As we continue to monitor and navigate through COVID-19 together, I wanted to share a brief update with some new information that may impact our work. First and foremost, the health, safety and well-being of our staff, patients, and residents remain of the highest priority across the organization. Cases are unfortunately surging around the country, including in Illinois, and public health guidance has evolved to reflect current conditions. The CDC issued new recommendations this week, which IDPH fully echoed, and yesterday, CMS provided specific, related guidance for State employees. Full details are below.
In short, face coverings are now required in all State facilities for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people. People are not required to wear a face covering when in an office or conference room, alone, or while in a cubicle if safe physical distancing can be maintained.
I am incredibly appreciative of everyone's continued commitment to the IDHS mission throughout this pandemic. Please stay safe and be well.
Grace B. Hou
Where are all persons required to wear a face covering?
All individuals, including those who are fully vaccinated, must continue to wear a well-fitted face covering consistent with CDC guidance, including (1) on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation and in transportation hubs, such as airports and train and bus stations; (2) in congregate facilities such as correctional facilities, veterans' homes, and long-term care facilities, group homes, and residential facilities; and (3) in healthcare settings. Individuals in schools, day care settings, and educational institutions must also continue to wear face coverings as set forth in guidance by the Illinois State Board of Education, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, and the Illinois Department of Public Health.
What are the requirements for all State employees?
State employees must take the following public health steps to protect their workplaces and other persons who may enter that workplace: (1) wear a face covering that covers their nose and mouth while in a workplace or performing work duties outside of their residence, unless they have a medical condition that prevents them from doing so; and (2) at all times, or as much as reasonably possible, maintain physical distancing of at least six feet from any other person while in a workplace or performing work duties outside of their residence.
Is an employee required to wear a face covering if occupying an office in which no other person is present?
An employee is not required to wear a face covering when occupying an office or conference room alone.
Is an employee required to wear a face covering while working in a cubicle?
An employee is not required to wear a face covering if physical distancing can be maintained between cubicles. If physical distancing can be maintained, an employee who is working alone in a cubicle does not need to wear a face covering.
Are visitors to State offices and facilities required to wear face coverings?
Yes, all visitors who are over age two and able to medically tolerate a face covering are required to continue to wear face coverings while inside State offices and facilities. State offices and facilities must make available reasonable accommodations for individuals who are not able to medically tolerate a face covering. State offices and facilities should have face coverings available to visitors to the extent possible.
What should State employees do if visitors are not abiding by the requirements for face coverings in their offices or facilities?
If visitors to State offices and facilities are not complying with the requirement for face coverings, State employees should inform visitors of the requirement and ask them to wear a face covering while in the office or facility.
What types of signs should be posted regarding face coverings?
State agencies should post signage at building and office entrances and in common areas regarding the applicable face covering requirements.