March 13, 2020
Hello Food Establishment Owners/Operators,
Due to continuous media coverage of the Coronavirus illness (Covid-19) and the recent declaration of a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Edgar County Public Health Department (ECPHD) would like you to know that we are working diligently with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) with the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to remain atop of the most current information and recommendations to protect our community.
There have been no positive cases of Covid-19 within Edgar County or surrounding areas and we are receiving continuous updates from IDPH to keep us informed of any new cases nearby. We will promptly report to the public if that should occur. At this time our focus is on proactively developing plans to be prepared in the event that any positive cases present in our community so that we can prevent the spread of the virus to others.
We are here as a resource and support to your facility to help provide the latest updates and guidance from leading agencies. It is the responsibility of each individual facility to use the tools and guidance to make the best decisions for the populations served.
Please consider the following recommendations:
- Do not panic. Stay Calm. We are currently in the Phase 1 – Preparedness Stage.
- Currently there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.
- Currently The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water.
- Have a plan. Exclude all ill food workers from your establishment. Per CDC Guidelines, an ill food worker can return to work after they have been fever free for at least 24 hours. Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
- WASH.YOUR.HANDS. Handwashing is always a critical component of food safety, but even more so right now with the pandemic of Coronavirus.
- Wet hands with warm running water (at least 110 degrees F), apply soap, scrub for at least 20 seconds, rinse, dry with paper towels, turn off faucet. When in doubt, wash your hands!
- CLEAN AND SANITIZE. Now is the time to thoroughly clean and sanitize all surfaces. Follow your daily cleaning checklist and add in surfaces such as tables, chairs, touchscreens, doorknobs, handles, food and non-food contact surfaces.
- Take time to check resources that are factual and accurate such as the CDC and IDPH.
- If you wish to have more information visit:
- ECPHD Website at www.ecphd.org
- IDPH at http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases77368-a-z-list/coronavirus
- CDC website at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- For general questions about COVID-19 and Illinois’ response and guidance, call 1-800-889-3931 or email DPH.SICK@ILLINOIS.GOV.
Stay Safe and Healthy,
Marissa Beck, BS, LEHP
Director of Environmental Health
Recommended Guidance for Preventing Spread of COVID-19 in Large Businesses COVID19 Guidance for Establishments