On December 2, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new options for public health authorities to consider for establishing quarantine time frames for contacts of persons with SARS-CoV-2. Click here to review the full details on these new options.
The CDC currently recommends a quarantine period of 14 days. Further, local public health authorities determine and establish quarantine options for their jurisdictions and may decide to continue using a 14-day period and/or shortened options for certain lower risk close contacts. However, the following options to shorten quarantine are acceptable alternatives:
Sharing resources with everyone helps prevent violence in our communities
Mental health and crisis support
Illinois Call4Calm Text Line (24/7)
If you or a loved one are struggling with stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic and need emotional support, text TALK to 552020 for English or HABLAR for Spanish (Message and Data Rates May Apply. See Terms and Conditions of Use). People seeking assistance remain anonymous and provide only their first name and ZIP code, which enables the service to link them to a counselor in the area who is knowledgeable about available local resources.
Health care providers are strongly encouraged to test for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), when patients present with any signs or symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or have had a known exposure to a person with COVID-19 infection. Due to the nonspecific clinical presentation of COVID-19 and the potential for co-infection with other pathogens, every symptomatic person should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and testing decisions should be based on the patient’s personal health history. Because many COVID-19 cases have been observed in persons who originally discounted their symptoms due to other existing health conditions, e.g., allergies, prompt and early diagnosis of COVID-19 infection is strongly recommended to prevent further transmission.
This guidance addresses use of rapid point-of-care testing in schools and other community settings either when testing is being administered in school health-based clinics, onsite by trained healthcare workers, or in pharmacies or health care facilities. This guidance is being released in conjunction with the state’s distribution of Abbott BinaxNOW tests to local health departments, schools and other settings. The BinaxNOW test is one of several rapid point-of-care antigen tests that are available and in use right now. This guidance is also applicable to other types of tests as described below.
As we enter fall, families are starting to plan for the upcoming holiday season, starting with Halloween. Because some of the traditional ways to celebrate this holiday do not allow for proper social distancing, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is providing the following guidance to allow for safe Halloween celebrations. Trick-or-treating events need to incorporate social distancing, masking, and proper handwashing, as well as adherence to event size limitations. For this year, it would be safest to plan special events at home, using social media and other meeting platforms to connect with family and friends.
Interim COVID-19 Music Guidance
The available evidence for COVID-19 transmission from singing or playing instruments is limited.1 The extent to which group singing or playing of wind instruments increases the risk for COVID-19 transmission remains unclear. However, measures to reduce the potential risk of transmission include organizing sessions to minimize duration of interactions and contact with contaminated objects and surfaces, maintaining physical distancing of at least 6 feet, utilizing source control measures (e.g., face coverings and masks) and optimizing ventilation. The following recommendations are based on the latest results and science around current aerosol studies and represent best practices for preventing COVID-19 transmission among faculty, students, and staff engaged in music.
Procedures for Students, Faculty and Support Staff who Test Positive:
An immediate notification should be sent to the school/day care from the parent, faculty, or support staff, and this reporting requirement should be communicated to all in advance.
The school/day care should send an immediate written notification to the Local Health Department (LHD) and begin discussions on next steps; the school/day care should share with the LHD all available information about the case’s movements and potential exposures within the facility. This includes:
Guidance for Staffing Agencies and Temporary Workers
Are staffing agencies required to provide information regarding COVID-19 workplace safety?
Yes. The Day and Temporary Labor Services Act (“the Act”), 820 ILCS 175, requires staffing agencies to provide each temporary worker with a notice that contains, among other things, information on the nature of the work to be performed and the types of equipment, protective clothing, and training that are required for the task.1 This notice should reflect any required equipment or training to protect against COVID-19 and, consistent with the Act, should be provided at the time of a new assignment or at any time that the terms of an existing assignment change.
In addition, Executive Order 2020-43 requires staffing agencies to prominently post guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Office of the Illinois Attorney General regarding workplace safety during the COVID-19 emergency.
Federal and Illinois law require employers to maintain a safe and healthy workplace. As Illinois continues through the Restore Illinois plan and regional mitigation measures, employers and employees1 are navigating difficult questions about how to maintain a safe and healthy workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 also has raised other employment-related questions involving issues such as pay and benefits, leave, and eligibility for unemployment insurance.
This guidance is intended to help both employers and employees educate themselves about minimum required workplace safety requirements, as well as best practices to promote a safe and well-functioning workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to provide guidance on some frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and the workplace.