Saturday, May 30, 2020

S7HD answers frequently-asked-questions about COVID-19

Southern Seven Health Department staff have worked to establish clear, simple, and consistent answers to the many questions that our communities are facing regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus). As schools are closing, events are being canceled, and restaurants are being asked to utilize carry out/drive thru services, more questions arise. We have established a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) sheet to help clarify what all this means for you and your community.

What is COVID-19?

The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus that causes respiratory illness. This virus is part of the coronavirus family and should not be mistaken as another coronavirus that causes the common cold. Not all coronaviruses are the 2019 novel coronavirus.

Can Southern Seven Health Department test for COVID-19? If not, where can I go?

Southern Seven Health Department does NOT provide testing for COVID-19. Your health care provider will determine if you should be tested and will contact the health department if needed. You can also contact your local hospital. Please call ahead if you are exhibiting symptoms.

Can anybody get tested?

Contact your healthcare provider and tell them about your symptoms. They will decide whether you need to be tested, but keep in mind that there is no treatment for COVID-19 and people who are mildly ill may be able to isolate and care for themselves at home.

Where is the closest testing facility? Can I get tested at Walgreens/Walmart/etc.?

Your health care provider will determine if and where you should be tested and will contact the health department if needed. You can also contact your local hospital. Please call ahead if you are exhibiting symptoms.

What are the symptoms and complications that COVID-19 can cause?

Symptoms can be mild or severe. Those who have COVID-19 can have fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. People who are very ill with COVID-19 can have pneumonia.

Who should I contact for general questions about COVID-19?

For general questions regarding COVID-19, you can call the IDPH COVID-19 Hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email DPH.SICK@illinois.gov. Please note that the Hotline does not make decisions about who should be tested for COVID-19.

I am not feeling well and have respiratory symptoms, what should I do?

If you are sick, stay home. Avoid the emergency room and other places you may seek medical care if you are not severely ill, unless your doctor advises you otherwise. If you have a respiratory illness, stay home for 7 days after your symptoms started and for 3 days after you fever has stopped (without the use of fever-reducing drugs) and your cough or sore throat symptoms have improved (whichever is longer).

I think I need immediate medical attention, who should I call?

If you need immediate medical attention, and you think you may have COVID-19, please call ahead to your local health care provider before going in for care. This will allow them to take the right steps to protect themselves and other patients. If you think you are having a medical emergency, call 911; if you have been exposed to COVID-19, notify dispatch personnel so emergency medical services personnel can take steps to protect themselves.

What is Southern Seven Health Department doing about COVID-19?

Southern Seven Health Department is always in contact with the CDC, Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), other local health departments, and health care providers in the southern seven counties to ensure we are taking all necessary recommended steps to be prepared and protect the community. Keeping all residents healthy and safe is the primary concern of Southern Seven Health Department. Our administrative offices will remain open to assist you. As the region continues to fight Coronavirus (COVID-19), the department has developed the following guidelines for assisting those in the lower seven county region of Illinois. Residents are asked to monitor the department on Facebook and at www.southern7.org for updates as these may change at any moment.

Public Health Clinic Offices:

Southern Seven Health Department is NOT doing COVID-19 testing. Should you need testing, please contact your primary health provider FIRST to determine if you need further treatment. Offices will remain open for as long as possible, and all clients are asked to remain in their cars upon arrival until assisted. A phone number will be available for you to call the office to let them know you have arrived. It’s okay to cancel an appointment. They can be rescheduled at a later date. WIC families will still be given assistance for as long as possible. Offices may be closed for periodic sanitizing.

Head Start/Early Learning Center Locations:

All Head Start locations are closed until further notice however, staff is there to answer your questions. Child Find Screenings and Fall Enrollment Screenings will begin as soon as possible. Please call Southern Seven if you have questions. Meals will continue to be provided to all children that need them. Please call your local Head Start to arrange for pick-up or delivery. Formula and diapers will be available while supplies last. Environmental Health: Offices will remain open to provide well-water checks and septic inspections. Please call ahead to schedule your appointment.

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