Alternate housing facility activated
At the request of the local government, the State of Illinois has activated a pre-staged alternate housing facility in Jefferson County to meet the identified needs of COVID-19.
State officials reported that Jefferson County authorities had indicated a recent spike in positive cases of COVID-19, including more than 17 cases linked to a long-term care facility, that will require additional resources to help slow the spread of the virus.
The purpose of an alternate housing facility is to provide a place where people can go to safely isolate or quarantine in order to not expose others in their home.
This facility will allow individuals to remain close to home, near family and his/her health care provider of record.
However, it is important to note, these facilities are not designed to provide medical care for individuals, state officials said.
“The State of Illinois has identified thousands of additional rooms in Northern, Central and Southern Illinois that can be activated once local jurisdictions exhaust the resources they have on hand to meet the needs of their community,” IEMA director Alicia Tate-Nadeau said in a news release.
“This concept is truly a collaborative effort between state and local governments to ensure we have all the tools and resources necessary to help our residents, and effectively slow the spread of this deadly virus.”
The local health department is the responsible party for referring individuals to an alternate housing facility.
The local health department will screen each individual prior to entry to determine health status and eligibility, monitor the individual throughout the stay, and will determine when an individual can safely return home.
Additional services are provided at the local level to limit the transmission of the virus. Cleaning services, a security detail, facility management and food services are among the items needed to ensure the facility runs safely for all those involved.
Many agencies are involved in the establishment of a state alternate housing facility.
An alternate housing facility is seen as an extension of a person’s home. Public health experts agree that staying at home and limiting exposures to others is the best way to slow the spread of this virus.