The virus appears to be spreading easily from person to person, which can put entire communities at risk. So while the
immediate risk to the general public of the City of Chicago remains low, other public health emergencies have shown that taking small steps to prepare your family can provide you with peace of mind and help build resilient communities. By taking action now, you are not only helping to protect yourself and your family, but also helping to protect people in your community who may be at higher risk of serious illness, like older adults and people with underlying health conditions.
we can each do to minimize the risk of COVID-19:
For your health and the protection of others, do the following:
- Wash your hands thoroughly and often with soap and water for 20 seconds (that's as long as it takes to sing the ABCs). Regular soap is better than any cleanser at attacking the coronavirus. Here's why. Anti-bacterials soaps are not effective - because the COVID-19 is a virus, not a bacteria. If soap and water are not available, 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.
- If you have not gotten a flu shot yet, please get one.
For seniors and other high-risk individuals:
- Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
- Avoid crowds as much as possible.
For your home and workplace, do the following
Coronavirus may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials. Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is the best practice for prevention of COVID-19. Cleaning may remove the virus, but disinfecting will likely kill the virus. Do both.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks) using a detergent or warm soap and water prior to disinfection.
- Disinfect with household bleach by mixing:
- 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water or
- 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
- Other disinfectants may work as well
- More details at CDC Cleaning and Disinfection Guidance
How does the COVID-19 spread?
The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The Center for Disease Controls (CDC) reports that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure.
This is why if you are exposed to COVID-19, you should self-quarantine for 14 days.
You must self-quarantine if you’ve recently traveled to a country with a Travel Alert Level 3: China, Iran, Italy, or South Korea, even if you do not know whether you've been exposed.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms closely resemble the flu, so look for: fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. The majority of people who have contracted COVID-19 experience mild forms of these symptoms; however, people who are older or have pre-existing health conditions are at risk for experiencing more serious symptoms.
We know many of you have small children. So far, it seems that children are less likely to become ill and if they do contract the disease their symptoms are mild.
Do I need to get tested?
The testing available for coronavirus is only for people who are showing symptons of the disease. It is completely ineffective without symptons.
What is the treatment for COVID-19 and is there a vaccine?
There is no vaccine at this time.
While development is underway, it will likely take a year. There is no specific medicine to treat COVID-19 at this time, though studies are underway. People with COVID-19 should receive care to help relieve symptoms; for example, medicine to bring down fevers, or oxygen if a patient has trouble breathings or oxygen level is low.
The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) is releasing good information and guidance about what you can do to help protect, yourself, your family and the community. To learn more, visit
Here are some guidance documents for particular situations.
Some organizations have decided to impose more strict guidelines. Your school, church and community groups should review the above guidance to determine the best course of action.
The COVID-19 hotline for Chicago is 1-800-889-3931, and the City of Chicago’s additional line is (312) 746-7425 and will be operating Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 4 PM.