IDPH AND ISBE UPDATES
Thursday the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) published a revised document entitled “COVID-19 EXCLUSION GUIDANCE Decision Tree For Symptomatic Individuals in Pre-K, K-12 Schools and Day Care Programs” as part of its ongoing effort to provide useful information to public schools as they deal with pandemic-related disruptions. This document, which provides a quick way for an administrator to address various COVID-19 related circumstances, can be found here:
This new guidance reflects the IDPH’s recently updated advice regarding how household members of a person suspected of having COVID-19 are to be considered “close contacts” subject to quarantine. It also includes slightly modified advice as to how to address other situations involving other persons considered to be close contacts of a possible, suspected or confirmed victim of COVID-19.
UPDATED IDPH GUIDANCE
On August 13, 2020 the Illinois Department of Public Health (“IDPH”) issued “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Schools” (hereinafter “FAQ”). You probably have seen it. If not, we are encouraging all Districts to carefully review this new guidance and to consider whether the new advice necessitates any changes to anticipated school reopening plans.
The new FAQ resolves a number of questions that some schools had posed to the IDPH regarding previous guidance. For instance, the new guidance unambiguously states that masks may only be removed under very narrow circumstances and that only one symptom is required in order for a district to be required to immediately isolate and evaluate a student.
In addition, other requirements have been changed and added. For instance, certain time periods during which persons are required to be symptom-free in order to return to school have been changed from 72 hours to 24 hours. In addition, the FAQ states that if a student is diagnosed with COVID-19 that student’s siblings and other household members living within the same household must also be quarantined. In addition, the IDPH is encouraging districts to ask parents that they notify the school as quickly as possible regarding any confirmed or probable case of COVID-19.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. If you have any questions regarding the FAQ, please let us know as we would be happy to address them with you.
Zukowski Law Offices Functioning During “Shelter in Place” Order
Governor Pritzker‘s recent order exempted “essential services”. The work of lawyers was so designated. Thus, our office will remain available to address client needs. While some of our employees are working offsite, others will be available in our office to provide core services. We are following CDC guidance for health and safety. If you have any questions, please contact us.
The uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus has people making unusual preparations
Here is what we suggest organizing to make sure that you have needed information together in case you or a loved one contract the virus – or have any other health or emergency to contend with.
Medical Information: Medical information is critical to have easy access to. Make sure that you have organized your medical history, medicines and other key medical information for your loved ones.
Legal Documents: You should have a will or trust in place. You and your loved ones should also have in place a property power of attorney, in case you need a loved one to make a decision for you, should you or your loved ones become unable to make decisions about healthcare or assets. A healthcare power of attorney is also important if you have adult children (at college or out of the house); otherwise, you won’t be given access to their medical information or be able to weigh in on your children’s treatments, once they are legally adults.
Personal Accounts and Information: Getting a list of bills and accounts together, and providing access to any online accounts to a trusted loved one, is important in case someone gets quarantined and may not have access to take care of day-to-day activities, bills and the like. Make sure that they also have access to keys and alarm codes for your home and office that they can access in case you end up in the hospital and you need a loved one to water plants, feed pets, access work files, etc.
Getting your information and wishes together can help ensure that if something happens, you aren’t left without key information and documents that you need.
We at Zukowski Law Offices are trying to keep employees and clients healthy and safe while managing day-to-day operations under these unusual circumstances. Our office remains open and our services remain readily available to all of our clients.
If you have been directly affected by the COVID-19 virus, we offer prayers and support. Like you, we are monitoring events as they unfold.
We have implemented a number of steps and precautions.
• Observing CDC and other governmental guidance for countering the spread of the illness.
• Disinfecting surfaces and rooms.
• Allowing certain employees to work from home with secure equipment and established protocol.
• Communicating regularly with staff and independent contractors.
Our lawyers are actively engaged with clients on numerous topics. We have implemented plans to better enable our clients to rely on the availability of lawyers to manage their matter. We are committed to minimizing any service disruptions for our clients.
Please feel free to contact us if you have questions.