I do not feel well or am concerned about exposure to COVID-19
Every Illinoisan plays a role in ensuring our health care system remains fully operational to treat patients in need of urgent care. If you are experiencing symptoms of any illness, including COVID-19, the first thing you should do is:
Call a health care provider like your primary care physician or a health clinic. But, please, do not walk directly into an emergency room or a doctor's office. A health care provider will ask about your symptoms and potential exposures. If they think you need medical care, they will help arrange medical treatment without putting others at risk of exposure.
If you meet certain criteria, you may be tested for COVID-19. Currently, testing is limited due to limited supplies and those with severe illness and those at higher risk of complications are being prioritized. As testing supplies become available, testing criteria may be expanded.
People whose symptoms are mild — which will be most people — will be able to isolate at home during their illness, and they should follow the directives of their health care providers.
Remain in your home until you feel better, for at least 7 days after you first become ill or 72 hours after your fever as resolved and symptoms are improving, whichever is longer. Keep in mind there is no treatment for COVID-19 and people who are mildly ill can isolate at home. If you need medical attention, contact your health care provider who will evaluate whether you can be cared for at home or need to be hospitalized. Generally, consult your health care provider if you have a fever, cough, trouble breathing, or other flu-like symptoms that are not better or are worsening after 24-48 hours. If you have mild symptoms and are pregnant or immunosuppressed or an older adult with chronic health conditions, consult your healthcare provider.
If you need immediate medical attention, please call ahead to your healthcare provider before going in for care so that they may protect themselves and other patients. If you are having a medical emergency, call 911. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, notify dispatch personnel so emergency medical services personnel can take steps to protect themselves.
I want to be tested for COVID-19
Only healthcare providers can order a test. Please don’t call the health department about getting tested. Clinicians have been provided information about how to get testing. This email account does not assist with testing and does not make decisions about who should be tested or communicate results. Testing decisions and orders are made by healthcare providers who evaluate patients individually.
Why can’t I be tested if I want to?
At present, there is a limited supply of testing nationwide. At this time, not everyone who wants a test can receive a test due to availability of testing supplies. Pre-established criteria are being utilized to prioritize testing. As more testing becomes available, those criteria may be expanded.
What if I have no health insurance?
Please visit the following link from the Illinois Department of Insurance for information https://insurance.illinois.gov/Newsrls/2020/03/COVID-19-FAQ.pdf. You can also contact your local health department for options in your area. The local health department will likely be more aware of local providers that can assist. A list of local health departments and their contact information is located here:
What if I have no primary health care provider?
If you have no health care provider, please contact your local health department for options in your area. Many providers in local areas are hosting specific locations for respiratory assessment and a local health department will be more aware of what is available in your local area. These options continue to change each day.A list of local health departments and their contact information is located here: http://www.idph.state.il.us/IDPHPrograms/v_LHDDirectory/Show-V-LHDDirectory-Public.aspx
A clinician must order any testing, so if you have a healthcare provider, please go through them.
If I may have been exposed directly or indirectly to someone with COVID-19, what should I do?
Contact your healthcare provider for medical assessment and individualized recommendations. You generally need to be in close contact with a sick person to get infected. Close contact includes:
· Living in the same household as a sick person with COVID-19,
· Caring for a sick person with COVID-19,
· Being within 6 feet of a sick person with COVID-19 for about 10 minutes, OR
· Being in direct contact with secretions from a sick person with COVID-19 (e.g., being coughed on, kissing, sharing utensils, etc.).
Additional information can be located here:
I’m a clinical professional and I need information on how to get tests.
Clinicians were provided this document from IDPH on the process http://www.dph.illinois.gov/sites/default/files/COVID19/Interim%20Clinical%20Guidance%203.18.2020%20v2.pdf
If clinicians have further questions, they should contact their local health department for clarification or additional information. This email account does not assist with testing or test orders and does not make decisions about who should be tested.
I’m a doctor and I want to discuss a specific case or symptoms.
Please contact your local health department to discuss questions with testing decisions and results.
Where exactly are the people with positive tests?
There is a map on our website at this link http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/coronavirus showing the number of positive cases per county. Additional details related to positive case locations will not be provided. Note: We expect the number of jurisdictions reporting cases to increase rapidly. If no cases have been reported in your county it doesn’t mean the virus is not present. You should still take the same precautions such as staying home when sick, avoiding contact with persons who are ill and avoiding crowded place, regardless of the counties reporting positive tests. All numbers will be reported by county only.
Stay at Home Order/Essential Businesses
As of March 31, Governor Pritzker extended the previous stay at home order through April 30. Grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, medical offices, hospitals, banks and roads will remain open.
- All non-essential activities are asked to be postponed.
- All non-essential businesses are asked to close.
- People will be able to go walking and hiking; maintain social distance (6 feet) while engaging in these activities.
- Restaurants will still serve food, but only for consumption off premises.
The full original executive order with exact language including exceptions is available at https://www2.illinois.gov/Documents/ExecOrders/2020/ExecutiveOrder-2020-10.pdf. The order with the extended date will be posted as soon as it is available.
FAQs about the Stay at Home Order is available here: https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/stay-at-home-faqs
These FAQs should fully answer any questions you have about what is deemed essential. Questions or comments about businesses being operational under the Stay at Home order can be directed to Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) at 1-800-252-2923 or CEO.email@example.com. DCEO has also developed a guidance document located at https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/SmallBizAssistance/Documents/Essential%20Business%20Checklist3-22.pdf.
Following extensive state-level analysis of COVID-19 spread and social distancing measures that were put in place, the State is taking the precautionary measure of closing all K-12 schools from March 17 through April 30 at this time.
Executive Order 2020-10 also closes licensed childcare centers and all childcare homes serving more than six children. The Pritzker administration is working to expand the availability of childcare for essential workers, while protecting the health of the children and child care teachers and home providers. A new Emergency Child Care Center license is being created with more flexibility, but much smaller group sizes to ensure social distancing for children in care.
Additional information about daycares to include suggestions for essential workers can be found at: https://www2.illinois.gov/dcfs/brighterfutures/healthy/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx
Beginning March 21, there are extensive limitations on public or private gatherings.
Prohibited activities. All public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit are prohibited, except for the limited purposes permitted by Executive Order 2020-10. Pursuant to current guidance from the CDC, any gathering of more than ten people is prohibited unless exempted by Executive Order 2020-10. Nothing in the Executive Order prohibits the gathering of members of a household or residence.
All places of public amusement, whether indoors or outdoors, including but not limited to, locations with amusement rides, carnivals, amusement parks, water parks, aquariums, zoos, museums, arcades, fairs, children's play centers, playgrounds, funplexes, theme parks, bowling alleys, movie and other theaters, concert and music halls, and country clubs or social clubs shall be closed to the public.
Bar and restaurant closures
Beginning March 16, 2020 at 9 p.m. through April 30, all businesses in the State of Illinois that offer food or beverages for on-premises consumption-including restaurants, bars, grocery stores, and food halls-must suspend service for and may not permit on-premises consumption. Such businesses are permitted and encouraged to serve food and beverages so that they may be consumed off-premises, as currently permitted by law, through means such as in-house delivery, third-party delivery, drive-through, and curbside pick-up. In addition, customers may enter the premises to purchase food or beverages for carry-out. However, establishments offering food or beverages for carry-out, including food trucks, must ensure that they have an environment where patrons maintain adequate social distancing. Businesses located in airports, hospitals, and dining halls in colleges and universities are exempt from the requirements of this Executive Order. Hotel restaurants may continue to provide room service and carry-out. Catering services may continue.
Business Financial Assistance
Additional information about assistance directly for businesses can be found here: https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/coronavirus/Resources/Pages/EconomicAssistance.aspx
Business preparedness and prevention
Additional information can be located here:
Information for those that may be unemployed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak can be located here:
This email account cannot assist with the filing of unemployment or individual questions as that is conducted through the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). https://www2.illinois.gov/ides/aboutides/Pages/Contact_IDES.aspx has several ways to contact IDES.
Personal Financial Assistance
Information on where to get individual assistance during this type will continue to be updated here.
The Department of Human Services (DHS) has also filed a federal waiver to ease eligibility requirements for food assistance programs like SNAP and WIC, which cover 1.8 million Illinoisans and 174,000 pregnant women and parents of young children respectively. If you are already part of DHS’s services, please continue to contact them for further information.
The local Community Action Agency (CAA) may also be able to help with things like rent and food. See this link for information on the local CAA https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/CommunityServices/HomeWeatherization/CommunityActionAgencies/Pages/default.aspx
Where can I report employers that I believe have unsafe conditions due to COVID-19?
If you believe your working conditions are unsafe or unhealthful, you may file a complaint with Federal OSHA or Illinois OSHA.
Please file a complaint with FEDERAL OSHA if you work for a private sector employer (example: gas stations, manufacturer, retail business establishment, restaurant, etc.). Private Sector Complaint Form
Please file a complaint with ILLINOIS OSHA if you work for a state and local government employer (example: public works departments, police and fire departments, State of Illinois offices and agencies). State and Local Government Complaint Form
What are my rights related to employment and accommodations due to COVID-19?
The Illinois Department of Human Rights administers the Illinois Human Rights Act ("Act"). The "Act" prohibits discrimination in Illinois with respect to employment, financial credit, public accommodations, housing and sexual harassment, as well as sexual harassment in education.
How do I file a charge of discrimination during the COVID-19 pandemic? Charges of discrimination can be filed during the COVID-19 pandemic by:
1) Email: an IDHR Complainant Information Sheet (CIS) to: IDHR.Intake@illinois.gov.
3) Mail: an IDHR Complainant Information Sheet (CIS) to:
Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR)
Attn: Intake Unit
100 W Randolph St, Ste. 10-100 Chicago, IL 60601
You may download an IDHR Complainant Information Sheets (CIS) here. For more information, please review our Frequently Asked Questions page on the IDHR's updated procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Where can I find additional information about volunteerism and donations?
The website www.serve.illinois.gov is the state’s Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service, Serve Illinois. There will be consistently updated opportunities to volunteer if you meet appropriate standards, including medical volunteer opportunities, as well as donations that are being requested. Please note at this time, the donation requests are limited to specific Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for first responders and do not include fabric/homemade masks at present. To donate PPE, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a health care provider and want to join the fight against COVID-19, please register at https://illinoishelps.net/. Health care providers who register on that website may be potentially contacted to work in a hospital surge or alternative housing setting.