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IDPH Guidances Relating to the COVID-19 Outbreak
During a pandemic like COVID-19, health care providers are required to make difficult decisions concerning the allocation and rationing of limited health care resources, including staff, supplies, and space. As health care resources become scarce, hospitals and other health care institutions move through the continuum of care from conventional, to contingency, to crisis. This guidance seeks to remind the health care community of their ongoing obligations to render health care in an ethical and non-discriminatory manner, obligations even more critical when providers are operating beyond their capacity. Health care institutions and providers must ensure effective protocols are in place in order to support the delivery of ethical, non-discriminatory decisions, especially those related to the allocation and rationing of limited health care resources.
This notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Review it carefully.
This notice gives you information, as required by law, about the duties and practices of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to protect the privacy of your personal health information. Because IDPH provides you COVID-19 testing, IDPH receives and maintains personal health information about you. IDPH may contract with companies, other government agencies, or individuals to help provide these services to you; therefore, contractors also may receive and maintain your personal health information.
The Effective Date of This Notice is April 15, 2020. IDPH is required to follow the terms of this notice until it is replaced. IDPH reserves the right to change the terms of the notice at any time and will provide an updated notice of any such changes.
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and Your Oral Health
Be sure to make time for healthy activities like exercising, eating well, relaxing, connecting with family and friends on the phone or computer, and maintaining your oral health. These actions keep you and your immune system healthy.
Are dental offices allowed to be open?
Yes. As of May 11, oral health providers were permitted to resume routine oral and dental care consistent with guidance to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Will I need to be screened for COVID-19 before visiting the dentist?
Dentists are encouraged to do a screening for symptoms by telephone 24 to 48 hours before your appointment. The screening should be repeated upon your arrival at the office and your temperature checked by a non-contact thermometer. If you are displaying symptoms or your temperature is over 100.0 F, your appointment should be rescheduled.
Long-term care facilities (LTCF) may allow outdoor visitation for residents under certain conditions. Visits must be limited to two visitors at a time per resident. The maximum number of residents and visitors permitted in the outdoor space at one time is predicated on the size of the outdoor space. The LTCF must ensure a minimum distancing of 6 feet is achievable in the outdoor space when determining the maximum number of residents and visitors who can simultaneously occupy the outdoor space. The LTCF must clearly communicate and enforce social distancing of 6 feet between the resident and visitors. The facility must establish the maximum number of visitors allowed in a single day.
The Illinois Department of Public Health is recommending all hospitals and emergency medical services’ (EMS) providers to immediately elevate conservation and contingency strategies relating to personal protective equipment (PPE). Use this guidance to conserve PPE wherever allows, while ensuring the safety of health care personnel. Receiving hospitals remain the responsible party for permitting EMS to restock equipment or supplies after transporting patients.
To maximize the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) released guidance to hospitals and outpatient surgical and procedural centers on March 17, 2020 to limit non-essential adult elective surgery and medical and surgical procedures, including all dental procedures, until further notice. These considerations were requested to assist in limiting the consumption of vital health care resources during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
IDPH is encouraging outpatient surgical and procedural centers, ambulatory surgical treatment centers, and veterinarians to donate unused PPE not immediately needed to assist health care providers, health care facilities, and first responders who are on the front line and actively responding to COVID-19.
Implement strategies to optimize current personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies even before shortages occur, including bundling patient/resident care and treatment activities to minimize entries into patient/resident rooms.
COVID-19 Guidance for Places of Worship and Providers of Religious Services
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Plumbing and Water Quality Program has issued this memorandum to building owners and operators, and public water supply operators to provide guidance for maintaining water quality and safety in building water systems and in potable water distribution systems during periods of reduced use and considerations for returning building water systems to regular use.
What to do if you were potentially exposed to someone with confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
If you think you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, follow the steps below to monitor your health and to avoid spreading the disease to others.
How do I know if I was exposed?
You generally need to be in close contact with a person with COVID-19 to get infected. Close contact includes: