COVID-19 FAQs

Do I need to be tested?

Consider the following:

1. Within the last 14 days, have you traveled to a country for which the CDC has issued a Level 2 or 3 travel designation? (Currently China, Iran, South Korea, and most of Europe.)
2. Have you had contact with any person who is showing symptoms for COVID- 19 within the last 14 days, OR with anyone with known COVID-19?; and
3. Do you have any symptoms of a lower respiratory infection (e.g., cough, fever, or shortness of breath)?

If “Yes”, contact your healthcare provider for medical assessment.

Why can’t I be tested if I want to?
IDPH and local health departments have implemented heightened surveillance to identify and test patients most likely to have COVID-19. Public health experts are communicating with and educating health care providers and other public health partners about the current situation. At present, there is a limited supply of testing nationwide; therefore, the testing focuses on those most likely to have COVID-19 including those that have traveled to areas that CDC has issued a Level 2 or 3 travel designation or those that have had contact knowingly with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.

Are schools closing?
Following extensive state-level analysis of coronavirus spread in various countries and the social distancing measures that were put in place, the State is taking the precautionary measure of closing all K-12 schools in the state of Illinois from March 17 through March 30.

The Pritzker administration is working to ensure critical support functions remain available to students across the state – including their access to food, child care, and safe environments.

On Thursday, the Illinois State Board of Education was granted a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to continue providing meals to students in non-group settings. Students receiving free and reduced-price breakfasts and lunches will be able to receive grab-and-go meals each day, with some districts having the ability to deliver and others offering parent pick up.

Gov. Pritzker has assured school administrators that the state will issue no penalties as a result of this closure.
http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-servics/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/coronavirus/schools-guidance

Events

In Illinois, all large-scale events exceeding 1,000 individuals must be canceled until April 11. We are encouraging that community events of 250 or more to be canceled or postponed until May 1, including personal and social events. Citizens should consider this in their personal lives and consider refraining from attending events of this size if they are not canceled or postponed. https://www2.illinois.gov/Pages/news-item.aspx?ReleaseID=21245

 

Business/Employer Guidance

The State encourages businesses across the state to take advantage of teleworking capabilities. Every business that can have employees work remotely should consider doing so immediately. For those that cannot, we encourage employers to take proper precautions to keep individuals safe in the workplace. This includes reminding staff to stay home when sick or with a fever; considering a plan for teleworking where feasible; remaining flexible on leave policies; and promoting robust mitigation approaches, such as hand washing, cleaning, and offering hand sanitizer.

http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/coronavirus/business-guidance


Elections 

Yes, the election will proceed as scheduled on Tuesday, March 17. This is a fundamental function of government, and the state is committed to making sure the election proceeds with as little disruption as possible. Local jurisdictions are encouraged to expand hours for early voting over the weekend to reduce the number of people who would need to vote on Election Day. Voters who have not already submitted a vote by mail application can pick up a vote by mail ballot through Monday at their local election offices.


Aging Population and those that are sick/immunocompromised 

Those that fall into these categories should take extra caution when attending gatherings of any size and avoid exposure to large groups of people whenever possible.


Nursing homes and assisted living facilities

The state has implemented new staffing procedures and strict guidelines restricting visitors at state-operated long-term care facilities and are also working closely with private nursing home and assisted living associations on the adoption of similar guidelines.

http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/coronavirus/long-term-care-guidance


Is the government closed?

The state government will remain open and operating to ensure essential services will continue to be provided. The James R. Thompson Center in Chicago will be closed to people who don’t have business with the state in the building for the foreseeable future.

We at the Illinois Department of Public Health understand and hear your concerns. Please know the State of Illinois is working with its partners to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Illinois. These measures will continue to evolve as the ongoing pandemic changes. Please continue to visit our COVID-19 website at http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/coronavirus as it is continually updated.


Q: What is 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

A: 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a virus (more specifically, a new coronavirus) identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China.  Chinese authorities identified the new coronavirus, which has resulted in thousands of confirmed cases in China, with additional cases being identified in a growing number of countries internationally. The latest situation summary updates are available on CDC’s web page 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

Q: Is COVID-19 the same as the SARS virus or MERS?

A: No. COVID-19 is not the same coronavirus that caused severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003 and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in 2012 but is similar in that it is causing respiratory illness.

Q: What are the symptoms of COVID-2019?

A: People who are infected with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) have developed mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms including fever, cough, shortness of breath, and potentially respiratory distress. There are many types of illnesses that can cause these types of respiratory symptoms. Individuals who have these symptoms and have traveled to an area of sustained or widespread transmission (Level 2 or Level 3: CDC Travel Notice) in the last 14 days prior to symptom onset or have had close contact with someone with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) should call ahead to a healthcare professional and mention your recent travel or close contact.  Your healthcare professional will work with the local health department to determine if testing is appropriate.   

Q: Does COVID-19 spread from person to person?

A: COVID-19 has been shown to spread between people. It’s not clear yet how easily COVID-19 spreads from person-to-person.  Human coronaviruses typically spread through the air by coughing and sneezing.

Q: How is COVID-19 diagnosed?

A: Diagnosis occurs through laboratory testing of respiratory specimens.  Some coronavirus strains cause the common cold and patients tested by their health care provider may test positive for these types. The SARS-Co-V-2 (COVID-2019) strain can only be detected at a public health laboratory.

Q: Can I still travel to China or other countries where COVID-19 cases have occurred?

A: CDC recommends avoiding non-essential travel to areas of widespread transmission (Level 3: CDC Travel Notice). If you must travel to an area with a Level 3 travel warning, the current CDC travel notice advises travelers to follow standard precautions, such as hand washing, avoiding contact with people who are ill, and avoiding animals.  You should also consult with your health care provider prior to travel, as some individuals may be at increased risk for more severe coronavirus disease.
If you are planning to go to an area with a Level 2 travel warning, CDC recommends older adults and those with chronic medical conditions consider postponing non-essential travel. All travelers should follow standard precautions including avoiding contact with sick people and cleaning your hands often by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%–95% alcohol.
Some areas have been listed with Level 1 travel warnings for COVID-19 (CDC Travel Notice) .  At this time, CDC does not recommend canceling or postponing travel to areas with Level 1 travel warnings. If you travel to an area with a Level 1 travel warning, you should follow the standard precautions listed previously (avoid sick people, wash your hands often).
The latest travel updates are available on CDC’s web page Traveler’s Health.

Q: What if I recently traveled to the outbreak area and got sick?

A: If you develop a fever and symptoms of lower respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, within 14 days after traveling to an area of sustained or widespread transmission (Level 2 or Level 3: CDC Travel Notice), you should immediately should call ahead to a healthcare professional and mention your recent travel or close contact.  Your healthcare professional will work with the local health department to determine if testing is appropriate.   

Q: How can I help protect myself?

A: CDC advises that people follow these tips to help prevent respiratory illnesses:

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Avoid close contact with people who are sick with respiratory symptoms. Stay home when you are sick. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. If you have not already done so, discuss influenza vaccination with your health care provider to help protect you against seasonal influenza.

Q: Is there a vaccine?

A: No. Currently, there is not a vaccine for COVID-19.

Q: What are the treatments for COVID-19?

A: Currently, there are no specific treatments recommended for illnesses caused by COVID-19. Medical care is supportive to help relieve symptoms.

Q: What should healthcare providers, laboratories and health departments do?

A: Health care providers and laboratories should report suspect COVID-19 cases immediately (within 3 hours) to their local health department, who should report cases to IDPH within the same time frame. For recommendations and guidance, see the IDPH Coronavirus Page or the CDC’s web page 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

Q: What are public health departments in Illinois doing about this situation?

A: IDPH and local health departments have implemented heightened surveillance to identify and test patients most likely to have COVID-19. Public health experts are communicating with and educating health care providers and other public health partners about the current situation.  Measures are being developed to prevent the spread of illness in Illinois.  Frequent communication with the public will be available through the IDPH Coronavirus Page.

P: ¿Qué es un nuevo coronavirus (COVID-19)? 

R: El virus que causa el COVID-19 es un nuevo coronavirus que se identificó por primera vez durante la investigación de un brote en Wuhan, China.  Autoridades en China identificaron el nuevo coronavirus, que ha resultado en miles de casos confirmados en China, con identificación   de casos adicionales en un numero creciente de paises internacionales.  El resumen más actualizado sobre la situación se encuentra en la pagina de Los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC, por sus siglas en inglés) Enfermedad del Coronavirus 2019. 

P: Es igual el COVID-19 a el virus de SARS o MERS?

R: No. COVID-19 no es el mismo coronavirus que causo el síndrome respiratorio agudo grave (SARS, por sus siglas en inglés) en 2003 o el síndrome respiratorio de Oriente Medio (MERS, por sus siglas en inglés) en 2012 pero es similar en que causa enfermedad respiratorio.

P: ¿Cuáles son los síntomas del COVID-19?

A: Personas infectadas con la Enfermedad Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) han tenido enfermedad respiratoria de leve a grave con síntomas incluyendo fiebre, tos, dificultad para respirar, y potencialmente dificultad respiratoria.  Hay muchas enfermedades que causan estos tipos de sintomas respiratorios.  Personas que tienen estas síntomas y han viajado a areas de transmisión sostenido y extendido (Level 2 or Level 3: CDC Travel Notice) en las ultimas 14 dias antes que el comienzo de sintomas o que han tenido contacto cercano con alguien con la Enfermedad Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) deben de llamar al consultorio de su proveedor de atención médica antes de ir y dígale sobre su viaje o su contacto cercano.  Su proveedor de atención médica trabajara con el departamento de salud local para determinar si una prueba de detección del COVID-19 es apropiado.

P: ¿Se propaga el COVID-19 de persona a persona?

R: Parece que COVID-19 se está propagando de persona a persona.  No es claro que tan fácil se puede propagar de persona a persona.  Coronaviruses en humanos típicamente propagan por medio del aire cuando una persona infectada tose o estornuda

P: ¿Como se diagnóstica el COVID-19?

R: El diagnóstico ocurer por medio de análisis de laboratorio de muestras respiratorios.  Algunas cepas de coronavirus causan el resfriado común y pacientes analizados por su proveedor de atención médica pueden tener pruebas positivas para estos tipos de cepas.  El COVID-2019 cepa no mas se puede detectar en un laboratorio de salud pública.

P: ¿Puedo viajar a China o otros paises donde casos de COVID-19 han ocurrido?

R: CDC recomenda evitar viaje no esencial a areas de transmisión extendido(Level 3: CDC Travel Notice). Si tiene que viajar a areas con Aviso de Viaje Nivel 3, el aviso actual de CDC aconseja a viajeros que sigan precauciónes estándar, como lavar sus manos, evitar contacto con personas enfermas, y evitar animales.  Debe de consultar con su proveedor de atención médica antes de viajar, por que algunas personas pueden tener un alto riesgo para una enfermedad de coronavirus mas severo.  

Si tiene planes de ir a areas con un Aviso de Viaje Nivel 2, CDC recomenda personas mayor de edad y personas con condiciónes crónicos consideran posponer viaje no esencial.  Todos viajeros deben de siguir precauciónes estándar incluyendo evitar contacto con personas enfermas y lavar sus manos a menudo con jabon y agua por lo menos 20 segundos o usar un gel antibacterial de manos a base de alcohol con 60%–95% alcohol. 

Algunas areas tienen Aviso de Viaje Nivel 1 para COVID-19 (CDC Travel Notice).  En este momento, el CDC no recomenda cancelar o posponer viaje a areas con Nivel 1 aviso de viaje.  Si viaja a areas con Nivel 1 aviso de viaje, debe de seguir las precauciónes estándar listados anteriormente (evitar contacto con personas enfermas y lavar sus manos a menudo).

Lo ultimo en avisos de viaje estan disponible en la la pagina de CDC Traveler’s Health.

P: ¿Que hago si viaje recientemente a una area de el brote y me enferme?

R: Si desarrollas fiebre y síntomas de enfermedad respiratoria de las vías bajas, como tos o falta de aire, entre 14 dias despues de viajar a una area de transmisión sostenido y extendido (Level 2 or Level 3: CDC Travel Notice), debe de llamar por adelantado a su proveedor de atención médica inmediatamente y mencionar su viaje reciente  o contacto cercano.  Su proveedor de atención médica va trabajar con el departamento de salud local para determinar si pruebas son adecuados.

P: ¿Como me puedo proteger?

R: CDC avisa que personas sigan estos consejos para prevenir enfermedades respiratorias.

Lavar sus manos a menudo con jabon y agua por lo menos 20 segundos.  Si agua y jabon no son disponible, use un gel antibacterial de manos a base de alcohol. Evitar tocar sus ojos, nariz, y boca con manos no lavadas. Evitar contacto cercano con personas enfermas con síntomas respiratorio. Quedase en su hogar si esta enfermo. Cubrirse la nariz y la boca con un pañuelo desechable al toser, estornudar y luego botarlo a la basura. Limpiar y desinfectar los objetos y las superficies que se tocan frecuentemente. Si no la a hecho, hable con su proveedor de atención médica sobre la vacuna contra la gripe para protejerse contra la gripa estacional.

R: No hay un tratamiento antiviral específico para el COVID-19.  Atención médica ayuda a aliviar los síntomas.

P: ¿Que deben de hacer proveedores de atención médica, laboratorios y departamentos de salud?

R: Proveedores de atención médica y laboratorios deben de reporter posible casos de COVID-19 inmediatamente (entre 3 horas) a su departamento de salud local, quienes deben de reporter casos a IDPH entre el mismo marco de tiempo.  Para recomendaciónes y dirección, visite la pagina de IDPH de Coronavirus o la pagina de web de CDC de 2019 Novel Coronavirus. 

P: ¿Que estan hacienda los departamentos de salud publica de Illinois sobre esta situación?

R: IDPH y departmentos de salud locales han implementado vigilancia aumentada para identificar y examiner pacientes probablemente con COVID-19. Expertos en salud publica estan comunicando con y educando a proveedores de atención médica y otros socios en salud publica sobre la actual situación.  Medidas se estan desarrollando para prevenir la propagación en Illinois.  Comunicación frecuente con el publico sera disponible en la pagina de IDPH de Coronavirus.

Última revisión de la página: 2 de marzo de 2020

P: ¿Hay alguna vacuna?

R: No. En la actualidad no existe una vacuna que proteja contra el COVID-19.   

P: ¿Existe un tratamiento para COVID-19?

R: No hay un tratamiento antiviral específico para el COVID-19.  Atención médica ayuda a aliviar los síntomas.

P: ¿Que deben de hacer proveedores de atención médica, laboratorios y departamentos de salud?

R: Proveedores de atención médica y laboratorios deben de reporter posible casos de COVID-19 inmediatamente (entre 3 horas) a su departamento de salud local, quienes deben de reporter casos a IDPH entre el mismo marco de tiempo.  Para recomendaciónes y dirección, visite la pagina de IDPH de Coronavirus o la pagina de web de CDC de 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

P: ¿Que estan hacienda los departamentos de salud publica de Illinois sobre esta situación?

R: IDPH y departmentos de salud locales han implementado vigilancia aumentada para identificar y examiner pacientes probablemente con COVID-19. Expertos en salud publica estan comunicando con y educando a proveedores de atención médica y otros socios en salud publica sobre la actual situación.  Medidas se estan desarrollando para prevenir la propagación en Illinois.  Comunicación frecuente con el publico sera disponible en la pagina de IDPH de Coronavirus.