COVID-19 Resources & Updates

Publisher: Melissa Franada

With the on-going COVID-19 pandemic and recent Executive Orders issued by Governor JB Pritzker’s office, our organization is working to consolidate information and resources for our members. ICOY does not provide public health, safety, or legal advice, however.

First, our goal is to collect questions related to COVID-19 masking and vaccination mandates, in addition to related topics. Meanwhile, the ICOY team will reach out to appropriate state agency contacts for guidance. However, we strongly urge each organization to seek advice from their appropriate legal and HR departments to determine if or how Executive Orders within the State apply to each agency. These respective departments should also support organizations to develop appropriate policies and protocols.

Second, our goal is to collect and provide resources. These may be from state agencies, fellow non-profit organizations, and similar institutions. In addition, we will share relevant articles from news outlets.

Please direct any questions related to State Mandates to ICOY Policy Analyst Cameron Zelaya. Thank you for your continued partnership and collaboration. Also, we appreciate patience as we try our best to obtain answers to all of our providers’ questions.

ICOY COVID-19 Shared Drive

Access the ICOY COVID-19 Mask and Vaccination Guidance and Resources Google Drive.

Department of Health & Human Services

“The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is issuing this guidance on Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage and reimbursement of COVID-19 testing under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) (Pub. L. No. 117-2). Additionally, CMS is issuing this guidance to clarify that, only during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE), states may cover habilitation services provided to children under section 1915(c) and section 1915(i) of the Social Security Act (the Act) to facilitate the delivery of remote learning if the habilitation services are not available through the local educational agency, and the individuals are enrolled in a section 1915(c) waiver and/or 1915(i) program. CMS will apply the interpretations of statute in this guidance on a prospective basis beginning with the date of issuance of this letter….” Read the full guidance.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Announced the Availability of $25.5 Billion in COVID-19 Provider Funding

On Wednesday, September 29, the combined application for American Rescue Plan (ARP) rural funding and Provider Relief Fund Phase 4 opened. Recently, the Biden-Harris Administration announced that through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), HHS is making $25.5 billion in new funding available for health care providers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding includes $8.5 billion in ARP resources for providers who serve rural Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or Medicare patients. It also includes an additional $17 billion for Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 4 for a broad range of providers who can document revenue loss and expenses associated with the pandemic. 

For more information about eligibility requirements, the documents and information providers will need to complete their application, and the application process for PRF Phase 4 and ARP Rural payments, visit

Illinois Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS)

COVID-19 Vaccination Resources from the DCFS Guardianship Administrator for Youth in Care 

The Illinois DCFS has provided an updated (as of Friday, November 5, 2021) COVID-19 Vaccination FAQ for Youth in Care. Read the full document.

Vaccination resources on consents, vaccine ability, general information, parent/ caregiver challenges, documentation, and tracking and monitoring are available. Read the full document. To request a group vaccination on-site event, email to DCFS.CLINICALCOVID19@ILLINOIS.GOV with “Group Vaccine Request” in the subject line and include: Name of the organization  |  DCFS Region and location of the proposed event  |  Approximate number of individuals  |  Requestor’s contact information

This guidance applies to DCFS congregate facilities. Please see the flyer.

The Department of Children and Family Services has provided extended services to hundreds of youth aging out of care during the COVID 19 pandemic as provided by the federal Appropriations Act of 2021. The extension of services to Older Youth expired on Thursday, September 30, 2021. The following Action Transmittals are expired and rendered as obsolete * 

* Action Transmittal 2021.02, Expansion of DCFS Employment/Job Training/Apprenticeship Incentive Program to Support Eligible Youth Through the COVD-19 Pandemic. 

* Action Transmittal 2021.03, Expansion of the DCFS Education and Training Voucher Program to Support Eligible Youth Through the COVID-19 Pandemic; and 

* Action Transmittal 2021.04 Updated, Procedures 302.Appendix M – Transition and Planning for Adolescents. 

While the COVID 19 pandemic extended services ended on September 30, 2021, the department continues our commitment to provide supports to older youth as explained in this Information Transmittal. 

Primary users are youth in care, former youth in care, caregivers and all department and private agency staff. 

Questions regarding this Information Transmittal from youth may be directed to the assigned caseworker or call the Youth Hotline’s toll-free number at 866-459-6884. Providers and private agency staff may contact their APT monitor or the Youth Hotline’s toll-free number. 
2021.12 Expiration of Extended Services to Older Youth 

Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH): COVID-19 Vaccination Resources

Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Adopts CDC Recommendations for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for Children Ages 5 – 11

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is adopting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendation for children ages 5 through 11 years to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The announcement comes following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) expansion of the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children on October 29, 2021. Read the full press release.

Governor Pritzker Outlines Robust Preparations for Anticipated Approval of COVID-19 Vaccine for Children Ages 5 to 11

With nearly 6.2 million children nationwide testing positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, Governor JB Pritzker outlined the coordinated statewide efforts to prepare for the anticipated approval of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5-11. Joined by Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike and other pediatric healthcare professionals, the governor announced the administration is partnering with pediatricians, local health departments, schools, and other organizations ahead of  the expected emergency-use authorization from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). Read the full press release.

Governor Pritzker Issues Executive Order to Protect Young Children Not Eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine

To prevent further spread of COVID-19 and to protect the health and safety of Illinois’ youngest residents, Governor JB Pritzker joined Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Department of Human Services Secretary Grace Hou, and Department of Childhood and Family Services Director Marc Smith to announce new vaccination or weekly testing requirements for individuals who work in licensed day care centers.

Over 55,000 daycare center staff statewide will now be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine if they have not done so already. Employees in these settings who are unable or unwilling to receive the vaccine will be required to get tested for COVID-19 at least once per week. Increased testing frequency may be required in certain situations.
Read the full press release.

Furthermore, to assist in communicating with youth and families, the IDPH has shared resources on COVID-19 prevention and testing, vaccine access. In addition, these resources support organizations to plan and host successful vaccination events.

Important contacts:

  • Contact Beth Heller: schools looking for more information on testing or to sign up for SHIELD Illinois testing.
  • Contact Flore Cogswell: organizations interested in hosting a group vaccination event. Flore is an IDPH representatie and point of contact at the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) for Mass Vaccination efforts at the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC). 

For more information on vaccination eligibility, visit the State of Illinois Coronavirus Response page or the City of Chicago page.

Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS)

Recently, HFS provided a notice to inform providers of the Department’s position on use of Ivermectin for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19. This applies to the Department’s fee-for-service program as well as the HealthChoice Illinois managed care plans. Ivermectin (Stromectol®) is an antiparasitic drug used to treat parasitic diseases and certain other clinical guideline recommended conditions refractory to standard therapies. The Department’s medical programs are not approving prior authorization requests for Ivermectin for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19. Read the full notice.

HFS has posted a new Provider Notice regarding Updates: Procedure Code M0201 – Add-On for In-Home COVID-19 Vaccination; Administration of 3rd COVID-19 Vaccine.

Additionally, HFS is seeking COVID-19 vaccination support by asking Medicaid providers and Associations to help to get all eligible Medicaid recipients and Illinoisians vaccinated against COVID-19. Also, the link includes access to various tool kits and suggested actions.

Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS)

The Executive Order 2021-22 applies to all Certified Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs), Supervised, Crisis, and Supportive Residential Settings, and their staff. It applies to all Health Care Workers as defined in the Order, not just to those who see clients/patients.

With this in mind, please review Executive Order 2021-22 for additional details.  Furthermore, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has developed a Frequently Asked Questions document that provides more information on the requirements of the order. View the full statement from the Google Drive.

COVID-19 Related Articles

Child Welfare

Effects on Marginalized Communities

Employee Mandates

Mental Health & Suicide


Vaccines, Boosters, & other Medications

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