COVID-19 Update

March 17, 2020

In light of the latest COVID-19 developments and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations, IHA is cancelling the Federal Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. scheduled in coordination with the American Hospital Association (AHA) Annual Meeting April 19-21, which also has also been cancelled.

Today, in a daily media briefing, the Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) announced the first COVID-19 death, a 60-year-old Chicagoan who had underlying health conditions and had close contact with someone with the COVID-19 virus. She had been hospitalized since the beginning of her symptoms and died in the hospital.

IDPH says there are 160 COVID-19 cases in 15 counties in the state, an increase of 55 cases—the biggest one-day increase in Illinois. The ages of those who have tested positive range from nine to 91. According to IDPH, four COVID-19 cases have been released from isolation.

This past weekend, a DuPage County long-term care facility in Willowbrook had one resident who tested positive for COVID-19. Today, 17 additional residents and four staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.

IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike stressed in the media briefing that those who are experiencing mild symptoms that could be a result of the COVID-19 virus to stay home during the course of illness. Those who are having medical difficulties with symptoms similar to COVID-19 are urged to first call their physician for direction.

IDPH has updated its recommendations for appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). The recommendations align with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on healthcare supply of PPE.

In response to COVID-19 outbreak, the Joint Commission (TJC) announced yesterday that it is suspending all of its regular surveying. However, the TJC says that surveys for some high-risk situations will need to continue.

Recovery Solutions, located in Plainfield, is offering a mobile medical facility as a donation (no cost) for healthcare providers during the COVID-19 outbreak. Local delivery and set-up are available as part of the donation. This option is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Contact Rick Lavin at 815-577-1999 for more information.

The CDC will hold an Emergency Partners Information Connection (EPIC) COVID-19 webinar Wednesday, March 18 at 12 p.m. (CT). The webinar will discuss the current state of the outbreak, the CDC’s response to the outbreak and how partners, organizations and the public can help. Registration details are available here.

The CDC will also hold an update webinar on the COVID-19 response for rural partners, stakeholders and communities on Monday, March 23 at 12 p.m. Dr. Jay Butler, deputy director for infectious diseases, CDC, will lead the webinar. Registration is required. Questions can be submitted in advance via email to: eocevent337@cdc.gov.

Study findings released today by the National Institutes of Health show the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 is stable for several hours to days in aerosols and on surfaces. The scientists found that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was detectable in aerosols for up to three hours, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel.

COVID-19 information for healthcare professionals is available on the CDC’s special webpage. The webpage provides guidance on numerous clinical issues and regularly posts updated information including:

Current CDC figures show a total of 4,226 confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. in 53 states and U.S. territories. Seventy-five deaths have been reported.

See IHA’s COVID-19 webpage for a variety of resources in a central location.