Chicago Police DepartmentSpecial Order S04-09
Department Response to Communicable Viruses
Issue Date:04 February 2020Effective Date:04 February 2020
Rescinds:D14-09, 06 November 2014 version
Index Category:Preliminary Investigations
This directive informs Department members about the:
  • A.2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV),
  • B.Ebola virus, and
  • C.procedures members should consider when encountering potential communicable virus cases.
II.2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Background
  • A.As of the publication of this directive, there are two known case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the Chicago area. Nonetheless, members should be prepared to respond appropriately to potential 2019 Novel Coronavirus cases. According to the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH):
    • 1.on January 24, 2020, the Chicago Department of Public Health reported the first case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCov) in Chicago.
    • 2.the CDPH is working closely with the CDC and other federal, state, and local agencies to monitor the outbreak in Wuhan, China.
    • 3.the CDPH and other health departments have implemented heightened surveillance to identify and test patients most likely to have 2019-nCoV.
    • 4.public health experts are communicating with and educating healthcare providers and other public health partners about the current situation. Measures are being developed to prevent the spread of illness in Chicago.
    At this time, the health risk to the general public from novel coronavirus remains low, both in the U.S. and in Chicago. Chicago residents, students, workers, and visitors do NOT need to change their behavior in any way. Department members may refer to the CDPH website delineated in Item II-D-1 of this directive for updated information.
  • B.According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but not verbatim:
    • 1.Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS and SARS.
    • 2.early on, many of the patients in the outbreak of respiratory illness caused by 2019-nCov in Wuhan, China, had some link to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread.
    • this time, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people. Chinese officials report that sustained person-to-person spread in the community is occurring in China. Person-to-person spread in the United States has not yet been detected, but it’s likely to see additional cases over the course of time. Cases in healthcare settings, such as hospitals, may also occur.
      How easily a virus spreads person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so. It’s important to know this to better understand the risk associated with this virus. While CDC considers this is a very serious public health threat, based on current information, the immediate health risk from 2019-nCoV to the general American public is considered low at this time. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with 2019-nCoV and investigations are ongoing.
  • C.According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH):
    • 1.common human coronaviruses usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, such as the common cold. These illnesses usually only last for a short amount of time. Symptoms may include:
      • a.runny nose,
      • b.headache,
      • c.cough,
      • d.sore throat,
      • e.fever, and
      • f.a general feeling of being unwell.
      Human coronaviruses can sometimes cause lower-respiratory-tract illnesses, such as pneumonia or bronchitis.
    • 2.human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:
      • a.the air by coughing and sneezing,
      • b.close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands,
      • c.touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands, and
      • d.rarely, fecal contamination.
    • 3.the following can help prevent the spread of coronaviruses and protect your from becoming infected:
      • a.wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
      • b.avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands; and
      • c.avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • 4.there are no specific treatments. To help relieve symptoms:
      • a.take pain and fever medications,
      • b.drink plenty of liquids, and
      • c.stay home and rest.
  • D.For more information, members may contact:
III.Ebola Virus Background
  • A.As of the publication of this directive, 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--were 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 (CDC):
    • 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 (such as 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 bodily 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.
    A person is only considered potentially infected with the Ebola virus if he or she exhibits 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 bodily 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:
    • 1.the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH). For 24-hour assistance or to report a health issue, call 311 and ask for an on-call communicable disease physician.
    • 2.the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). 312-814-2793 and 312-814-5278.
      During non-business hours, weekends, and holidays, contact the Illinois Department of Emergency Management (IEMA) at 312-782-7860 to report a public health emergency.
    • 3.the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636). .
  • A.The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) is the primary agency to provide resources to support prevention, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation in support of the primary emergency objectives for incidents involving communicable viruses.
  • B.When circumstances dictate, the Chicago Fire Department (CFD) will be the lead transportation agency for incidents involving individuals potentially infected with a communicable virus.
  • C.The Chicago Police Department is 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., Chicago Department of Public Health) and assisting with the enforcement of authorized quarantine and isolation measures as determined necessary by CDPH and in accordance with the Municipal Code of Chicago.
    • 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, Federal Bureau of Investigation.
  • D.Pursuant to 20 ILCS 2305/2 "Department of Public Health Act," the Illinois Department of Public Health 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.
V.Initial Response Procedures
  • A.Department members should be alert for individuals exhibiting signs and symptoms of an emerging infectious disease outlined in this directive.
  • B.At no time will Department members unreasonably place themselves at risk for potential exposure to an emerging infectious disease .
  • C.During radio communications involving a potential emerging infectious-disease -related incident, Department members will refer to these types of incidents as "respiratory incidents."
  • D.OEMC has developed a protocol to identify incidents involving individuals potentially infected with an emerging infectious disease . If a call for service has been identified by OEMC to be an emerging infectious disease -related incident, OEMC will dispatch the CFD and other appropriate city agencies and support units to the incident.
    OEMC will also provide notifications for news-worthy incidents involving individuals potentially infected with an emerging infectious disease through their established notification procedures.
  • E.If a Department member responds to a call where there is a known risk of an emerging infectious disease , 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.
  • F.If a Department member comes into contact with or is made aware of an individual potentially infected with an emerging infectious disease or exhibiting physical symptoms and signs of risk factor, the member will:
    • 1.follow the procedures and guidelines of the Department directive titled "Exposure Control Plan."
      • 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.
  • G.When notified of the request for CFD, the appropriate field supervisor from the district of occurrence will respond to the scene.
  • H.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 ranking on-site CFD supervisor to determine the appropriate level of Department support.
  • I.When notified of an emerging-infectious disease -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.
  • J.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.
VI.Post-Exposure Procedures
All Department members coming into contact with an individual potentially infected with an emerging infectious disease or those individuals exhibiting signs and symptoms of an emerging infectious disease will follow the:
  • A.decontamination procedures outlined in the Department directive titled "Exposure Control Plan," 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 and 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 Department directive titled "Exposure Control Plan," 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 Section.
VII.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 and the Chicago Fire Department 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 is to assist the primary City agencies and other state and federal authorities as appropriate.
Charlie Beck
Interim Superintendent of Police
20-014 RCL/RCE
1. -
infectious diseases whose incidence in humans has increased in the past two decades or threatens to increase in the near future (e.g., Ebola Virus, 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).