4/15/20 - IDHS Staff Message from Secretary Hou: FCRCs and Press Conference Recap

Wednesday, April 15th, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

As you know, IDHS has taken great care to address the safety of Family Community Resource Center (FCRC) office staff and the urgent needs of all the people we serve whether through medical, nutritional, cash assistance, or other disability, mental health, and substance use programs.

In the effort to keep FCRC staff and customers as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are closing the remaining local office lobbies to customers starting tomorrow, April 16th.

While this wasn't an easy decision to make, we have a comprehensive plan for caseworkers to serve customers remotely while office lobbies remain closed to the public. Please know that critical nutrition and medical benefits are still available online and by phone.

I want to express my sincere gratitude for our FCRC staff who have tirelessly continued to support our IDHS customers whether remotely or from our remaining open offices.

Please see the below updates from yesterdays COVID-19 Press Conference.

COVID-19 Updates from the Governors 04-14-2020 Press Conference

  • Positive Case Doubling Rate: Governor Pritzker highlighted that the rate at which Illinois COVID positive case count was doubling continues to slow. On March 22nd, the number of cases doubled almost every two days. As of this Sunday, April 12th, our case doubling rate had reached 8.2 days, which points to the success of increased testing, social distancing, and other measures put into place to slow the spread.
  • Hospital Capacity: Other important metrics to track include ICU bed and ventilator use/availability in Illinois hospitals. While the State has added almost 2,000 hospital beds from April 6th to April 13th, during that time, open hospital beds decreased from 43% to 37%, open ICU beds have decreased from 35% to 33%, and available ventilators have decreased from 57% to 55%.
  • Regional Capacity: While there is still available hospital capacity, statewide, there are still individual hospitals operating at or near max capacity. However, no region is currently below 15% availability in any of the aforementioned metrics, as hospitals continue to collaborate with others in their areas to help redirect patients and share capacity.
  • Healthcare Workforce: Governor Pritzker expressed his sincere gratitude for the now 3,600 retired and out-of-state healthcare professionals who have applied to join the Illinois fight against COVID-19.
  • Recovery Rate: IDPH Director Dr. Ezike relayed that her agency has begun surveying and tracking the recovery rate for those who have contracted COVID-19. While still in the early data collection stages, initial results show that of those surveyed, 44% have indicated recovery within 7 days and 69% reported no COVID-19 symptoms after 28 days. But Dr. Ezike cautioned that these are voluntary survey results and not clinical data.
  • Cooperation Between States: Governor Pritzker reported that many East Coast and Midwestern Governors had begun collaborative discussions on how best to develop preconditions that would allow certain businesses and industries to reopen in their states. Talks are still very early, but currently they are focusing on standards for testing, tracing, and treating the virus and the availability of PPE for the general public.
  • State Fairs: When asked if the Illinois State Fairs should proceed as scheduled, the Governor relayed that decisions will have to be made relatively soon but he will continue listening to the experts to ensure that we do the right thing to minimize COVID-19 and to prevent any potential infection spikes down the road.
  • Daily Statewide COVID-19 cases: 1,222 new cases reported and 74 additional deaths.

Remember, you can always find IDHS-related information in response to COVID-19 on the IDHS Coronavirus Website. You can find more information about COVID-19 at the State of Illinois Coronavirus Website and through the COVID-19 Hotline, at 1-800-889-3931.

Thank you,


Grace B. Hou

Secretary, IDHS