Springfield And Central Illinois Cancellations And Closures

Mar 16, 2020

This post is for updates on what’s closed and canceled in Springfield and central Illinois. 

For news on local response to the virus, go to this post. You can send tips, questions or announcements to engage@nprillinois.org.

Updated March 22, 12:00 p.m.

New guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend limiting in-person meetings and gatherings to fewer than 50 people to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus — from now through early May. To prevent further spread of the disease, state officials are urging people to stay home as much as possible.

Guidelines for proper hand-washing and disinfecting surfaces are on the CDC’s website.

Springfield schools are closed, and organizations and businesses across the city are postponing or canceling events. A local business tracking website was announced Wednesday, aimed at helping consumers keep up with the operating status of a number of local businesses and services.

Here is an updated list:

• The Illinois General Assembly has canceled legislative session for next week, according to an email from the chief of staff for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. Legislators were encouraged to “re-evaluate” plans for the previously planned spring break, the weeks of April 5 and April 12, in case they needed to attend session in Springfield.

• Illinois' Department of Human Services is closing its Family and Community Resource Centers Wednesday, and its Division of Rehabilitation Services’ offices Thursday. This includes Springfield’s offices at 600 E. Ash Street. The agency reminded residents that they can still apply for and manage benefits, and request assistance here or by calling the ABE Call Center at 1-800-843-6154. Requests for vocational rehabilitation services or home services can also be made on their website.

• The Illinois Department of Labor is canceling all in-person and telephone hearings starting Tuesday, March 17 until further notice. In a statement, officials said they are working on rescheduling hearings as soon as possible.

• The city of Springfield closed its offices at 300 S. Seventh Street and 800 E. Monroe Street to the public on Wednesday, March 18. For questions or to get in touch with a city department, call 789-2000.

• The Springfield Police Department office – also on Monroe Street– will remain open for regular business. However, the city requests residents call the department first to see if they can handle their issue over the phone. The police department’s non-emergency number is 788-8325. All hearings for Springfield’s administrative court, which handles minor property violations, for this week and next are canceled.

• Beginning Monday, March 23, the Sangamon Mass Transit District is suspending routes to Chatham, Riverton, Rochester and Sherman. The reception window at the South Ninth closes at the end of business Thursday.

• The University of Illinois Springfield, along with other system campuses, is asking all students still in residence halls to move out by Friday March 20. Exceptions will be made for those with no other options. Those students must fill out an online request form. More information is here. The university also canceled all in-person instruction through the end of the semester. 

• The University of Illinois Springfield is immediately closing The Recreation and Athletic Center, Student Life Office, Diversity Center, Women's Center, Gender and Sexuality Student Services, UIS Bookstore and the Volunteer & Civic Engagement office, according to an email sent Monday. The university will keep the Student Union and Food Studio open, but encourages people to stay 6 feet apart. The universit is also encouraging students who do not live on campus to complete the semester remotely. UIS announced last week it would extend spring break through March 22 and begin remote classes March 23. 

• All University of Illinois Springfield athletic events have been canceled until early next month. The Great Lakes Conference, of which UIS is a member, is suspending sports activities and will review the status on April 6.

• UIS has canceled or postponed all events at its Performing Arts Center through the end of April. The university says it will reassess soon for the events in May. A full list is here.

• University of Illinois President Timothy Killeen announced Tuesday that commencement ceremonies for the 2020 graduating class will be canceled on all three campuses, including Springfield. According to an email to the campus community, diplomas will be mailed out and the universities are exploring possible alternatives such as rescheduling or hosting virtual events. Killeen called the move "disappointing." "This was an outcome we had hoped to avoid," he wrote. He referenced the CDC guidelines to cancel or postpone all events of 50 or more people for the next eight weeks, which was "within days" of commencement. 

• On March 19, Western Illinois University and Southern Illinois University became the latest schools to cancel commencement ceremonies originally scheduled for May.

• Southern Illinois University Carbondale is canceling most face-to-face classes for the remainder of the semester. Interim Chancellor John Dunn said in a statement Monday campus officials are working to allow as many employees to work from home as possible. Any employee who needs to take time off for COVID-19 related reasons will qualify for an additional two weeks paid leave, without having to take any personal time.

• All Millikin University on-campus events are canceled through April 30. For the most up-to-date information, visit this website.

• The Sangamon County Courts of the 7th Judicial Circuit has updated its processes. The court is postponing all criminal matters unless the defendant is in custody, according to a statement from Judge John Madonia. For those in custody, the court will try when possible to do them by video conference. This is an update from earlier guidance that the court will operate at reduced capacity for only essential functions. Some cases will be postponed.  For those coming to court, there are guidelines to follow.  Those who show symptoms of illness and those who are at high risk for contracting the disease are being advised to call before attending a court proceeding. More information is on their website.

• The Catholic Diocese of Springfield canceled mass, including upcoming Easter services, until further notice. Bishop Thomas John Paprocki encouraged local priests to say mass at their local churches without attendees. Services at Springfield’s Cathedral will be streamed on Facebook. 

• All Illinois Lottery claim centers closed March 17, including Springfield's at the Willard Ice Building 101 West Jefferson Street, until further notice. Prizes of less than $600 can be claimed at lottery retailers or by mail. More information is on their website

• The Illinois Gaming Board has ordered the closure of all video gaming parlors for two weeks, beginning at 9 p.m. on Monday through March 30.

• Springfield School District 186 announced Monday: “Free bagged, grab-and-go breakfast and lunch will be available for pick up beginning on Tuesday, March 17, from 8:30 AM to 10 AM at Lanphier High School, Southeast High School, Springfield High School, and Franklin Middle School.” The district will post more information to its Facebook page.

• Chatham schools said Titan Fuel families can pick up bags at school offices on Monday between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. or from 4-6 p.m.

• Springfield's White Oaks Mall is closed as of 7 p.m. Wednesday, per an announcement from owner Simon Property Group. It's among more than 200 other U.S. malls and retail properties that are shuttering in an effort to slow COVID-19.

• The Illinois State Museum is closed until further notice, the state facility announced Monday. Its research facility, the Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewistown and the Lockport Gallery in Lockport are closed as well.

• The Illinois Governor’s Mansion is closing to all tours and events starting Friday, “until further notice,” according to a statement for the Illinois Governor’s Mansion Association. This follows the closing of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

• Springfield’s Kidzeum is temporarily closed, but will offer online educational activities for kids to do while out of school. Those will be available starting March 16 at kidzeum.org/learning and will include activities that can be done with everyday household items as well as printable worksheets.

• The Springfield and Central Illinois African American History Museum is closing until April 10, and is postponing the opening of its Negro League Baseball Exhibit until further notice. Check their website for regular updates.

• Buildings accessible to the public at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site are closed indefinitely.

• WAND-TV reported Wednesday PNC Bank is shutting down all five of its Springfield branches after a person who tested positive for COVID-19 visited those locations.  

• The Habitat Offices & ReStore are closed through April 7.  Donation or City of Springfield Large Item Pickups have resumed.  If you were scheduled for a pickup from Mar 21 and beyond, they will reach out to you for a reschedule.

• The Land of Lincoln Honor Flight scheduled for May 12, 2020 has been postponed. 

• The Decatur Indoor Sports Center (DISC) will be closed to the public beginning Wednesday, March 18 until further notice.   DISC users and pass holders can call the DISC at 429-3472 with any questions. Decisions are still being reviewed regarding freezing and/or extending memberships.

• The Decatur Park District is opening its Schools Out Day Camp. Attendance will be limited. A statement from Bill Clevenger, Executive Director of the Park District read “We realize we have an important role in slowing the spread of diseases and protecting vulnerable students and staff, but we also want to be part of the solution by providing students with a safe and healthy environment/place during this unprecedented time.”

• The Springfield Park District has suspended all group programming classes, activities and events until further notice, though its golf courses remain open. Also: All facility rentals will be at the discretion of the renter. All indoor events will be restricted to the 250 or below guest count and outdoor events will be limited to 500 or less. The district also said it will work to provide refunds. In order to help limit the spread of the virus, the Springfield Park District announced it has implemented an accelerated cleaning regimen at all facilities.

• The Boys and Girls Club of Central Illinois is suspending its after-school programs, the nonprofit announced Friday. The announcement comes as all public and private schools will close for two weeks. The nonprofit will look for ways to assist with providing meals to children, which could include carry-out meals.

• The Hoogland Center for the Arts has also called off ticketed events through April 30. And the center will be closed to the public March 16 through March 31.

•The Bank of Springfield Center is canceling, postponing, or rescheduling events that were to have taken place between Saturday and April 10. More information on specific events can be found at their website.

• The City of Mount Pulaski is closing City Hall to the public until further notice. A drop box is available for payments.

• The Illinois State Dental Society has closed its headquarters for the next two weeks. All staff are working remotely. The group is recommending dentists postpone any routine or elective procedures through the end of March to reduce COVID-19 spread, and to preserve any personal protective equipment for emergency procedures only.