IDPH Guidances Relating to the COVID-19 Outbreak

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.

Ambulance Inspections

Due to rising cases of COVID-19, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH)  canceled all May ambulance inspection appointments.- At the end of May IDPH will re-evaluate if  ambulance inspection cancelations will continue.

Providers, if your ambulance was due to be inspected (e.g., annual ambulance inspection, new ambulance, vehicle was out of service and going back into service), you will need to self-inspect your vehicles and send those inspections to an IDPH ambulance inspector.

Inspections need to be e-mailed accordingly:

Blood and Plasma Collection Guidance

This guidance provides recommendations for blood drive operations and the sites used for blood drive collections. Early evidence suggests the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread more easily than the seasonal influenza virus, and it appears COVID-19 disease is more deadly. There are precautions persons at blood drives can follow to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Coronavirus and Blood Donations

It is essential to continue collecting blood and blood components to support health care delivery. This guidance is for administration, staff, and volunteers at blood and plasma collection facilities.

Public health guidance may shift. Be aware of updates to IDPH and local health department  recommendations and whether COVID-19 becomes more widespread and/or more clinically severe.

Business and Organization Guidance

The following interim guidance may help prevent workplace exposures to acute respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, in non-health care settings. The guidance also provides planning considerations in the event of widespread, community outbreaks of COVID-19.

To prevent stigma and discrimination in the workplace, use only the guidance described below to determine risk of COVID-19. Do not make risk determinations based on race or country of origin and be sure to maintain confidentiality of people with confirmed COVID-19. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features of COVID-19 and investigations are ongoing.

Changes to EMS Scope of Practice and Alternate Care Patterns

As Illinois is now in a state of emergency and the COVID-19 response escalates, there may be requests for variations to the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) rules and regulations in order to meet the demand of patient requests.

In addition, EMS providers may see many of their personnel on quarantine or isolation due to exposures to COVID-19. Considering this, EMS systems should submit the following information whenever requesting a waiver for a EMS rule or requirement:
Changes to Plans or Staffing

Child Face Coverings in Schools

Guidance for Evaluating a Child’s Medical Tolerance for use of Face Coverings in Schools

As schools consider whether and how to safely re-open during the COVID-19 pandemic, school physicals are an opportunity to assess whether a student is able to medically tolerate the use of a face covering. There are currently many questions regarding the criteria used by pediatric providers to determine whether a child is able to medically tolerate the use of a face covering. In reviewing recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the American Lung Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, pediatric providers may determine a child is medically unable to tolerate a face covering for the following main reasons:

Children & Pregnant Women Guidance

Children

What is the risk of children becoming sick with COVID-19?

Based on available evidence, children do not appear to be at higher risk for COVID-19 than adults. While some children and infants have had severe illness with COVID-19, adults make up most of the known cases to date (96%).

How does COVID-19 impact babies, young children, and teens?

Children seem to have milder forms of the illness.  Symptoms in kids under 18 years of age range from infection without symptoms to mild upper respiratory symptoms with runny nose and cough, to pneumonia requiring hospitalization.

Children and babies with underlying health conditions may experience more serious COVID-19 infections, especially those with problems that impact the heart or lungs or the ability to fight infection.

Audience:

Communicating about COVID-19 in Congregate Settings (Long-Term Care Facilities)

This guidance addresses notification procedures by long-term care facilities to residents, residents’ family, guardians, or emergency contacts, and to staff members, when a resident or a staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19. This guidance also addresses notification to a resident’s family, guardian, or emergency contact when that resident has died from COVID-19.

Long-term care facilities are licensed by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and include, but are not limited to, skilled nursing, nursing, shelter care, assisted living, shared housing, life care, intermediate care, specialized mental health rehabilitation, and medically complex facilities for the developmentally disabled

Community Organizations Guidance

This guidance provides recommendations on the cleaning and disinfection of rooms or areas where  those with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 have visited. It is aimed at limiting the survival of the virus that causes COVID-19 in key environments. These recommendations will be updated when additional information becomes available. CDC Guidance can be found here

Audience:

Concerned but not Exposed

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, get in touch with your health care provider within 24 hours and follow the steps below to help prevent your infection from spreading to people in your home and community.

Could I have COVID-19?

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms from mild to severe, which can appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus, and include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, muscle pain, fatigue, headache, congestion or runny nose, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. If you have any of these symptoms, even if you are not aware of being around anyone with COVID-19, you may have COVID-19 or another respiratory virus. COVID-19 is circulating in many communities, but other respiratory viruses also may be present in your community.

Should I get tested for COVID-19?

Currently, anyone with symptoms of COVD-19 is encouraged to be tested.

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