Chicago Police DepartmentDepartment Notice D14-09
Department Response to the Ebola Virus
Issue Date:06 November 2014Effective Date:06 November 2014
Index Category:Department Notice
This Department Notice informs Department members about the Ebola virus, and the procedures members should consider when encountering potential Ebola virus cases.
  • A.As of the publication of this notice, there are no known cases of Ebola in Illinois. Nonetheless, members should be prepared to respond appropriately to potential Ebola virus cases. According to the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH):
    • 1.although hundreds of people were exposed to Ebola by the first confirmed patient discovered in New York, and the Dallas nurse who flew on a commercial plane while symptomatic, not a single person they exposed--not even family members or intimate partners--has become infected.
    • 2.Ebola is not an easy virus to transmit. So far, the number of non-healthcare workers who have contracted the disease in the U.S. remains zero.
    • professionals who provide care to very sick patients (which is when transmissibility is high) are at the greatest risk--especially when performing high-risk procedures.
    • 4.all four of the people in the U.S. to ever contract the virus were providing care to a very sick person at the very height of their symptoms, again, when transmissibility is highest.
    • 5.brief interactions, such as walking by a person with Ebola or moving through a hospital do not constitute a known risk.
  • B.According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
    • 1.The time from exposure to the disease and the appearance of symptoms is from 2 to 21 days, with the average time between 8 to 10 days. Ebola is spread from direct contact (through broken skin or through your eyes, nose or mouth) with:
      • a.blood or body fluids (like urine, feces, saliva, vomit, sweat, and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola.
      • b.objects (like needles that have been contaminated with the blood or body fluids of a person sick with Ebola).
  • C.According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), there are two factors to consider when evaluating a person for potential Ebola:
    • 1.Physical symptoms, including:
      • a.fever (higher than 101.5),
      • b.severe headache,
      • c.muscle pain,
      • d.vomiting,
      • e.diarrhea,
      • f.stomach pain, and
      • g.unexplained bleeding or bruising.
    • 2.Signs of risk factors, a person is considered at risk if within the past 21 days they have:
      • a.contacted blood or other body fluids of a patient known to have or suspected to have Ebola; or
      • b.resided in—or traveled to—an area where Ebola transmission is active, for example, Sierra Leone, Guinea, or Liberia.
    A person is only considered potentially infected with the Ebola virus if they exhibit both physical symptoms AND signs of risk factors.
  • D.According to the IDPH, only individuals experiencing symptoms can transmit the virus, however, the virus can live outside the body on hard surfaces such as doorknobs and countertops for several hours, and in body fluids (such as blood) for up to several days at room temperature.
    Ebola cannot be spread to other people before symptoms begin.
  • E.For more information, members may contact:
  • A.When circumstances dictate, the Chicago Fire Department (CFD) will be the lead agency for incidents involving individuals potentially infected with the Ebola virus.
  • B.The Chicago Police Department will be responsible for:
    • 1.providing support to the Chicago Fire Department and other City agencies as required.
    • 2.cooperating with governmental agencies that have an official interest in the incident (e.g., Department of Public Health).
    • 3.providing support services to governmental agencies that are determined to have primary responsibility in cases of concurrent jurisdiction (e.g., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)).
  • C.Pursuant to 20 ILCS 2305/2 "Department of Public Health Act," the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has supreme authority in matters of quarantine and isolation.
    If the IDPH has declared a quarantine, then violation of that order from the IDPH is a class A misdemeanor.
IV.Initial Response Procedures
  • A.Department members should be alert for individuals exhibiting signs and symptoms of Ebola.
  • B.At no time will Department members unreasonably place themselves at risk for potential Ebola virus exposure.
  • C.OEMC has developed a protocol to identify incidents involving individuals potentially infected with the Ebola virus. If a call for service has been identified by OEMC to be an Ebola-related incident, OEMC will dispatch the CFD and other appropriate city agencies and support units to the incident.
  • D.If a Department member responds to a call where there is a known risk of Ebola, the member will wait outside the relevant location until CFD personnel have determined if there is a bonafide potentially infected individual and will only enter if CFD determines it is safe to do so.
  • E.If a Department member comes into contact with or is made aware of an individual potentially infected with the Ebola virus or exhibiting physical symptoms and signs of risk factor, the member will:
    • 1.follow the procedures and guidelines of the Department directive entitled "Exposure Determination/Universal Precautions."
      • a.In every situation where biohazard waste or other potentially infectious materials or persons are present, members will use universal precautions which include the use of the personal protective equipment (PPE).
        A supply of PPE kits will be maintained in all districts/units responsible for field operations. Field supervisors will ensure that a supply of PPE kits are readily available in their vehicles to equip members in the field as needed.
    • 2.notify CFD and request emergency medical services for the potentially infected individual(s).
      • a.If feasible, Department members will minimize their own contact with the individual, including stepping out of the location and conducting initial interviews from outside the location, and will isolate and contain the individual until the arrival of CFD.
      • b.Unprotected Department personnel should refrain from direct contact with affected persons and objects, and if possible remain at least 3 feet away.
      • c.Department members will not transport the individual in a Department vehicle.
    • 3.notify their immediate supervisor and the district station supervisor of the district of occurrence.
  • F.When notified of the request for CFD, the appropriate field supervisor from the district of occurrence will respond to the scene.
  • G.If it is determined by the responding CFD personnel that the incident is potentially an outbreak of public health significance requiring additional precautionary measures, the responding CPD supervisor will:
    • 1.notify:
      • a.OEMC,
      • b.SWAT via Citywide 1, and
      • c.Crime Prevention Information Center (CPIC).
        CPIC will notify relevant health authorities (including the Illinois Emergency Management Agency pursuant to 20 ILCS 2305/2.1) according to their own internal policies.
    • 2.confer with the CFD incident commander to determine the appropriate level of Department support.
  • H.When notified of an Ebola-related incident, the commanding officer of SWAT will ensure:
    • 1.the appropriate SWAT personnel and resources are deployed, if necessary, including the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
    • 2.that only properly protected SWAT personnel engage the individual or secure a potentially infected location.
  • I.If a police presence is required within an area of potential infection or to make contact with the infected individual, this function will be performed by SWAT personnel trained and equipped to work in the environment.
V.Post-Exposure Procedures
All Department members coming into contact with an individual potentially infected with the Ebola virus or those individuals exhibiting signs and symptoms of Ebola will follow the:
  • A.decontamination procedures outlined in the Department directive entitled "Exposure Determination/Universal Precautions," including:
    • 1.washing the affected area (e.g., hands, face, clothing, etc.) with soap and water immediately, or as soon as possible, following exposure.
    • 2.decontamination of all personal uniform and equipment items potentially exposed.
    • 3.proper removal and disposal of the used PPE items in such a manner as to prevent further contamination.
      Used PPE items will be placed in a biohazard waste bag, tightly closed and tied before leaving the scene. Biohazard waste bags will be disposed of in the appropriate container. If such a container is available onscene or through the Chicago Fired Department (CFD), such container will be used, if not the container located in each district/area facility will be used.
  • B.procedures outlined in the General Order and Special Order entitled "Post-Exposure Procedures," including:
    • 1.the completion of a Hospital Run Sheet (CPD-62.420).
    • 2.the completion of a Report of Exposure to Communicable Disease/Hazardous Material report (CPD-62.418).
    • 3.following the medical recommendations provided by the Medical Services Section.
VI.Public Exposures to the Ebola Virus
  • A.The City of Chicago Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) contains situation specific responses (Annexes) outlining the City's coordinated response and city-wide Department-level responsibilities.
  • B.Pursuant to the City of Chicago EOP, Public Health and Medical Services (PHMS) Annex, the City of Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Chicago Fire Department (CFD) are the primary agencies for public health and medical emergency incidents within the City of Chicago.
  • C.The Department's role in a public exposure situation will be to assist the primary city agencies, and other state and federal authorities as appropriate.
Garry F. McCarthy
Superintendent of Police
14-163 MWK