IDPH Guidances Relating to the COVID-19 Outbreak

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.

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.

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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Home Quarantine Guidance

Home Quarantine Guidance for Close Contacts to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Cases

These quarantine instructions are for people who live in the same household or have had close contact with someone with Coronavirus Disease 2019, COVID-19. Cases, or people with COVID-19, can be contagious 48 hours before they have symptoms, when they have symptoms, or even if they are not showing symptoms.

Homeless Shelters Guidance

This Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) COVID-19 guidance provides recommendations for homeless shelters and is intended to support response planning by homeless service providers, including overnight emergency shelters, day shelters, and meal service providers. The Before, During, and After sections of this guidance offer suggested strategies to help homeless service providers plan, prepare, and respond to the threat of COVID-19.

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Hotels Guidance

This guidance provides recommendations to prevent or slow the spread of COVID-19 in hotels, including hotels with  fitness centers, gyms, and health clubs.  These are precautions hotel managers and staff can take to protect the health and safety of guests and employees. The virus that causes COVID-19 can spread more easily than the seasonal flu  and it appears COVID-19 disease is significantly more deadly than seasonal influenza.

Prevention

The following can help prevent COVID-19, which is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person::

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Household Preparedness

The COVID-19 outbreak may last for an extended period.  The Illinois Department of Public Health has recommended community actions designed to keep people healthy, reduce exposures to COVID-19, and slow the spread of the disease. Local health department officials also have made recommendations appropriate to the COVID-19 situation in your community. Creating a household plan can help protect your health and the health of those you care about during the COVID-19 pandemic. The details of your household plan should be based on the needs and daily routine of your household members.

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Individuals Undergoing COVID-19 Testing

What should you do about work while you wait for test results?

  • Please inform your supervisor at work that you have been tested for COVID-19 and note the date of testing.
  • If you are experiencing symptoms: Notify your supervisor and stay home.
  • If you are not experiencing symptoms: Request guidance from your supervisor on any potential work and patient care restrictions until you know your test results.
  • Avoid using public transportation, rise-sharing, or taxis when commuting.

What should you do to protect yourself while you wait for test results?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Intimate Partner Violence, Sexual Violence, and Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention/Support Resources

The COVID-19 Equity Team’s Intimate Partner Violence and Child Abuse Prevention Workgroup has compiled this list of available resources for wide circulation and it will be updated as new information becomes available.

Intimate Partner/Domestic Violence Hotlines

Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline

(877) TO END DV or (877) 863-6338 (Voice)
(877) 863-6339 (TTY Hours: 24/7 /365)

Languages: Website available in English, Español, Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian. For calls, the language line can accept calls in almost any language. Last year, they had calls in Arabic, Cantonese, Creole, English, Farsi, French, Gujurati, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Lithuanian, Mandarin, Pashtu, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Tagalog, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese, and others.
Different Forms of Contact: Phone call or text message

LHD Guidance Disclosure of COVID-19 Persons to Law Enforcement

This guidance is intended to clarify guidance issued April 1, 2020 that may have caused confusion regarding the disclosure of COVID-19-positive persons to law enforcement and address questions that have been raised.

Guidance from the Illinois Attorney General

The Office of the Illinois Attorney General (OAG) was asked to address whether the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) allows local health departments to provide information to law enforcement regarding individuals with positive tests for COVID-19. In response, on March 27, 2020, during a presentation to state’s attorneys, the OAG advised such disclosure is permissible because of a HIPAA exception. Specifically, the OAG  affirmed the exception applies because “disclosure to first responders will enable them to use personal protective equipment (PPE) to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.”

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