7/27/20 - A Message from Secretary Hou: CDC Guidelines

Monday, July 27, 2020

Dear colleagues,

As we return to the workplace and continue the fight against COVID-19, please follow the guidelines published by the CDC and IDPH:

Avoid close contact

  • Inside your home: Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

    • If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members.
  • Outside your home: Put 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who don't live in your household.

Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others

  • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
  • The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
  • Everyone should wear a cloth face cover in public settings and when around people who don't live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
    • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker. Currently, surgical masks and N95 respirators are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders.
  • Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Clean and Disinfect

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
  • Then, use a household disinfectant. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work.

Monitor Your Health Daily

  • Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.

  • Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
    • Don't take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.
  • Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.

Do Not Work if You Are Sick

  • You should not report to work if you are experiencing symptoms of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), including fever (100.4° or above), cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, chest tightness, extreme fatigue, loss of sense of taste or smell, diarrhea, muscle aches, or headaches. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, stay home and call your doctor.

Wash your hands

  • Key Times to Wash Hands: You can help yourself and your loved ones stay healthy by washing your hands often, especially during these key times when you are likely to get and spread germs:

    • Before, during, and after preparing food
    • Before eating food
    • Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
    • Before and after treating a cut or wound
    • After using the toilet
    • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
    • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
    • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
    • After handling pet food or pet treats
    • After touching garbage
  • Follow these five steps every time.
    • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
    • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
    • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the "Happy Birthday" song from beginning to end twice.
    • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
    • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

For more information on how to prevent the spread in healthcare facilities, resources for people with disabilities, health and equity considerations, and guidelines for community, school, housing, and workplace events, please click any of the included links to the CDC website.

Sincerely,

Grace

Grace B. Hou

Secretary, IDHS