of Insurance issued a bulletin reinforcing the critical role that health insurance coverage plays during the COVID-19 outbreak. The bulletin encourages providers to be flexible when filling prescriptions in the event of quarantine.
  • March 8, 2020—The Illinois Department of Insurance has released an FAQ document about insurance coverage related to COVID-19.
  • March 10, 2020—In a press conference, Governor Pritzker announced that his office would file emergency rules to allow those who are unemployed because they are sick to collect unemployment insurance if permitted under federal law.
  • March 12, 2020—Governor Pritzker ordered the closure of public events of more than 1000 people for 30 days. 
  • March 13, 2020—Governor Pritzker announces two-week statewide school closure to minimize covid-19 spread, additional economic measures to reduce burden on Illinois families.
  • March 15, 2020 – The Governor announced all restaurants and bars will close for on-site consumption starting at 9 PM on Monday March 16.
  • March 15, 2020 – The Governor, in response to the overcrowding and wait times at Chicago airports, announced that the federal government will be doubling U.S. CBP staff at O’Hare Airport.
  • March 18, 2020 — The Governor activated the national guard to address the anticipated need for logistical support and medical staff.
  • March 18, 2020 – The Governor stated he is prepared to order travel and quarantine restrictions in Illinois to limit the spread of coronavirus if scientific guidance recommends it.
  • March 19, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order to expand telemedicine for individuals with Medicaid and private insurance.
  • March 19, 2020 – The Governor ordered the Department of Revenue to defer sales tax payments for 24,000 small and medium sized bars and restaurants.
  • March 20, 2020 – The Governor issued Executive Order Number 20-10 implementing stay at home and social distancing requirements.
  • March 20, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order requiring all individuals currently living in the state of Illinois to stay at home.
  • March 21, 2020 – The Governor announced that healthcare license reinstatement would be processed on an expedited basis and that medical professionals whose licenses are expiring will have their licenses extended through the end of September.
  • March 22, 2020 – The Governor called for healthy individuals to assist with the state’s efforts during the crisis by going to serve.illinois.gov to be matched with service organizations to support the response effort.
  • March 23, 2020 – The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation issued a proclamation to allow out-of-state physicians, nurses, physician assistants, and respiratory care therapists to provide care to Illinois residents.
  • March 23, 2020- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved Illinois’s request for a Section 1135 Medicaid waiver. The approved waiver enables Illinois to provide flexibilities in Medicaid provider screening and enrollment, forgo certain pre-admission screening and annual resident review assessments, lift prior authorization requirements, allow for reimbursement facility services in alternative settings, and extend fair hearing and appeals timelines.
  • March 24, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order suspending healthcare worker background checks for individuals who are certified as a nurse assistant, but are currently inactive on the Health Care Worker Registry, may be hired under certain provisions.
  • March 25, 2020 – Under the leadership of the Governor, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity launched emergency small business assistance initiatives including the: 
    • Hospitality Emergency Grant Program to support hospitality businesses during COVID-19.  
    • Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund to offer small businesses low interest loans of up to $50,000.  
    • Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program to support small businesses in downstate/rural counties in Illinois – repurposing $20 million in Community Development Block Grant funds for small businesses of up to 50 employees to partner with local governments to obtain grants of $25,000.  
  • March 26, 2020 – The Governor announced a partnership with United Way of Illinois and Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations to launch the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund to support nonprofit organizations who are serving those who lives have been upended by this pandemic.
  • March 27, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order relaxing the approval process schools would need to adjust their school term, suspending the method of the calculation for pupil school attendance, granting the Illinois State Board of Education the ability to define “Remote Learning Days”, allowing schools that receive grant funds around early-childhood education to provide childcare services to essential employees, and other provisions.
  • March 28, 2020 – The Governor suspended the repossession of vehicles and in-person training for private security personnel during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
  • March 29, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order extending the deadline for various cannabis grower, transporter, and infuser licenses due to the impacts of COVID-19. 
  • March 30, 2020 – The Governor announced plans for 3,000-bed alternate care setting at McCormick Place to treat COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms.
  • March 30, 2020 – The Governor announced a series of actions in the area of consumer borrowing, servicing, and collections. The governor also provided guidance to its regulated entities, state banks, credit unions, installment lenders, payday lenders, title loan lenders, sales finance lenders including auto loans, currency exchanges, student loan servicers, mortgage servicers, and collection agencies concerning their lending, servicing, and collection during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • April 1, 2020 – The Governor signed a proclamation extending the stay-at-home order in the state to April 30th.
  • April 3, 2020 – The Governor recommended that individuals wear masks for the duration of the pandemic.
  • April 5, 2020- The Governor announced the expansion of emergency childcare and additional financial support for emergency childcare centers. 
  • April 8, 2020 – The Governor expanded how real-time electronic technologies may be utilized. Remote notarization can be used for the duration of governor’s stay at home order.
  • April 9, 2020 – The Governor signed executive order 23 that allows the Secretary of the Department of Financial & Professional Regulation to take certain actions to increase the number of licensed professionals responding to the disaster, and ensure that any impacted licensed professionals are aiding in the response to the disaster.
  • April 14, 2020 – The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and the Illinois Department of Public Health launched a new public service campaign to remind Illinois residents to continue to follow the Stay at Home order enacted by the governor’s executive order.
  • April 16, 2020 – The Governor has joined a partnership with 6 other states in the region (Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, and Kentucky) to develop a plan for reopening the region economy.
  • April 17, 2020 – The Governor announced that all Illinois schools will remain closed for the remainder of the school year.
  • April 22, 2020 – The Governor announced that given that new modeling data suggests the state’s peak may be mid-May, there will likely be changes to the state’s stay-at-home orders.
  • April 23, 2020 – The Governor announced that he would sign a modified version of the state’s stay-at-home order that will go into effect May 1. The order will strengthen the state’s social distancing requirements while allowing residents additional flexibility and provide measured relief to non-essential businesses. Its provisions include:           
    • State parks will begin a phased re-opening under guidance from the Department of Natural Resources.
    • Greenhouses, garden centers and nurseries may re-open as essential businesses.
    • Retail stores not designated as non-essential businesses and operations may re-open to fulfill telephone and online orders through pick-up outside the store and delivery.
    • Individuals will be required to wear a face-covering or a mask when in public places where they are unable to maintain six-feet of social distancing.
    • Essential businesses and manufacturers will be required to provide face-coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain six-feet of social distancing.
    • Educational institutions may allow and establish procedures for pick-up of necessary supplies or student belongings.
  • April 27, 2020 – The Governor announced that the Attorney General will appeal a judge’s recent ruling that the governor does not have the authority to extend his stay-at-home executive order beyond 30 days.
  • May 1, 2020 – The Governor proposed an $80 million program to hire nearly 4,000 state workers to track anyone who came into contact with people who test positive for COVID-19.
  • May 1, 2020 — The Illinois Department of Professional and Financial Regulation (IDFPR) announced new options for unbanked Illinoisans seeking to cash their stimulus checks without incurring check cashing fees.
  • May 2, 2020 – The Governor announced increasing COVID-19 testing capabilities in the State of Illinois continues to be an operational priority during the state’s response to this ongoing pandemic. The state is announcing a new drive-thru COVID-19 testing facility will be open to the public in the coming days.
  • May 3, 2020 – A U.S. district judge issued a ruling upholding the Governor’s stay-at-home order for Illinois as constitutional.
  • May 5, 2020 – The Governor announced a five-part tentative plan for reopening businesses and institutions in the state.
  • May 6, 2020 – The Governor highlighted significant efforts taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in vulnerable Latino communities, focusing on:
    • Testing site availability and medical access
    • Housing Support
    • Using Illinois Welcome Centers as a hub for free resources
    • Worker’s Rights
  • May 11, 2020 –The Governor and several employees in his office will self-quarantine for an “appropriate isolation period” after a staffer tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
  • May 11, 2020 – The Governor stated that the peak for Illinois will no longer be in mid-June but has been pushed back by a month.
  • May 12, 2020 – The Governor and the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) announced that they will be providing $75 million to hospitals to continue the fight against COVID-19.
  • May 12, 2020 – The Governor and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today announced Fast-Track Public Infrastructure Grants, an initiative to accelerate work on planned public infrastructure projects around the state.  The State is expediting $25 million of existing Rebuild Illinois funding to local public infrastructure projects that are ready to begin work this summer.
  • May 13, 2020 – The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs announced that all state veteran’s home residents and employees have received COVID-19 testing.
  • May 14, 2020 – The Governor, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), and the Illinois Department of Employment Services (IDES) launched Get Hired Illinois – a new portal designed to connect workers with available job and career training opportunities across the state of Illinois.
  • May 15, 2020 – The Governor stated that the state is focused on expanding tests performed each day, stating that the expansion of testing is critical to reopening the economy in Illinois.
  • May 15, 2020 – The Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) has convened a committee to shape guidance on how campuses across the state can open safely in the fall semester.
  • May 18, 2020 – The Governor filed an emergency rule making it a class A misdemeanor for owners of restaurants, bars and other establishments in Illinois to open too soon.
  • May 20, 2020 – The Governor announced that he was withdrawing his rule that charges business owners with a misdemeanor if they disregard regulations amid COVID-19.
  • May 21, 2020 – The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced that the unemployment rate jumped 12.2 percentage points to 16.4 percent,  as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact Illinois businesses and households, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and released by IDES.
  • May 22, 2020 – The Governor and the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced the state’s plan to enable 1.8 million SNAP recipients to purchase food from participating grocery retailers online has been approved by the federal government.
  • May 24, 2020 – The Governor has released guidelines for businesses and workplaces to reopen in the state after the stay-at-home executive order set to expire on May 29, paving the way for an estimated 700,000 Illinoisans to return to work. The guidelines came with a set of industry-specific toolkits.
  • May 27, 2020 – The Governor announced that the statewide positivity rate for COVID-19 has now averaged 9.2% for the past 7 days, COVID hospitalizations are at a 6 week low, and  hospital bed and ICU bed availability is above 30%.
  • May 27, 2020 — The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced a new $7.3 million investment from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for the Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) program – a statewide network focused solely on supporting Illinois businesses and entrepreneurs in starting, growing and maintaining their businesses at no cost.
  • May 28, 2020 – The Governor has lifted the ban related to worship services.
  • May 29, 2020 — The Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) and Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) received $1.7 million from the federal Administration for Community Living to provide services to older adults and persons with disabilities who are disproportionally affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
  • June 5, 2020 – The Governor announced that more than 1 million tests have been performed in Illinois.
  • June 9, 2020 — The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced two COVID-19 response programs
    • A summer youth program for more than 2,000 at-risk youth
      • An Immigrant Family Support Project for more than 3,600 families who have been generally excluded from or ineligible for federal COVID-19 relief and unemployment insurance.
  • June 15, 2020 – The Governor stated that he is not yet ready to allow hotels to operate and reopen ballrooms at half-capacity.
  • June 15, 2020 – The Governor announced $275 million in funding for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) programs. This funding includes an additional $90 million allocated via the CARES Act, allowing the state to increase eligibility for these programs to 1 million income-qualified Illinoisans.
  • June 18, 2020 – The Illinois Commerce Commission voted unanimously in favor of a stipulated agreement negotiated by Commission Staff, the Attorney General’s Office and other consumer advocate groups, and the state’s largest utilities, offering temporary, more flexible credit and collection procedures to customers financially hard hit by COVID-19. A separate agreement was also approved with smaller electricity, gas and water utilities that serve Illinois residents.
  • June 24, 2020 — The Illinois Commerce Commission recently approved a resolution to raise awareness about the federal Lifeline program which offers discounts on broadband and phone services.
  • June 30, 2020 – The Governor and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced the State will expedite a portion of Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) dollars designated for local governments by the federal CARES Act. Through the Local Coronavirus Urgent Remediation Emergency (Local CURE) Support Program, the State will take steps to deploy $250 million to local governments in the coming months.
  • July 1, 2020 — The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced an $11.5 million investment to the SBDC program will add new community-based centers and expand the reach of existing SBDCs – bringing the statewide network to a total of 42 locations and making Illinois’ one of the largest SBDC networks in the nation.
  • July 2, 2020 – A judge in Southern Illinois declared void the Governor’s orders aimed at slowing the spread of the new coronavirus, saying state law doesn’t allow governors to extend disaster proclamations beyond 30 days or restrict the activities of residents and businesses by executive order.
  • July 8, 2020 – The Governor announced that the state has created 12 new mobile testing sites that can serves various parts of the state that may be experiencing a surge in outbreaks.   
  • July 8, 2020 – The Governor called on the federal government to implement a national masking mandate.  
  • July 13, 2020 – The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) announced it will make $7.1 million in funding available to organizations providing support services and resources to communities hit hardest by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
  • require children to wear masks when schools reopen in the fall.
  • July 16, 2020 – The Governor has preemptively sued to obtain court approval to require children to wear masks when schools reopen in the fall.
  • July 29, 2020 – The Governor announced guidance for youth and adult recreational sports, including, but not limited to, school-based sports, travel clubs, private leagues and clubs, recreational leagues and centers, and park district sports programs. Collegiate sports and professional leagues are not impacted by these restrictions. The guidance was developed by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) following consultation with a number of stakeholders including the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) and the Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA).