Resources below aim to provide guidance for the prevention and control of infectious diseases in special populations throughout the City of Chicago. The Special Populations unit covers several facility types including:
  • Homeless Shelters and other Temporary Housing
  • Correctional Facilities
  • Behavioral Health Facilities
  • Intellectually/Developmentally Disabled Living Facilities
  • Youth Facilities
  • Skilled Mental Health Rehabilitation Facilities

Communication Resources

Disease Data & Reporting

How To Report Infectious Disease Cases to CDPH:

CDPH Special Populations Case Report Form

Report resident and staff cases within 24 hours.

If your facility does not have room for the isolation of a resident with an infectious illness, please submit a request for isolation using the CDPH Quarantine & Isolation Request Form. Please note that there are specific eligibility criteria that must be met for approval. Approval also does not mean you are guaranteed an isolation bed as capacity is limited.

COVID-19 Testing

Category Testing Guidance
Single Exposure Testing Residents and Staff (asymptomatic) Not Required
Single Exposure Testing Residents and Non-Healthcare Staff (symptomatic) Immediately
Single Exposure Testing Residents and Non-Healthcare Staff (close contact to confirmed case) Day 5 post-exposure 
(Day 0 is day of exposure)
Single Exposure Testing Healthcare Personnel (close contact to confirmed case) Day 1, day 3, and day 5 post-exposure 
(Day 0 is day of exposure)
Outbreak Testing (2+ cases in a 14 day period) All Residents and Staff on Identified Affected Facility or Unit(s) Once every 5-7 days until 14 days of no new cases
*Testing is not required following an exposure if a resident or staff member has had COVID-19 in the prior 30 days, unless they develop new signs or symptoms of COVID-19

Visitation & Resident Activities

  • Facilities should ensure a process is in place to inform residents and visitors of recommended actions to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 by posting visual alerts (e.g., signs, posters) at entrances and other strategic places.
  • Facilities should provide instructions on hand hygiene, limiting surfaces touched, and use of PPE according to facility policy.
  • When COVID-19 Hospital Admissions Levels are HIGH, it is best practice for facilities to take extra precaution during communal dining and group activities. For instance, these measures include limiting the size of groups and staggering meals to reduce crowding in communal spaces.

Personal Protective Equipment

Source control (e.g. masking) is recommended in the following circumstances:
  • For residents who have suspected or confirmed COVID-19 when out of their rooms (COVID+ residents should only be out of room for medically necessary reasons)
  • For staff returning to work on day 8 with a negative rapid test (must wear for 10 days from positive test)
  • For individuals with respiratory infections (e.g. runny nose, cough, sneeze) until symptoms resolve
  • For individuals who had close contact or a higher-risk exposure to someone with COVID (for 10 days after last exposure)
  • For individuals who reside or work in a unit/area of the facility experiencing a COVID outbreak (for 14 days after the most recent case)
  • For individuals who have otherwise had source control recommended by public health authorities
When COVID-19 Hospital Admissions Levels are HIGH, source control is recommended for:
  • Staff and visitors in facilities when they are in common areas of the facility where they could encounter residents.
  • Newly admitted residents for 10 days following their admission (day 0 is the date of admission)
  • Staff who enter the room of a patient with suspected or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection should adhere to transmission-based precautions and use a NIOSH-approved respirator with N95 filters or higher, gown, gloves, and eye protection.
Special Populations
  • Asymptomatic COVID negative residents or staff may choose to wear well-fitted masks or respirators, based on their personal preference.
  • Residents who have been exposed to someone with COVID, should wear a well-fitted mask for 10 days after their exposure, when around others.
  • Residents who have COVID or are suspected of having COVID, should wear a well-fitted mask or respirator for 10 days, when around others.
  • Staff who will have close contact with residents who are in isolation precautions, including during transport, should wear a NIOSH-approved respirator, eye protection, gown, and gloves. 

COVID-19 Vaccinations

Educate staff, residents, and family members about the benefits of receiving COVID-19 vaccinations

Work with your pharmacy partner to coordinate COVID-19 vaccine clinics for residents and staff

Allow staff who experience vaccine-related side effects to take sick time if needed

Have a clear plan in place to evaluate and document religious or medical exemptions

Ensure staff documentation of vaccination status and required testing are in accordance with CMS and executive orders

Up-to-date requirements can change, check the CDC Immunization Schedule for the latest dosage requirements

CDPH Booster Staff Recognition Posters
  • Posters feature real healthcare staff from Chicago LTC facilities and can be posted in high-traffic areas to promote booster clinics in your facility. Each poster has a dedicated box at the bottom where you can add the dates to upcoming clinics or additional information specific to your facility.
About COVID-19 Vaccines (CDC)
  • Information on each type of available COVID-19 vaccine and when are you considered up to date.
COVID-19 Vaccination Clinical & Professional Resources (CDC)
  • Resources for healthcare providers related to the COVID-19 vaccines, including links to interim clinical recommendations.
COVID-19 Vaccine (City of Chicago)
  • Resources for the general public related to the COVID-19 vaccines, including how to find a vaccine provider.
Understanding and Explaining mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines (CDC)
  • Learn more about mRNA vaccines.
Talking with Patients about COVID-19 Vaccination (CDC)
  • An introduction to motivational interviewing for healthcare professionals.
IDPH Stay Up to Date Signage


  • Treatment has been shown to reduce the risk of severe COVID-19 disease and hospitalization, especially in the elderly.
  • As soon as a resident is diagnosed with COVID-19, contact the resident’s medical provider to assess whether treatment is warranted.
  • COVID-19 Therapeutics and Prophylaxis (CDPH)
    • Overview of COVID-19 therapeutics and prophylaxis for non-hospitalized patients.
  • COVID-19 Outpatient Treatment (IDPH)
  • Over of monoclonal antibody and oral antiviral medications for COVID-19 made available under emergency use authorization for non-hospitalized patients.
  • TREAT COVID-19 Flyer / TREAT COVID-19 Flyer (Spanish version)
    • CDPH in partnership with the Chicago Internal Medicine Practice and Research are offering the rapid response evaluation and treatment of COVID-19 program, an added resource to help respond quickly to large outbreaks.


Hand Hygiene

Hand washing is an important part of infection prevention. Please use the posters below to help educate your residents and staff when necessary.

Hand Washing Poster (CDC)

Germs Are Everywhere Poster (CDC)

Special Populations Reporting and Isolation

How To Report Infectious Disease Cases to CDPH:

CDPH Special Populations Case Report Form

Report resident and staff cases within 24 hours.

Asset Publisher

Special Populations Contact

For questions, guidance, and support for Special Populations Facilities: