Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance & Prevention
CDC Guidance on Social Distancing
We all have personal responsibility to take care of ourselves and others, to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
All residents are urged to practice social distancing (about six feet away from other people) whenever possible. Please continue to wash hands, utilize hand sanitizer, and covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your inner elbow.
All higher-risk individuals should avoid large gatherings, limit time in public areas, and not congregate in groups. Higher-risk individuals include:
- older adults
- anyone with underlying health conditions, such as heart or lung disease or diabetes
- anyone with weakened immune systems, and
- anyone who is pregnant.
With that in mind, residents should take measures to limit interactions with persons who are at higher risk for COVID-19.
How To Protect Yourself
Here’s what you can actually do to prevent getting ill:
- The CDC and other officials have said people should wash their hands often, including before, during and after eating; after using the bathroom; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- The CDC has a guide here for how to properly wash your hands. Remember: Wash with soap and water, scrubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds.
- If you can’t wash your hands with soap and water, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
- Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth, with unwashed hands.
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces you touch frequently, like cellphones and light switches. Here are tips from the CDC.
- Stay home when you’re sick and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Practice social distancing by staying at least six feet away from other people.
- If you have to sneeze or cough with a tissue, throw it out immediately after using it, according to the CDC.
The most common symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
People have also experienced body aches, nasal congestion, runny nose and sore throat. If you or someone else has difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, become confused, cannot be roused or develop a bluish face or lips, get immediate medical attention.
If you think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing fever, cough or shortness of breath, use Advocate Health Care’s COVID-19 Symptom Checker or call your doctor. Starting with the online symptom checker will quickly let you know what to do next.
What To Do If You Think You’re Sick
Even if you’re not showing symptoms, the Elgin Department of Public Health recommends people coming from high-risk countries (here’s a CDC list) self-quarantine for 14 days after returning home.
If you do have symptoms of coronavirus, contact your primary doctor or a health care facility before going in. Explain your symptoms and tell them if you’ve come into close contact with anyone with coronavirus or traveled to an area where COVID-19 is widespread (here’s a CDC list) within the last 14 days.
From there, the experts will work with your local health department to determine what to do and if you need to be tested for coronavirus. And, of course, if you think you’re sick with coronavirus, don’t risk exposing other people to the virus. Those with questions and concerns about coronavirus can call the Illinois Department of Public Health at 800-889-3931.