Recommendations for Testing Individuals with Signs or Symptoms Consistent with COVID-19 Infection and/or Close Contact with a Confirmed or Probable Case of COVID-19

Background

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.

Rapid Point-Of-Care Testing for COVID-19 in Community Settings and Schools

Background

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.

Holiday Season Safety Tips

The holidays bring opportunities to celebrate special traditions and meaningful moments with the people in our lives. As you prepare for November and December holidays, including but not limited to: Día de Los Muertos; Diwali; Kwanzaa; Thanksgiving; Hanukkah; Christmas Eve/Christmas; and New Year’s Eve. When planning these Holiday Planning Safety Tips can help protect you, your family, friends, and your community from COVID-19.

Halloween Guidance

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.

Music Guidance

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.

Small Social Gatherings Safety Tips

Small social gatherings are places where COVID-19 can quickly spread. Also, as we start thinking ahead to special holidays and family get-togethers, here are some tips to help small social gatherings greatly reduce the propensity for spread during this time of pandemic. Small holiday gatherings must be planned with great care in order to be as safe as possible. Here are some crucial safety tips to help reduce risk of infection:

2020 Election Day Guidance

Guidance for Preventing Spread of COVID-19 in Election Polling Locations

Public Act 101-0642 Section 2B-35(a) requires election authorities to comply with early voting and election day safety and health practices established in written guidance by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

This guidance provides a framework for safe operations of election polling locations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Definitions

Community settings (congregate settings) are mostly non-health care settings visited by the general public. Examples include election polling locations, households, daycares, and businesses.

Cleaning is the removal of dirt and germs from surfaces. Cleaning alone does not kill germs, but it does decrease the number of germs and spread of infection.

Guidance for Pre-K-12 Schools and Day Care Programs for Addressing COVID-19

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:

Temporary Worker Guidance

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.

Guidance For Employers and Employees on Workers' Rights and Safety

Federal and Illinois law require employers to maintain a safe and healthy workplace. As we enter Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan and more Illinoisans return to work, employers and employees 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 like 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, best practices to promote a safe and well-functioning workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to answer some frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and the workplace.

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