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.
  • For more information on integrated electronic laboratory reporting to INEDSS, see Electronic Lab Reporting below.

COVID-19 related Cases

Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) Reporting

  • Healthcare providers and laboratories are required by the Control of Communicable Disease Code to report suspected or known MIS-C associated with COVID-19 cases to the local health department. (Please use case report form linked below.)
  • When an MIS-C associated with COVID-19 case is suspected to be or is known to be (laboratory-confirmed case) the cause of death in an individual, this should be reported to the local health department.
  • Hospitals must submit pre-defined data elements on MIS-C patients through Illinois’ National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (I-NEDSS). NOTE: Electronic laboratory reporting alone will not suffice for this syndrome.
  • Hospitals should ensure complete reporting of co-morbidities and details of previous outpatient, inpatient or emergency department visits through I-NEDSS as applicable.
  • Case Report form should be completed and sent to the local health department
  • Case report form instructions
  • Public health disease investigators may contact you to request additional records when investigating these cases.

COVID-19 related Outbreaks

  • Outbreaks of COVID-19 should be reported by telephone to the local health department within 24 hours. Outbreaks are defined as:
  • LTC/assisted living facilities only: 1 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 case plus others ill with similar symptoms, (but may not be tested yet), and symptom onset or positive SARS-CoV-2 testin cases within 14 days of each other.
  • For all other facilities/locations/events: 2 or more laboratory-confirmed COVID-19cases linked to the same site (epidemiological link), symptom onset or positiveSARS-CoV-2 testin cases within 14 days of each other.

Business owners are mandated reporters and are required to report outbreaks of COVID-19 in their establishment/workplace to the local health department.

COVID-19 related Deaths

When COVID-19 is suspected to be or known (laboratory-confirmed case) to be the cause of death in an individual, this is also reportable.

Laboratory Reporting Requirements

  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced new guidance that specifies what additional data must be reported by laboratories along with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) test results. The Guidance standardizes reporting to ensure that public health officials have access to comprehensive and nearly real-time data to inform decision making in their response to COVID-19.
  • The new reporting requirements will provide information needed to better monitor disease incidence and trends by initiating epidemiologic case investigations, assisting with contact tracing, assessing availability and use of testing resources, and anticipating potential supply chain issues. In order to provide these data, it’s expected that commercial laboratories and hospitals may need to update their data system to accommodate these new fields.

The laboratory data reporting guidance here.

A FAQ on laboratory data requirements is here.

If you have any questions about the data or requirements, please contact dph.elrresp@illinois.gov

Electronic Lab Reporting (ELR)

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)).

  • Sites should submit electronically through the Illinois National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (I-NEDSS) via integrated Electronic Laboratory Reporting (ELR).
  • When in-house testing is started, the process for electronic submission of results should be in progress.
  • While working on generating the electronic file, positive cases must reported into I-NEDSS & aggregate testing numbers will need to be reported daily to an IDPH portal at: https://redcap.dph.illinois.gov/surveys/?s=9YAK8W94XH by 9:30AM each day.
  • See the IDPH Infectious Disease Reporting web page for directions on how to register to be an I-NEDSS reporter.
  • Electronic reporting via a standard HL7 file is required for ALL sites performing COVID-19 testing onsite.
  • For assistance in establishing an HL7 feed, send an email to: dph.elrresp@illinois.gov
  • Until an I-NEDSS account is established, you can fax positive results to: 217-524-0962

For electronic reporting via ELR:

  • See Electronic Lab Reporting Use Case 1.1 file (link document attached).
  • You can view the implementation guide here: https://www.cdc.gov/elr/technicalstandards.html.
    • Note: IDPH can only accept the standard encoding characters in MSH 2 and cannot accept the extra #. The interface engine used by IDPH will not ignore data at the end of a segment; if the last defined field in a segment is sent, that field has to end with the segment terminator and not a Pipe or field delimiter, as the interface engine tries to find a definition for an extra field and will fail.
    • IDPH can only accept one ORC segment per Message loop if you send 2 our loop stops processing where the second ORC starts.
  • Someone from your IT department must apply for a portal SFTP account.
    • See the link below for portal registration for the SFTP account. You will then be assigned an account that will have a set password and only valid for the IDPH SFTP server so a script can be set up to send data.
    • IDPH would like to also have a group email account that can be used when a file is sent to IDPH. A confirmation email is sent to let you know it was successfully sent. You will be assigned an ELR99XX ID so you really don’t need to put in an account for this ID.
  • Also linked below: a document with details on how the batch files should be named for testing and production and which directory to use for HL7 2.5.1.
  • After you have a SFTP account, notify dph.elrresp@illinois.gov that you have a test file ready, and you can send it per the ELR Migration document with a .txt file extension.

Testing and IDPH Lab Information

  • As of 4/7/2020,authorization is no longer required for COVID-19 testing at the IDPH laboratories.
  • Specimens submitted to IDPH labs should include the COVID-19 testing Request Form. It can be completed online and printed for submission with the specimen. The form can be found here
  • Specimens are required to have the completed COVID-19 Testing Request form when submitted for testing.
  • IDPH Lab turn-around-time is up to 3 days. Specimens are tested in the order received.
  • ALL positive COVID-19 lab results should be entered as'Novel Coronavirus 2019'case in I-NEDSS.
  • When sending specimens for testing at references laboratories, the ordering provider must complete address, phone, and demographic information on the patient. This information is required for ELR (electronic laboratory report) data to be correctly routed to the appropriate local health department.
  • Proper collection of specimens is the most important step in the laboratory diagnosis of infectious diseases. A specimen that is not collected correctly may lead to false negative test results. General guidance can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/lab/guidelines-clinical-specimens.html?deliveryName=USCDC_2067-DM26911
  • For initial diagnostic testing for SARS-CoV-2, CDC recommends collecting and testing an upper respiratory specimen. The following are acceptable specimens:
    • A nasopharyngeal (NP) specimen collected by a healthcare professional; or
    • An oropharyngeal (OP) specimen collected by a healthcare professional; or
    • A nasal mid-turbinate swab collected by a healthcare professional or by a supervised onsite self-collection (using a flocked tapered swab); or
    • An anterior nares (nasal swab) specimen collected by a healthcare professional or by onsite or home self-collection (using a flocked or spun polyester swab); or
    • Nasopharyngeal wash/aspirate or nasal wash/aspirate (NW) specimen collected by a healthcare professional.

Interim Guidelines for Collecting, Handling, and Testing Clinical Specimens from Persons for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/lab/guidelines-clinical-specimens.html

Post-Mortem Specimen Collection: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-postmortem-specimens.html

Infection Control Guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/infection-control-recommendations.html

Testing Information

FDA Coronavirus Emergency Use Authorizations for In Vitro Diagnostics. Link: https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-emergency-use-authorizations-medical-devices/vitro-diagnostics-euas The Illinois Department of Public Health does not recommend use of serology tests that are not authorized under EUA.

RT-PCR Antigen Serology (Antibody Testing)
Method Detects the virus’s genetic material Detects specific proteins on the surface of the virus Measures antibody response to viral protein target
Sample Type Usually nasopharyngeal (NP) or oropharyngeal (OP) swab although other specimen types are possible Usually NP or nasal swab (specimens form the respiratory tract) Usually blood-based test
Timing Most likely to be positive in the 1-2 days prior to symptoms onset and while symptomatic but may persist as positive up to several weeks In symptomatic infection, positive as symptoms develop and wanes over time Takes at least 7-14 days after symptom onset to develop antibodies and varies depending n the antibody class measured
Performance Sensitivity varies depending on sampling technique and specimen type. Test is highly specific. Antigen tests are very specific for the virus but are not as sensitive as molecular PCR tests Both sensitivity and specificity are highly variable depending on the type of test. See https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/serology-surveillance/index.html
COVID-19 Case Classification as per Lab Result Positive = Confirmed Negative= not a case currently. Positive = may be a probable case if there is an epidemiologic link to a COVID case or outbreak or if the case has had COVID-19 symptoms Negative= may be a probable case if there is an epidemiologic link to a COVID case or outbreak or if the case has had COVID-19 symptoms Positive = may be a probable case if there is an epidemiologic link to a COVID case or outbreak or if the case has had COVID-19 symptoms Negative= may be a probable case if there is an epidemiologic link to a COVID case or outbreak or if the case has had COVID-19 symptoms

More information on point-of-care testing platforms: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/OASH-COVID-19-guidance-testing-platforms.pdf

Clinical Information

SIREN

Healthcare providers are encouraged to sign up to receive SIREN notifications.

SIREN - State of Illinois Rapid Electronic Notification

SIREN provides regional, State, and Federal partners with a comprehensive information sharing, collaboration, alerting, and notification solution. To register for SIREN got to http://www.dph.illinois.gov/siren

If you have difficulties registering please contact SIREN at dph.siren@illinois.gov.

CDC Links

CDC FAQs for HCP

Clinical Questions about COVID-19: Questions and Answers