Follow the most recent updates surrounding COVID-19 via the City’s Coronavirus website, as it will include any changes to the immediate public health risk and travel guidelines: www.chicago.gov/coronavirus. You can also sign up for the City’s COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date about the virus.
The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) has released the following handouts and advice for your information:
CORONAVIRUS HANDOUTS & FACT SHEETS
Get the Facts: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Guidance for People at Higher Risk
Guidance for Individuals and Households
Guidance for Businesses and Employers
Guidance for Community- and Faith-based Organizations
Guidance for Childcare Programs
Guidance for Schools and Institutions of Higher Education
From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) you can:
- Review information for travelers and search COVID-19 risk assessment by country.
- Review information for pregnant women.
- Review guidance for healthcare professionals.
- Review guidance and information for first responders and law enforcement.
There are steps that individuals and communities can take to help minimize the risk of COVID-19 spread:
- Practice everyday preventive actions such as performing frequent hand hygiene, washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (especially when hands are visibly soiled) or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%-95% alcohol; covering your cough and sneeze; avoiding ill people; and staying home when sick (except to seek medical care). These simple actions can prevent the spread of many illnesses, including COVID-19. For more information, see CDPH’s Guidance for Individuals and Households.
- It is currently flu and respiratory disease season and CDPH recommends getting a flu vaccine and taking everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of illness. Go to your doctor, pharmacy, or www.ChicagoFluShots.org to learn where to get a flu shot.
- Healthcare providers should continue to ask patients with fever and respiratory symptoms about their travel history. Refer to CDC’s Guidance for Healthcare Professionals for more information on screening and evaluating Persons Under Investigation.
- Childcare facilities, K-12 schools and colleges/universities should review their emergency operations plans, including strategies for social distancing and online learning. Schools should consider postponing or cancelling student foreign exchange programs. See CDPH’s COVID-19 Guidance for Childcare Programs and COVID-19 Guidance for Schools and Institutions of Higher Education.
- Businesses and employers should actively encourage all employees to stay home when sick, perform hand hygiene, and cover coughs and sneezes. Businesses should review their emergency operations plan, including identification of essential business functions, teleworking and flexible sick leave policies. For more information, see CDPH’s COVID-19 Guidance for Businesses and Employers.
- Community- and faith-based organizations should review existing emergency operations plans, including strategies for social distancing and modifying large gatherings such as concerts and festivals. See CDPH’s COVID-19 Guidance for Community- and Faith-based Organizations and CDC’s Interim Guidance: Get Your Mass Gatherings or Large Community Events Ready for COVID-19.
- Help reduce the spread of rumors. Let people know that viruses cannot target people from specific populations, ethnicities, or racial backgrounds. Being of Asian descent does not increase the change of getting or spreading COVID-19.
- Fight stigma and fear by supporting people who may be coming back to school or work after traveling internationally or completing a quarantine or isolation period for COVID-19.
The City’s Coronavirus website, www.chicago.gov/coronavirus, also contains instructions for Travelers returning from countries with Travel Alerts and Frequently Asked Questions for COVID-19.
Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)
At this time, health experts advise that no operational changes or revised protocols are necessary. CTA is closely monitoring updates and has implemented additional cleaning protocols. Riders can find the posted CTA Coronavirus Info on the CTA dedicated site.
At this time, CPS is not yet planning to close additional schools.
CPS’s latest letter to CPS parents, families, and staff can be found on the Healthy CPS web page.
Chicago has postponed this weekend’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. You can stay up-to-date on other closings by referring to the Chicago Tribune’s running list of Chicago-area closings and cancellations because of the coronavirus.
For anyone going to any public gatherings, the City’s public health officials recommend practicing common sense health safety tips and social distancing, including:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- 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. At this time, no special sanitizing process beyond routine cleaning are necessary or recommended to slow the spread or respiratory illness.