The COVID-19 vaccine is a critical tool to safely reach the other side of this pandemic. Through efficient and effective distribution of the vaccine, we can suppress the spread of the virus, save as many lives as possible, and rebuild our economy. Illinois will only distribute a vaccine that is deemed safe. As we move through phases of vaccine distribution, the administration will ensure it reaches Illinoisans as quickly as possible using an equity-centric approach as we have done throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As we move forward, it is critical that Illinoisans continue to follow public health recommendations to suppress the spread of the virus until vaccines are ready for widespread distribution.
This guidance is to affirm and supplement the State of Illinois’ April 10, 2020 Guidance Relating to Non-Discrimination in Medical Treatment for Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). Federal and State civil rights laws, including the Illinois Human Rights Act, prohibit discrimination in the delivery of healthcare and support the rendering of ethical, non-discriminatory decisions. These principles have equal and ever-important application in the context of administering the COVID-19 vaccine.
If your COVID-19 test result is positive, you may be able to receive a medication called a monoclonal antibody. The names of these medicines are bamlanivimab and casirivimab/imdevimab. They have been made available for emergency use during COVID-19.
These medications are used ONLY in mild or moderate cases of COVID-19, in high-risk adults and children. You cannot take these medicines if you are already in the hospital or using oxygen.
High risk means you have at least one of the following conditions:
- Chronic kidney disease
- Immunosuppressive disease
- You take medicine that suppresses your immune system
- 65 years of age or older
- Less than 65 years with certain diseases of the heart, blood, or lung.
If you have a positive COVID-19 test and you are high risk; contact your healthcare professional as soon as possible. You must begin this therapy right away for it to be helpful.
On December 2, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new options for public health authorities to consider for establishing quarantine time frames for contacts of persons with SARS-CoV-2. Click here to review the full details on these new options.
The CDC currently recommends a quarantine period of 14 days. Further, local public health authorities determine and establish quarantine options for their jurisdictions and may decide to continue using a 14-day period and/or shortened options for certain lower risk close contacts. However, the following options to shorten quarantine are acceptable alternatives:
The Federal Government has begun a distribution program of a new antigen test: the Abbott BinaxNOW. The Abbott BinaxNOW test is a fast-acting antigen test granted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 viral protein. The BinaxNOW test is administered through an anterior nares swab that is then inserted into a credit-card sized test, where a reagent is added. These tests are inexpensive, point-of-care (POC) tests, with results available within 15 minutes. This distribution program has two separate channels:
Health care providers are strongly encouraged to test for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), when patients present with any signs or symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or have had a known exposure to a person with COVID-19 infection. Due to the nonspecific clinical presentation of COVID-19 and the potential for co-infection with other pathogens, every symptomatic person should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and testing decisions should be based on the patient’s personal health history. Because many COVID-19 cases have been observed in persons who originally discounted their symptoms due to other existing health conditions, e.g., allergies, prompt and early diagnosis of COVID-19 infection is strongly recommended to prevent further transmission.
Updated January 15, 2021
Contact tracing is critical to keeping Illinois healthy and slowing the spread of COVID-19.
Contact tracing provides support that helps protect people and reduce the spread of COVID-19. Trained public health workers are there to answer questions, alleviate concerns, and provide resources to ensure Illinoisans who test positive are safe and taken care of. They also serve as a lifeline to those who may have been exposed by providing helpful information that can protect them and those they care about. By working together, we can make a difference. If you receive a call from IL COVID HELP, answering could save lives.
What is contact tracing?
Contact tracing is a long-established, proven health practice that has helped save countless lives. Public health workers reach out to people who tested positive and their close contacts to provide health guidance, answer questions, and offer support. It helps protect you and those closest to you.
This interim guidance provides updated guidelines and criteria for COVID-19 testing in licensed long-term care (LTC) facilities, as defined by the Nursing Home Care Act, 210 ILCS 45, primarily focusing on skilled nursing and intermediate care facilities.
Given their congregate setting and resident populations served (e.g., older adults often with underlying chronic medical conditions), nursing home populations are at the highest risk of being affected by COVID-19. If infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, residents are at increased risk of serious illness. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is committed to working proactively with LTC facilities to prevent illnesses.