COVID-19 Update and Resources

March 22, 2020


ILOTA recognizes the impact of Covid-19 (coronavirus) on individuals, families, the nation, and our world as we all adapt to these uncertain times. OT Practitioners across the state of Illinois have all been challenged to remain healthy and ensure safe practices to prevent further community spread. As many of you have worked in various sectors or continue to be on the front lines, the influx of executive orders at the local, state, and national level can cause confusion as to what steps to take next. Of the utmost importance is to ensure your safety and that of your family, while following orders to reduce and prevent community spread.


As we embark on a new week, there have been numerous questions and discussions around helping practitioners determine whether they can continue to practice, in what capacity, and whether their establishments can and will remain open. Various executive orders that impact professional practice, including related guidance and resources, have been disseminated at the federal, state, and local level. ILOTA would like to provide you with a means to access those in efforts to help you stay safe, as well as continue providing services, if applicable.


Below are brief statements and resources that have been compiled to help you find personal and professional guidance to stay safe and remain abreast of developments during this time. The information contained here is not to be taken as legal advice and ILOTA recommends that you make decisions that are best for you and in accordance with your respective establishments.


Also, keep in mind that things continue to change by the moment and we aim to provide you with information as we receive it. It is recommended that you revisit the respective resources frequently for any updates.


Throughout this time, please continue to visit trusted websites and social media sites for further information. We recommend that everyone continue to listen to the guidance provided by your local, state, and national leaders to remain healthy and safe. Establish a support network and please reach out and connect with organizations that might be able to provide you with additional support and resources. Find a way to engage in those routines and occupations to get you and your family through this, practice social distancing, and above all else, try to stay safe and healthy while addressing your social-emotional well-being.




James Hill, OTR/L

President, Illinois Occupational Therapy Association





All resources below are current as of March 22, 2020

Center for Disease Control (CDC) Recommendations

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS):


U.S. Department of Education:


Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (IHFS) Executive Orders

Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH)

  • IDPH has a number of resources regarding Covid-19.

The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)

World Federation of Occupational Therapy (WFOT)

  • WFOT provides variety of resources including position statements, learning modules related to disaster preparedness, and an on-line forum.




There are continuous changes being made and it is recommended you visit these resources frequently for the most updated information.

  • AOTA has resources regarding telehealth on their website. Visit below for the most recent information:

  • The Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHPCA) has created a chart of state actions taken to remove policy barriers to telehealth utilization

  • Medicare provides a guide to offering telemedicine services for healthcare providers
    • US Department of Health and Human Services indicates that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)will exercise enforcement discretion and waive penalties for violations against health care providers that serve patients in good faith through everyday communications technologies, such as FaceTime or Skype, during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency. Where possible, you should consider those platforms that are HIPAA compliant.

  • Contact the health plan(s) directly to inquire about their telemedicine requirements, as well as reimbursement procedures and rates


  • Medicaid does not reimburse for the acquisition, installation, and maintenance of telecommunication devices or systems

Telemedicine Guidance for Therapy Services and Early Intervention Services

  • A petition for approval to provide Illinois Early Intervention Services via Telehealth


• General information related to Medicare during this time can be accessed here:




• General information related to Illinois Medicaid can be found here:

Department of Education

• The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) released guidance on how to continue providing services to children with disabilities. Waivers for all student assessment requirements for the 2019-2020 school year can be applied for by states. Specific guidance for providing services for students with disabilities was communicated through a webinar and Fact Sheet.

Below is information on various resource, including webinars and fact sheets

from the USDOE:

Fact Sheet



Educators and Students

• University faculty and students have all made adjustments to address continued learning and fieldwork during this time. Refer to your respective universities for guidance. AOTA has prepared a list of

Frequently Asked Questions and you can access that below:

Student Loans

• There have been measures implemented for student loan relief. All borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically have their interest rates set to 0% for a period of at least 60 days. In addition, each of these borrowers will have the option to suspend their payments for at least two months to allow them greater flexibility during the national emergency.

Additionally, any borrower who has experienced a change in income can contact their loan servicer to discuss lowering their monthly payment. You can find resources for borrowers and students below:


Unemployment and Small Business Resources

• The federal and local governments have discussed the impact Covid-19 has had on unemployment, with a significant projected rate of increase. Stimulus packages and financial assistance have been proposed, and individuals can find more information and applications at the links provided below:

• AOTA has compiled information on unemployment, as some OT practitioners might be independent contractors or find themselves with a change in employment status. You can access their resources here:

• The Small Business Administration is taking efforts to assist with financial hardships by offering loans. This is a decision that each individual must consider regarding their business and information is below:


• The deadline for filing federal income taxes has been extended from April 15, 2020 until July 15, 2020.


If you have any additional questions, concerns, or resources you would like to share, please get in touch with ILOTA by email or visiting our website, and follow us on social media!


Email: [email protected]

Illinois Occupational Therapy Association