What is COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)
A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.
How is the Virus Spread
The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas. The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 fee) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It also may be possible that a person get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, and then, touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly eyes.
What are the symptoms
The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.*
- Shortness of breath
How can you protect yourself
- There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Practice Social Distancing. Stay 6 feet apart and avoid gatherings of 10 or more people.
- Wear a face covering that covers your nose and mouth while in public when you cannot practice social distancing.
- Clean your hands often
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and let them air dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately wash your hands.
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
What To Do If You Are Ill (For Any Reason):
- Do NOT immediately visit the ER, Urgent Care or show up at your doctor’s office. State health officials and the CDC say doing so can only put you and others at risk.
- Please first call your primary care physician. If you do not have a primary care physician in place at this time, you may call:
- Crossing Healthcare at (217) 877-9117
If you are an otherwise healthy individual, the Illinois Department of Public Health advises you to stay home, distance yourself from others, practice good hygiene and treat yourself for symptoms as you would the flu. That includes staying hydrated, getting plenty of sleep and (if advised by your physician) taking over the counter medicine to reduce fever and symptoms.
Illinois COVID-19 Hotline (Illinois Department of Public Health): 1-800-889-3931
Macon County Health Department: (217) 423-6988
Center For Disease Control and Prevention: 800-232-4636 open 24/7
Mental Health Resources:
- Heritage Behavioral Health Crisis Support (217) 362-6262
- Memorial Behavioral Health Hotline (217) 588-5509
- SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990 or Text ‘TalkWithUs’ to 66746
August 11, 2020 – A legislative oversight committee upheld Governor JB Pritzker’s mask enforcement rules for Illinois businesses, schools and daycare centers, The rules create guidelines for enforcing the state’s mask mandate and social distancing requirements, ranging from a warning to fines for repeat offenders. The Governor’s General Counsel, Ann Spillane, says businesses need to…Continue Reading
August 11, 2020 –Local healthcare organizations have emphasized that any visitors to hospitals or clinics must wear a face mask at all times. They say that the public’s compliance in wearing masks is crucial to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 throughout the community. Visitors must wear masks for the entirety of their visit. Those…Continue Reading
August 11, 2020 – The Macon County Emergency Management Agency has informed local religious organizations, taxing bodies and nonprofits that there is an opportunity to recoup funds spent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds spent on things such as personal protective equipment, testing equipment, food distribution, overtime costs, housing assistance, or other emergency measures that are…Continue Reading
August 11, 2020 – The Little Theatre on the Square has announced the postponement of their summer season and will extend their shut down of all programming until at least January 3, 2021, due to the limitations and concerns of the continuing pandemic. John Stephens, the theatre’s executive producer, answered some questions about what they…Continue Reading