7/14/20 - A Message from Secretary Hou: Reinvent IDHS, Restore Illinois Update

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Dear colleagues,

I am writing to share some important information. The most up-to-date testing data from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reveals that both the numbers and rates of people testing positive for COVID-19 are increasing. While phase four opens up our participation in more public activities, this does not mean we should relax our personal or professional safety measures. This means that we - as health and human services responders - need to increase our compliance with social distancing in and outside the workplace.

That's where masks and hand-washing comes in. Recent studies show that the use of masks and face coverings has been the most effective way to reduce person-to-person spread of COVID-19.

As we seek to safely and effectively meet the needs of Illinois' most vulnerable residents, we thank you and urge everyone to continue to comply with the guidelines set forth by IDPH. IDHS team members have demonstrated a commitment to appropriate use of PPE in the work place. We need to remember that face coverings are also required outside the work place, shopping at essential businesses, taking public transportation, picking up food, visiting the doctor, and for any other situation, inside or out, where it is impossible to socially distance and stay six feet apart.

The need to wear face coverings is essential. Neither you, your neighbor, nor your co-worker needs to be symptomatic in order to spread the virus. Guidance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 40% of people infected with COVID-19 are asymptomatic and the chance of transmission from people with no symptoms is 75%.

Across IDHS, we are working to lead by example and help protect our staff and our patients. We are looking for your partnership to help make this possible by protecting yourself inside and outside of the workplace by complying with IDPH and CDC guidelines. As always, we will continue to keep you informed with the most up-to-date information in this ever-evolving situation and you can email questions to DHS.Reinvent-Restore@Illinois.gov. Thank you for your continued dedication and contributions to IDHS and those we serve. Please take good care of yourself and others.

Thank you,


Grace B. Hou

Secretary, IDHS