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CMS Memo


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To:     All State of Illinois Employees and Members of the Public

From: Illinois Department of Central Management Services  

Date:  March 4, 2020

RE:    2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)


The immediate health risk to Illinoisans remains low. While the latest available information suggests that person-to-person spread will continue to occur and additional cases are likely to be identified in the United States, most cases of COVID-19 cause a mild illness. Additionally, to date, data shows that children are less likely to become ill.  

State Response

The Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois Emergency Management Agency, as well as other state agencies, are experienced at responding to infectious disease outbreaks and continue to work in partnership with the federal government and local organizations to put systems in place to respond to this new virus. Current efforts include:

  • Airport screening and monitoring health of travelers returning from affected areas.

  • Investigating confirmed cases of COVID-19 and monitoring close contacts who may have been exposed.

  • Planning community measures that can help limit the spread of disease, such as having individuals who are ill stay home.

  • Providing regular guidance to hospitals and healthcare professionals, including information on infection control, personal protective equipment (PPE) supply planning, and clinical evaluation.

  • Enabling three State laboratories to test for COVID-19 - one in Chicago, one in Central Illinois, and the other in Southern Illinois.

  • Developing and distributing guidance for childcare facilities, schools, universities, businesses, community and faith-based organizations, among many others.  


Common human coronaviruses usually causes mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold.  Symptoms may include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. 


The virus most commonly spreads from an infected person to others through the air by coughing or sneezing, or by touching an object or person with the virus (ie, touching a door knob or shaking hands), then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands


The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Stay home when you are sick.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a flexed elbow or tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Questions regarding COVID-19 can be directed to the IDPH hotline, 1-800-889-3931. For additional information and Situation Summary updates regarding COVID-19, please refer to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and IL Department of Public Heath (IDPH) website links below:

Source: State of Illinois, Central Managment Services, March 4, 2020.