8/14/20 - A Message from Secretary Hou: Reinvent IDHS, Restore Illinois Update

Friday, August  14, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

As you know, IDHS has been working to gradually and flexibly adapt to our changed COVID-19 environment in a way that prioritizes safety but also acknowledges the tremendous demand for our Department to efficiently serve a growing number of Illinoisans who need our help.

We acknowledge that this "new normal" will be with us for the foreseeable future, so we are putting in place reasonable and appropriate measures to ensure that we can perform our duties efficiently and safely.

At this time, we are welcoming back to the worksite only those staff who have been identified by their supervisor as needing to access the office on a limited or rotating basis to ensure completion of critical job functions that could not effectively be completed remotely. If this applies to you, you have been notified by your supervisor.

I want to assure you that safety for those returning to the office is my top concern. Our facilities staff has worked tirelessly over the past several months to ensure social distancing can be maintained at all sites, and that each location is equipped with signage and face coverings to protect staff. I am also proud of our multidisciplinary central planning team who has put in place a large variety of trainings, new directives, and guidance that will provide returning staff with the knowledge they need to safely operate in our new environment.

For all those returning to the office, if even on a limited basis, I encourage you to review the materials on our Reinvent IDHS, Restore Illinois OneNet Page, to understand the precautions we are taking to ensure your safety. I also encourage you to reach out to our Reinvent and Restore team at DHS.Reinvent-Restore@Illinois.gov with any questions, suggestions, or thoughts you may have.

As we continue the work of our Reinvent and Restore strategy, I want to thank you for your flexibility, patience, compassion, and dedication to our work. This has been a difficult time. I am incredibly proud of our team and of our ability to rise to this occasion on behalf of Illinoisans who need us.



Grace B. Hou

Secretary, IDHS