Illinois COVID-19 Update

March 30, 2020

At today’s press briefing, the Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) announced 461 new COVID-19 cases, for a total of 5,057 cases in 52 counties statewide. Eight new deaths were reported for a total of 73 deaths.  

Stateville Correctional Center is experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19 in its facility. Eighty-nine inmates are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, with 12 inmates being hospitalized and one inmate death. Eleven correctional staff members are under isolation.

At the briefing, the Governor announced that part of McCormick Place will also be temporarily converted into an alternate care facility for COVID-19 patients who do not require intensive care. The buildout will take place in phases, with up to 500 beds expected to be assembled by the end of this week. Through a multi-phased approach, teams will be working around the clock to complete the conversion of several spaces on the McCormick Place Campus. Between three different locations the facility will have capacity to care for up to 3,000 patients and will be made fully operational in a series of phases in order to accommodate increased demand for care as quickly as possible.

In addition, the Governor noted that his administration is working to re-open Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin and MetroSouth Health Center in Blue Island as part of the state’s plan to increase bed capacity.

Gov. Pritzker said thus far 5 million units of PPE items have been donated to the state from people, businesses and other organizations and shared with hospitals throughout the state.

All hospitals and health systems are urged to respond to and update their data and information in EMResource on a daily basis.  IDPH’s Office of Preparedness and Response also asks that hospitals regularly check their capacity numbers to make sure they are kept up to date and are never less than what they report for daily availability.   In some cases, IDPH indicates they have seen availability numbers that are higher than capacity numbers.  Thank you for your efforts in this area.

The City of Chicago is encouraging residents to sign up for Smart911 – a free, voluntary and secure service that allows individuals and families to provide critical medical information when they call 9-1-1. Residents can create a safety profile for themselves and family members that will include information on current health conditions as well as information if a resident is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or is under quarantine. This information will automatically be provided to first responders when calling 9-1-1 and will enable them to quickly and safely respond to emergencies. To learn more, check out this video.

The University of Chicago Medicine (UCM) has created several clinical pathways within their electronic health record (EHR) to support care of COVID19 patients. UCM has offered to share that content with other IHA members interested in leveraging these efforts. These and other COVID pathways can be deployed and customized within any Cerner or Epic patient record using the AgileMD clinical decision support platform or on the internet for other EHR users within a few days at no cost to the health system. For more information, contact Gena Bezdek at 331-642-8444.

The Partnership for a Connected Illinois will hold a complimentary virtual event on “Telehealth Opportunities and Challenges During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency” on Wed., April 1 from 12-2:45 p.m. CT. The program, co-sponsored by the Illinois Association of Healthcare Attorneys, will be directed towards lawyers, health and hospital systems, physicians, telehealth providers, payers, nonprofits, professional and trade associations, medical schools and investors. Click here to register.