IDPH Guidances Relating to the COVID-19 Outbreak

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.

Guidance for Food and Meat Processing Facilities

COVID-19 Operational Guidance for Food and Meat Processing Facilities and Workplaces with Assembly Lines

This guidance document provides parameters for food and meat processing facilities and manufacturing facilities (collectively, “facilities”) to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and to protect their workers.

Pursuant to the Department of Public Health Act, 20 ILCS 2305/2, and the Illinois Control of Communicable Diseases Code, 77 Ill. Adm. Code 690, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and certified local health departments have the authority and responsibility to investigate and control infectious disease outbreaks, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Guidance for Large Businesses

Purpose

The Illinois Department of Public Health provides this guidance and recommendations to large businesses to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their business operations, workers, customers, and the public.  For employers who have already planned for influenza pandemics, COVID-19 planning will require updating to address the unique characteristics of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, including  how it is spread, prevention strategies, monitoring for symptoms, and instructions for cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. Lack of continuity planning can hamper an employer’s ability to address challenges of COVID-19 with insufficient resources and workers who might not be adequately trained for jobs they may have to perform under pandemic conditions.

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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:

Guidance on the Use of Masks by the General Public

SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus that has emerged and caused coronavirus disease (abbreviated as COVID-19). Public health experts continue to learn about COVID-19, but based on current data and similar coronaviruses, the virus is believed to be spread between close contacts via respiratory droplets or contact with contaminated surfaces. While staying home, social distancing, and strict hand hygiene are still preferred methods for preventing further spread of COVID-19, face masks are one more tool that may be used by the general public and essential workers to protect each other from respiratory droplets produced when we cough, sneeze, or talk.

Guidelines on Hospital Emergency Preparedness During COVID-19

As Illinois and the country face the unprecedented public health emergency brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals are confronted with an extraordinarily high demand for health care services and must quickly implement actions to address the COVID-19 crisis. When health care providers are forced to operate at increased or full capacity, they must meet the needs of their individual patients and the collective needs of the community.

The Illinois Department of Public Health’s (IDPH) mission includes preventing disease and injury, developing population-based strategies to address public health issues, and advocating for equitable health care treatment during a pandemic such as COVID-19. This guidance provides a description of the state’s emergency operation framework, an overview of standards of care during COVID-19, and an ethical framework for administering health care during a pandemic.

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.

Health Care Providers & Facilities

Reporting COVID-19

  • All providers and testing sites must report to Public Health all individuals tested for COVID-19, in accordance with the Illinois Control of Communicable Diseases Code (77 Ill. Adm. Code 690.200(a)(5)).
  • Mandated reporters, such as health care providers, hospitals and laboratories, by law must report probable or confirmed cases of COVID-19 electronically through Illinois’ National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (I-NEDSS) within 24 hours. If they do not have access to I-NEDSS, they can report by mail, telephone or fax to the local health department (for a list see http://www.idph.state.il.us/LHDMap/HealthRegions.aspx) or, if no local health department is available, to the Illinois Department of Public Health Division of Infectious Diseases at 217-785-7165, TTY (hearing impaired use only) 800-547-0466.

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.

Home Guidance

The COVID-19 outbreak could last for a long time . Public health officials are recommending community actions appropriate to your local situation designed to help keep people healthy, reduce exposures to COVID-19, and slow the spread of the disease. Creating a household COVID-19 plan can help protect your health and the health of those you care about. Details of your household plan should be based on the needs and daily routine of your household members.

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