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IDPH Guidances Relating to the COVID-19 Outbreak
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.
If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or develop symptoms of COVID-19 after you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, please follow the steps below to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community.
If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. Other symptoms may include chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, and are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you should contact your doctor to see if you need to be tested. Learn more about COVID-19 illness and other symptoms here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html.
How to leave COVID-19 behind when you come home
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states COVID-19 is typically transmitted through respiratory droplets. Providing patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic means you and your family are at risk for exposure. The ideas or recommendations below, are compiled from CDC guidance and describe how to limit the risk to your family as you return home at the end of your workday.
Until a COVID-19 vaccine or preventive treatment is available, management of the COVID-19 pandemic will rely on a tried and true public health measure called contact tracing to keep you, your family, and your community safe. This method has been employed successfully for decades by the Illinois Department of Public Health and local health departments to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, such as vaccine preventable diseases, Ebola, HIV/AIDS, and sexually transmitted infections. Contact tracing for COVID-19 is a bit different because it needs to be executed on a significantly larger scale, adapting to unique challenges of the virus, including its spread by people without symptoms.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, surgeries and procedures (collectively referred to as “procedures”) for life-threatening conditions or those with a potential to cause permanent disability have been and continue to be allowed.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals and ambulatory surgical treatment centers (ASTCs) have deferred nonessential procedures to conserve resources for the care of COVID-19 patients. Some procedures that could reasonably be delayed for a time have now been postponed to the extent that potential harm could result from further delay. It is important to be flexible and allow facilities to provide care for patients needing non-emergent, non-COVID-19 health care.1
Beginning May 11, 2020, hospitals and ASTCs can begin to perform procedures, provided specific criteria have been met.
Provisional Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Certificates are NOT an Illinois Department of Public Health IDPH) state license. This is only an EMS system approval recognized by the state.
Who is eligible for a Provisional EMS Certificate?
EMS personnel whose licenses have been expired for less than 60 months as of March 23, 20200 and based on the EMS medical director’s recommendation.
The outbreak of COVID-19 and subsequent school building closures for the 2019-20 school year have created questions related to graduation ceremonies.
On March 9, Governor Pritzker declared all counties in Illinois a disaster area in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Executive Order 2020-10 called for the suspension of all licensed day care centers, day care homes, and group day care homes in order to protect the health and safety of children and staff. On March 20, 2020, the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) began issuing Emergency Day Care (EDC) Licenses to ensure licensed child care was available to children and families of essential workers, with an emphasis on those in health care, public health, human services, law enforcement, public safety, and first responder fields. On May 29, 2020, the Governor announced Restore Illinois, a comprehensive phased plan to safely reopen the State’s economy, get people back to work, and ease social restrictions. Child care is a critical component of getting Illinois back to work.
Convalescent Plasma for the Treatment of COVID-19 and Donation of Convalescent Plasma
Use of convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19 patients
People who have recovered from COVID-19 have antibodies – proteins the body uses to fight off infections – to the disease in their blood. Doctors call this convalescent plasma. COVID-19 convalescent plasma has not yet been approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is regulated as an investigational product. A study by Mayo Clinic researchers of 20,000 hospitalized patients transfused with investigational convalescent plasma published in June 2020 concluded there was “robust evidence” it was safe and supported earlier administration of plasma within the clinical course of COVID-19 was “more likely to reduce mortality.” The following pathways are available for the use of COVID-19 convalescent plasma:
(clarifies and supersedes previous guidance related to elective surgeries)
Q: When may elective procedures begin?
A: May 11, 2020
Q: What is “operational capacity”?
A: It is the number of beds (medical/surgical or intensive care) the organization can staff.
Q: How do you define patients requiring testing for the purposes of this guidance?
A: Anyone admitted for a procedure in the operating room or a procedure requiring anesthesia, including, but not limited to, procedures of the upper respiratory/GI tracts with potential for aerosol generation
Anyone planned for an outpatient procedure in the operating room with the potential to involve general anesthesia or other aerosol generating procedures, such as procedures of the upper respiratory or GI tracts.