COVID-19 (Coronavirus Pandemic)
TESTING: Currently, there are NO IN-OFFICE RAPID TESTS for Coronavirus like those that exist for influenza or strep throat. However, IDPH has expanded their testing capacity and is now available for people who:
• Have COVID-19 symptoms (cough, shortness of breath and fever) OR
• Have a risk factor, such as:
- Contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19
- A compromised immune system or a serious chronic medical condition
Testing is also available for those with or without symptoms who:
• Work in a health care facility
• Work in correctional facilities, such as jails or prisons
• Serve as first responders, such as paramedics, EMTs, law enforcement officers or firefighters
• Support critical infrastructure, such as workers in grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants, gas stations, public utilities, factories, childcare and sanitation
Anyone with COVID-19-like illness or symptoms can get a test, even WITHOUT a doctor's order.
Current IDPH testing guidance and testing sites can be found on the IDPH website.
Lurie Children's Hospital is also offering COVID-19 testing as well. Click on the Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago link below for further details.
Additionally, commercial laboratories (i.e. Quest, ACL, Lab Corp) are offering both PCR (virus) tests as well as antibody (past exposure with resolution) tests to the general public WITHOUT a doctor's order. You may contact these commercial laboratories for information about these tests and their cost.
*A NOTE ABOUT ANTIBODY TESTS: Current antibody tests are NOT specific to COVID-19. They may show immunity to other coronaviruses such as the common cold. Therefore a positive test does not necessarily confirm resolution of COVID-19. Also know that it is not known whether those who do tests positive for antibodies actually have meaningful immunity to COVID-19. A negative test does, however, confirm that you have not had or resolved a COVID-19 (or other coronavirus) infection with a small caveat - there have been false negative tests reported.
GUIDANCE/RECOMMENDATIONS: Please understand that we are following guidelines as they are updated through the Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) as well as the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and McHenry County Department of Health (MCDH). We encourage you to view these recommendations frequently for guidance as to your family's questions and concerns regarding COVID-19. This will allow our nursing staff to respond more efficiently to other, more routine and acute medical questions.
MCDH website (school and travel guidelines)
AAP's HealthyChildren.org website (helpful information)
WIRED article: "How to Care for Kids if You're Sick With COVID-19"
PREVENTION: Take the same steps to protect against coronavirus as you would to prevent the spread of everyday illnesses like the common cold or influenza:
•Wash your hand often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
•If soap and water are not available, use a 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer
•Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
•Teach your child to cover a cough/sneeze with an elbow or tissue
•Avoid close contact with people who are sick
•Keep your child home if s/he is sick and properly notify school
We remain in partnership with you to teach and reinforce the above healthy habits to your children.