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Here's the latest on what businesses/organizations are allowed to remain open under Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order — and the actions taken by several since the statewide order took effect Saturday:


1. Golf courses that abide by certain restrictions. After some initial confusion Tuesday, courses such as Mahomet's LAKE OF THE WOODS were cleared to allow golfers to play a round, so long as they adhered to social distancing guidelines and strict limitations. Those include: no riding in carts, no pulling flags from pins, no access to the clubhouse and no rakes to smooth out bunkers. (UPDATED, 12:30 p.m. Wednesday).

2. Stores that sell groceries and medicine, including grocery stores, pharmacies, certified farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets and convenience stores.

** CVS HEALTH unveiled plans Monday to hire 50,000 workers and reward employees who are required to work during the pandemic. Bonuses would range from $150 to $500, and the hiring spree would be the most ambitious in CVS history, officials said. It calls for immediately filling 50,000 full-time, part-time and temporary roles across the country, with priority for certain jobs going to "existing CVS Health clients who have had to furlough workers, including HILTON and MARRIOTT." (UPDATED, 2:17 p.m. Monday).

** In response to “a heightened demand for household essentials,” DOLLAR GENERAL announced it will add up to 50,000 employees by the end of April. Said senior VP Kathy Reardon: “We invite individuals looking to start or grow a career, as well as for those whose job may be temporarily impacted by COVID-19, to apply for opportunities to help further our mission of serving others.” (UPDATED, 11:45 a.m. Monday).

3. Restaurants and other facilities that serve food but only for consumption off-premises, via in-house delivery, third-party delivery, drive-through, curbside pick-up or carry-out.

** Champaign’s MARKET PLACE MALL remains open for “essential businesses and food carryout,” General Manager Dennis Robertson said. These are tough times for the retail industry, with the parent companies of many mall tenants announcing their stores were shutting down for the short term days before Pritzker's order. Among them: MACY’S (closed through at least March 31), J.C. PENNEY (scheduled to reopen April 2), THE GAP/OLD NAVY (announced two-week shutdown on March 19), H&M (closed through April 2) and DICK'S SPORTING GOODS/FIELD & STREAM (plans to reopen April 2). (UPDATED, 1:20 p.m. Monday).

** Several Champaign-Urbana restaurants have temporarily closed since Pritzker's announcement. Among them: both BLACK DOG locations, Champaign’s HOULIHAN'S’s and downtown Champaign’s ESQUIRE LOUNGE, WATSON'S' and NEIL ST. BLUES. (UPDATED, 11:15 a.m. Monday).

4. Healthcare and public health operations, including hospitals, clinics, dental offices, pharmacies, licensed medical cannabis dispensaries, licensed cannabis cultivation centers, reproductive health care providers, eye care centers, home healthcare services providers, mental health and substance use providers and entities that transport and dispose of medical materials and remains.

5. Only certain day care centers. According to an item in the FAQ section of the order: "If you are considered an essential worker under the Order, you can take your child to a day care that is licensed on an emergency basis for the purpose of childcare for essential workers. Licensed day care homes for up to 12 children will be closed but may reopen as an unlicensed day care home for up to 6 children."

6. Organizations that provide charitable and social services, including food banks, businesses and religious and secular nonprofits.

** Not exempt from the governor's order: Resale stores operated by non-profits, such as LAND OF LINCOLN GOODWILL. On Wednesday, the Springfield-based organization reiterated that it was not accepting donations while the stay-at-home order was in effect and that all such centers and retail stores have been closed since March 21. “Our employees have been told to stay home since the order was given by the governor and we are not processing donations as a result,” VP Patrick Anderson said. “We want our customers to stay safe and not venture out and likewise, we don’t want to have our employees leave home to collect these drop-off donations.” (UPDATED, 1:04 p.m. Wednesday).

7. Media, including newspapers and radio and TV stations.

** In a message to media statewide, Pritzker said: “I want to start by saying how appreciative I am to the many members of the media, and to the public who tune in to these press conferences every single day, and help us to get the word out to the broader population of Illinoisians. ... Getting accurate information disseminated and squashing irresponsible rumors is so critically important, as we wage the battle against COVID-19.” (UPDATED, 9 p.m. Sunday).

8. Gas stations and businesses needed for transportation, including auto supply, auto repair and bicycle shops.

9. Financial institutions, including banks, currency exchanges and consumer lenders. The latter group includes payday lenders, pawnbrokers, consumer installment/sales finance lenders, credit unions, appraisers, title companies, financial markets, trading/futures exchanges, affiliates of financial institutions, entities that issue bonds, related financial institutions, and institutions selling financial products.

10. Hardware stores and businesses that sell electrical, plumbing and heating material.

11. Transportation, for the purposes of essential travel. That covers public transportation, including the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, as well as airlines, taxis, network providers such as Uber and Lyft and vehicle rental services.

** Savoy’s WILLARD AIRPORT will remain operational through the shutdown, Executive Director Tim Bannon said, adding: “The majority of Willard staff are considered essential, and will continue to report to work making sure our facilities are clean, safe and secure.” (UPDATED, 3 p.m. Saturday).

12. Critical trades, including plumbers, electricians, exterminators, cleaning and janitorial staff for commercial and governmental properties, security staff, operating engineers, HVAC, painting, moving and relocation services.

13. Mail, post, shipping, logistics, delivery and pick-up services, and businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages, goods or services.

14. Food and beverage manufacturing, production, processing and cultivation, including farming, livestock, fishing, baking and other production.

15. Agriculture, including cultivation, marketing, production and distribution of animals and goods for consumption.

16. Educational institutions for the purposes of facilitating distance learning, performing critical research or performing essential functions.

17. Businesses that provide food, shelter and other necessities of life for animals, including animal shelters, rescues, kennels and adoption facilities.

** The Champaign County Humane Society on Wednesday resumed pet adoptions, which are available by appointment only. The organization is also: asking visitors to view animals on its website before calling for an appointment, limiting visitors to two per appointment and staggering appointment times to prevent people congregating in the lobby. Visitors will also be given vinyl gloves when they enter, and frequently-touched surfaces will be sanitized between visits from the public, Executive Director Mary Tiefenbrunn told our Debra Pressey. (UPDATED, 12:42 p.m. Wednesday).

18. Laundromats, dry cleaners, industrial laundry services and laundry service providers.

19. Businesses that sell, manufacture or supply products that are essential for people to work from home or for essential businesses and operations.

20. Home-based care and services for adults, seniors, children and/or people with developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, substance use disorders and/or mental illness.

21. Residential facilities and shelters for the same group listed above.

22. Professional services, including legal, accounting, insurance and real estate services.

23. Manufacturing companies, distributors and supply chain companies producing and supplying essential products and services in and for industries such as pharmaceutical, technology, biotechnology, healthcare, chemicals, sanitization, waste pickup/disposal, agriculture, food/beverage, transportation, energy, steel, petroleum/fuel, mining, construction, national defense and communications.

24. Labor union essential activities, including the administration of health and welfare funds.

25. Hotels and motels, to the extent that they’re used for lodging and delivery or carry-out food services.

26. Funeral, mortuary, cremation, burial, cemetery and related services.


1. Mattress stores — as one local business found out the hard way this week. After the Champaign branch of MATTRESS FIRM was issued a cease-and-desist letter and told to close by C-U Public Health, company CEO John Eck pushed back, saying in a statement: “The order specifically names businesses that sell household consumer products, as well as products that are essential to the operation of a residence, as essential retail. We feel confident that sleep is an essential function of a home, especially during times of high stress and anxiety.” (UPDATED, 12:52 p.m. Wednesday).

2. Schools. The statewide shutdown was extended to April 7 on Friday. However, schools and other entities that typically provide food services to students or members of the public may continue to do so on the condition that the food is provided to students or members of the public on a pick-up and takeaway basis only.

3. All places of public amusement, whether indoors or outdoors, including locations with amusement rides, carnivals, amusement parks, water parks, aquariums, zoos, museums, arcades, fairs, children’s play centers, playgrounds, funplexes, theme parks, bowling alleys, movie and other theaters, concert and music halls, and country clubs or social clubs.

4. Fitness and exercise gyms and spas.

The governor's order notes: "Outdoor exercise like running or taking a walk is perfectly acceptable; however, exercise gyms, fitness centers and associated facilities will be closed to reduce the spread of coronavirus. While exercising outside, you should still practice social distancing by running or walking at least six feet away from other people."

5. Salons, barber shops, tattoo parlors and similar facilities.

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