11/17/20 - A Message to Providers from Secretary Hou: IDHS Update - Tier 3 COVID-19 Resurgence Mitigations

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Dear Stakeholders,

Thank you for all that you do - for your dedication to public service and for your strength, care, and compassion to those we support and serve. COVID-19 has created more challenges to our already demanding work, but we have demonstrated our commitment and our ability to respond to this crisis. I know that we are all feeling COVID-19 fatigue, but this is a crucial time to up our efforts. We need to lead by example, and we need your help to implement the appropriate measures to maintain our work.

In recent weeks, every region in Illinois has experienced a staggering surge in COVID-19 test positivity, reaching 14.5% (7-day statewide average) as of November 16. Illinois' average daily coronavirus cases are currently the highest in the nation at 12,365 per day. In response, effective Friday, November 20, 2020, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has extended Tier 3 COVID Resurgence Mitigations to all Illinois regions requiring Illinoisans to limit non-essential activities and travel and to discontinue gatherings outside of the household until we are able to slow the spread of the virus.

Controlling and preventing the spread of the virus at this critical time will require every one of us to exercise best practices in our professional and personal lives. With the coming holidays, we wanted to provide some tips for your staff on how to keep your celebrations safe.

We know this is an unprecedented and challenging time for everyone, and as our partner, we want to support you. Please continue to reach out to us with questions, concerns, or suggestions at DHS.Stakeholder@Illinois.gov. Additionally, building on efforts to protect the physical and mental health of Illinois communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to reiterate Call4Calm, a mental health support line available to everyone in Illinois.

Call4Calm, is the free-of-charge emotional support text line for Illinois residents experiencing stress and mental health issues related to COVID-19. Individuals who would like to speak with a mental health professional can text "TALK" to 5-5-2-0-2-0, or for Spanish, "HABLAR" to the same number: 5-5-2-0-2-0.

Protecting our customers' health, safety, and well-being remains at the north star of all we do. We are all in this together, so please stay vigilant in this fight. We will get through this and emerge an even stronger and more resilient agency than we could have ever imagined.

My thanks to you and be well.

Grace B. Hou

Secretary, IDHS