Managing Your Health
My COVID-19 Risk: THINK TWICE
Think about yourself and all the people with whom you have close contact:
|Is everyone under age 60?|
|Is everyone healthy, without underlying medical conditions?|
Think about the public activity:
|Can you avoid crowds or close interaction with people you do not know?|
|Can you always keep 6-foot distance from others?|
|Can you always wear a mask? (And can everyone else?)|
|Is the activity outdoors?|
|YES TO ALL QUESTIONS||NO TO SOME QUESTIONS||NO TO MOST OR ALL QUESTIONS|
|NO TO MOST OR ALL QUESTIONS||
|NO TO SOME QUESTIONS||Public Activity Risk|
|YES TO ALL QUESTIONS||Lower|
|< Lower||Severe Outcome Risk||Higher >|
Continue COVID-19 precautions
Consider avoiding non-essential activities
Avoid non-essential activities
People over 60 and people with underlying medical conditions are more likely to be hospitalized or die if they are infected with COVID-19. No activity that includes interactions with other people is entirely without risk, and younger people without underlying medical conditions can also have severe outcomes from COVID-19. This is meant to serve as a guide to informpersonaldecision-making. The risk of infection increases as the number of interactions increases.
If you’re sick, you must stay home (except to get medical care) for 10 days since your symptoms first appeared and at least 24 hours with no fever and improved symptoms, whichever is longer. Stay away from others and isolate in a separate room, if possible. Always wear a face covering when you need to be around others (even at home).
If a household member is sick and you do not have symptoms, you should quarantine for 10 days, or if you do not have symptoms AND receive a negative COVID-19 test result on day 5 or after you should quarantine for 7 days. You should verify which quarantine period is required by your workplace before returning to work. Consider having everyone in your home wear a face covering as soon as one household member becomes sick. Check your temperature twice a day and watch for symptoms of COVID-19. Get tested 5-9 days after being in contact with the sick person.
If you have been in close contact with someone who is sick but are fully vaccinated, you do not need to isolate, as long as you remain without any symptoms of COVID-19. If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, you should isolate and be evaluated by a medical provider. All vaccinated individuals still need to follow other COVID-19 public health measures, such as masking, social distancing, and washing their hands.
Know How it Spreads
The virus that causes COVID-19 primarily spreads between people in close contact when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. You might also get the virus if you touch something with the virus on it, and then touch your mouth, nose, or eyes.
Identify Household Members Who Are at Higher Risk
People of all ages can get sick with COVID-19 and it's important for everyone to take preventative measures. However, older adults and people who have serious underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes are at higher risk for developing serious complications from COVID-19 illness and need to take extra precautions. If your household includes one or more vulnerable individuals then all family members should act as if they, themselves, are at higher risk.
Take Everyday Preventative Actions
- Wash your hands oftenwith soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Put 6ft of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household
- Wear a face covering when in public and around others
- Clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces daily, like doorknobs, light switches, phones, and faucets
- Monitor your health dailyand watch for symptoms of COVID-19
- Avoid large gatherings and crowded spaces
- If you’re sick, stay home except to get medical care.
Protect Children and Vulnerable Members
- Choose one or two family members who are not at a higher risk to run the essential errands.
- Teach children the same things everyone should do to stay healthy. Children and other people can spread the virus even if they don’t show symptoms.
- Vulnerable members should avoid caring for children and people who are sick. If they must care for the children in their household, the children in their care should not have contact with individuals outside the household.
Separate a Household Member Who Is Sick
- Keep people at higher risk separated from anyone who is sick.
- Have only one person in the household take care of the person who is sick.
- Provide a separate bedroom and bathroom for the person who is sick, if possible.
- If you need to share a bedroom, separate the ill person’s bed.
- If you need to share a bathroom, clean and disinfect the frequently touched surfaces in the bathroom after each use.
- Maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other family or household members.
- If you are sick, do not help prepare food. Also, eat separately from the family.
Learn more at Centers of Disease Control & Prevention.
Watch for COVID-19 symptoms. Even if your symptoms are mild, by law in Chicago, you must stay home, except to get medical care. Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home. If you want to get tested, call your healthcare provider or use this map to find a testing site near you. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and are not tested, it is important to stay home.
Use Chi COVID Coach
You should first use our Chi COVID Coach, an app developed to help you know what to do if you have COVID-19 symptoms. Once you sign up, we’ll check back with you via text message. We'll let you know what you and the other people in your household should do to limit the spread of COVID-19, help you know how long you need to stay separated from others, and give you day-by-day guidance throughout a potential isolation or quarantine period.
If you’re sick you must stay home and cannot return to school or work until it has been:
- at least 10 days since your symptoms first appeared; and,
- at least 1 day (24 hours) with no fever (without using fever-reducing medications) and improved symptoms, whichever is longer.
For example, if you have a fever and coughing for 7 days, you need to stay home 3 more days for a total of 10 days. Or, if you have a fever and coughing for 10 days, you need to stay home 1 more day with no fever for a total of 11 days.
Follow these guidelines
If you’re mildly ill and can recover at home, follow the steps below to care for yourself and to help protect other people in your home and community.
- Stay home except to get medical care
- Stay away from other people in your home
- Clean your hands often
- Cover your coughs and sneezes
- Wear a face covering if you must be around other people (even at home)
- Avoid sharing personal household items
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily, like doorknobs, light switches, phones, and faucets
- Monitor your symptoms
- Call ahead before visiting your doctor
Learn more at Centers of Disease Control & Prevention.
Caring for someone who is sick
If you’re living with someone who is sick or have been in close contact with a person sick with COVID-19, you need to stay home too and avoid public places for 14 days. Monitor your symptoms and do not go to work or school. If you’re caring for someone sick at home follow these guidelines from the Centers of Disease Control & Prevention.
If you’re an essential worker who has been exposed to COVID-19, you may continue to work, as long as you don’t develop any COVID-19 symptoms. Follow these CDPH recommendations for essential workers.
You should get tested for COVID-19 if you have symptoms, have been in contact with someone who is ill, or if you have recently participated in a high risk activity, such as attending a large gathering or crowded space. All individuals tested for COVID-19 should remain isolated until test results are returned.
The best way to get tested is by calling your healthcare provider or conviently ordering self-administered at-home tests. COVID-19 testing is also offered in many pharmacies and healthcare centers. If you don’t have a regular doctor or medical insurance, locate a community health center or visit any of the City of Chicago community-based testing sites.
When to call for emergency medical attention
The list below is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you. Additional information can be found on the CDC website.
Adults: Look for the emergency warning signs below for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Bluish lips or face
- Constant pain or pressure in the chest
- Signs of low blood pressure (too weak to stand, dizziness, lightheaded, feeling cold, pale, clammy skin)
- Dehydration (dry lips and mouth, not urinating much, sunken eyes)
- Slurred speech or difficulty speaking (new or worsening)
- New confusion or difficulty awakening
- New or worsening seizures
Children: Parents, guardians and others caring for children should call their pediatrician if they notice these warning signs in a child:
- Fever for 5 days or more
- Not consolable or increased irritability
- Dehydration (dry lips and mouth, fewer wet diapers, not urinating as much as usual)
- Cold, pale skin
- Fast breathing, pulling in under the ribs and/or flaring of the nostrils when breathing
- Decreased activity, increased sleepiness or difficulty waking up
- Inability to keep any liquids or refusing to take liquids
Please call the child's healthcare provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.