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, all members should also stay home and quarantine for 14 days. 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.
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.
COVID-19 testing is easy, quick and offered at no cost in many doctor’s offices, 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.
All individuals tested for COVID-19 should remain isolated until test results are returned.
Updated as of 09/25/2020
Who should be tested
Get tested if:
- You have symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever or chills, cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat, muscle or body aches, new loss of taste or smell, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea
- You have been in contact with someone who is ill, especially if it's someone you live with, a friend or a coworker
- You have been in a high-risk group setting like a large gathering or crowded space
- You have recently traveled to a high-risk area
When to get tested
- If you have symptoms, get tested right away. Make an appointment in advance and make sure to stay 6ft from others and wear a face mask.
- If you don’t have symptoms, get tested 5-9 days after your last contact with the sick person.
How to get tested
- Your health care provider: Residents are best served when they’re tested by their health care provider, because your health care provider is familiar with your medical history and can provide counselling that helps you understand exactly what your test result means. If you develop any symptoms or think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, call your doctor and ask if you need to be tested. Your doctor will either perform the test at their office or will refer you to a testing site.
- Community health centers: If you don’t have a health care provider or medical insurance, there are approximately 165 community health centers throughout Chicago, so find one that is close to you at hrsa.gov. No patient will be turned away because of inability to pay. Community health centers provide services regardless of patients’ immigration status and charge for services on a sliding fee scale.
- City of Chicago testing sites: You can visit one of the City’s community-based testing sites. All tests at the City testing sites are offered at no cost to all people regardless of citizenship or insurance status. To pre-register and schedule an appointment please go to: ChicagoCovidTesting.com
- Testing Map: Use the City of Chicago’s interactive testing map to find a testing site near you. The map is updated frequently as locations are continuously added. Please note different testing sites might have different requirements. We recommend calling in advance or checking online first. For additional information, see the Illinois Department of Public Health list of testing sites.