IDPH Guidances Relating to the COVID-19 Outbreak

EMS & First Responder Guidance

This guidance applies to all first responders, including law enforcement, fire services, emergency medical services, and emergency management officials, who anticipate close contact with persons with confirmed or possible COVID-19 in the course of their work.

Background

Emergency medical services (EMS) play a vital role in responding to requests for assistance, triaging patients, and providing emergency medical treatment and transport for ill persons. However, unlike patient care in the controlled environment of a health care facility, care and transports by EMS present unique challenges because of the nature of the setting, enclosed space during transport, frequent need for rapid medical decision-making, interventions with limited information, and a varying range of patient acuity and jurisdictional health care resources.

EMS Licensure Extensions

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has  announced emergency medical services (EMS) licenses.  due to renew in March, April, and May, have been extended to  June 30, 2020. It is IDPH’s goal to provide this extension to allow EMS personnel to focus on the COVID-19 response and the safety and well-being of the Illinois community.

EMS licenses impacted by this extension include: EMT, A-EMT, EMT-I, Paramedic, TNS, ECRN, EMD, PHRN, LI, EMR, Transport Vehicles, Non-Transport Vehicles, Ambulance Assist Vehicles, and Emergency Medical Dispatch Agencies.

As the COVID-19 situation develops, IDPH will keep you up to date with the most current information . Thank you for your continued support to EMS and stay safe.

Last Updated: 6/23/2020

EMS Provisional Certification during the COVID -19 Pandemic Response

PHRNs, PHPA, PHAPN Seeking Provisional Certification (without completing required ALS calls as required in the rule) during COVID -19 Pandemic Response 


  • Must have completed the didactic portion of the pre-hospital course.
  • Must complete and pass a final pre-hospital or paramedic examination approved by the emergency medical services (EMS) system medical director
  • May seek provisional certification after completing course work and testing as approved by the EMS medical director
  • Prehospital registered nurses (PHRN), prehospital physicians (PHPA), and prehospital advance practice nurses (PHAPN) must operate in an Illinois EMS system. 
  • The PHRN, PHPA, or PHAPN may only operate with another Illinois licensed paramedic or PHRN with at least one-year experience. 

FAQ for Businesses Concerning Use of Face-Coverings During COVID-19

These frequently asked questions are to provide guidance regarding the application of the face covering requirement in Executive Order 2020-32 for businesses and other places of public accommodation subject to Article 5 of the Illinois Human Rights Act, 775 ILCS 5/.

When Face Coverings are Required

What does it mean to wear a face covering?

A face covering is a mask or cloth face covering that covers your nose and mouth. The face covering should allow for breathing without restriction. There is no requirement to wear a hospital grade mask or other specific type or brand of face covering. You may wear a homemade face covering, if it fits closely and covers your nose and mouth. For more specific information on how to make or care for your face covering, visit the Illinois Department of Public Health website at http://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/community-guidance/mask-use.

Food Establishment Guidance

Guidance for food establishments completely closed during this time period

  • Move all perishable/TCS (time/temperature control for safety) foods from smaller, non-commercial refrigeration units and prep-coolers to a walk-in cooler or other large capacity cooler that maintains temperature at 41 F or below. Make sure all food is properly stored and covered.
  • Freeze as many fresh or refrigerated foods as possible. Freezing bakery items, like bread, will inhibit molding.  Some produce, cheese, and pre-cooked meats can be frozen as well. 
  • Discard anything normally  thrown out  due to the seven-day date marking rule. For example, open dairy products, deli salads made on site, lunch meat, soft cheeses, and other packaged food that has been open.
  • Discard prepared foods held hot or cold since the closure will have been a minimum of two weeks, including cut fruits and vegetables.
Audience:

Food Service Guidance

Because the virus causing COVID-19 is known to be transmitted by droplets produced by coughing or sneezing, avoiding close human contact is vital, especially with someone who is sick.  Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.  Hands should be washed often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.  If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

Audience:

Funeral Homes Guidance

Preventative Actions for Funeral Homes Directors

There is currently no known risk associated with being in the same room at a funeral or visitation service with the body of someone who died of COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A funeral or visitation service can be held for a person who has died of COVID-19 with certain limitations. Persons who have COVID-19 or are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 should be restricted from attending the funeral service or visitation to prevent its spread to others. Attempt to provide ways for family members or close friends to join the service remotely through use of available technology or offer to record the funeral service for later viewing.

Grocery Store Guidance

Preventative Actions for Grocery Stores

Grocery stores can play an important role in protecting their employees and customers from COVID-19 infections by following personal and environmental hygiene practices. The following industry best practices can be employed to keep employees and customers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Audience:

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.

Guidance For Employers and Employees on Workers' Rights and Safety

Federal and Illinois law require employers to maintain a safe and healthy workplace. As we enter Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan and more Illinoisans return to work, employers and employees are navigating difficult questions about how to maintain a safe and healthy workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 also has raised other employment-related questions involving issues like pay and benefits, leave, and eligibility for unemployment insurance.

This guidance is intended to help both employers and employees educate themselves about minimum required workplace safety requirements, best practices to promote a safe and well-functioning workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to answer some frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and the workplace.

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