Non-Discrimination in Medical Treatment Guidance

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.

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.

Short-Term Relief for COVID-19 Administrative Requirements Guidance

As of April 3, 2020

Grantees must contact their IDPH Grant Manager with questions, and to request any of the below extensions.  All Flexibilities must be approved by funding source.

Thank you for your patience as we work to maintain service delivery during this time.

The federal Office of Management and Budget is allowing flexibilities in administrative requirements for services necessary to for emergency response or loss of operations, as specified. See chart below.

Donation of Convalescent Plasma

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:

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.

Personal Protective Equipment Conservation

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.

Personal Protective Equipment Donations

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.

Guidance for Congregate Living Facilities

Interim Recommendations to Reduce Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in Congregate Living Facilities: Universal Masking and Enhanced Environmental Disinfection

Purpose

This guidance provides universal masking and environmental disinfection recommendations for congregate living facilities in dealing with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Long Term Care Facilities Guidance

This interim guidance provides guidelines for nursing homes and other long-term care (LTC) facilities regarding restrictions that were instituted to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The guidance in this document is specifically intended for facilities as defined in the Nursing Home Care Act (210 ILCS 45), and also applies to Supportive Living Facilities, Assistive Living Facilities, Shared Housing Establishments, Sheltered Care Facilities, Specialized Mental Health Rehabilitation Facilities (SMHRF), Intermediate Care Facilities for the Developmentally Disabled (ICF/DD), State-Operated Developmental Centers (SODC), Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs facilities and Medically Complex/Developmentally Disabled Facilities (MC/DD). Modifications for specific categories of LTC facilities and programs are provided in the Appendix.

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