7/22/20 - A Message from Secretary Hou: Preventing the Spread of COVID-19

Dear colleagues:

As we continue to navigate through the Phase Four Restore Illinois plan, IDHS must remain vigilant in preventing the spread of COVID-19. At IDHS, we can do our part, by following the common-sense rules released by the Governor's Executive Order. Doing so will not only protect yourself, but also the lives of our family members, our neighbors, and those in our care.

Please take a moment to review the Governor's public health requirements (pasted below):

  • Practice social distancing. To the extent individuals are using shared spaces when outside their residence, including when outdoors, they must at all times and as much as reasonably possible maintain social distancing of at least six feet from any other person who does not live with them.
  • Wear a face covering in public places or when working. Any individual who is over age two and able to medically tolerate a face covering (a mask or cloth face covering) shall be required to cover their nose and mouth with a face covering when in a public place and unable to maintain a six-foot social distance. This requirement applies whether in an indoor space, such as a store, or in a public outdoor space where maintaining a six-foot social distance is not always possible.
  • Elderly people and those who are vulnerable as a result of illness should take additional precautions. People at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19, including elderly people and those with a health condition that may make them vulnerable, are urged to stay in their residence and minimize in-person contact with others to the extent possible.
  • Limit gatherings. Any gathering of more than ten people is prohibited unless exempted by this Executive Order. Nothing in this Executive Order prohibits the gathering of members of a household or residence. Because in-person contact presents the greatest risk of transmission of COVID-19, Illinoisans are encouraged to continue limiting in-person contact with others and to expand their social contact cautiously. Gathering remotely continues to be the safest way to interact with those outside a household or residence.
  • Go outdoors. Public health guidance suggests that the risks of transmission of COVID-19 are greatly reduced outdoors as opposed to indoors. Where possible, Illinoisans are encouraged to conduct their activities outdoors.

As people entrusted to serve the people of Illinois, it is our duty to lead by example in following these rules. Thank you for doing your part in stopping the spread of COVID-19, and thank you for your service and commitment.



Grace B. Hou

Secretary, IDHS