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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about COVID-19, the vaccines, and guidance.
If you don't see an answer to your question in the FAQs, please ask us. We are here to help.

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0 Hot Topics (3)

You can access your immunization records by visiting the Vax Verify portal.
http://www.dph.illinois.gov/immunizationsupport

Categories: 0 Hot Topics, 02. Vaccines

Kids from 5-11 years old get a dose that is one third (1/3) the amount adults get. The needle is also smaller. Kids need two shots, 21 days apart, just like adults who get the Pfizer vaccine.

Categories: 0 Hot Topics, 0.5 Children

If you are fully vaccinated, you should get tested 3-5 days after you were exposed to someone with COVID-19. If you are not fully vaccinated, you should get tested right away. If your first test is negative, get tested again 5-7 days after you were exposed. Quarantine yourself for at least 7 days from exposure and make sure you have a negative test before leaving quarantine. To be extra safe, stay in quarantine for 14 days. If you are vaccinated you don’t need to quarantine. Both people who are vaccinated and unvaccinated should monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days after their exposure.

Categories: 0 Hot Topics, 03. Testing

0.2 Omicron Variant (10)

Until we know more about the risk of Omicron, it is important to use all tools available to protect yourself and others. If you are fully vaccinated, ​CDC is recommending everyone ages 16 and older get a booster when eligible. Wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high community transmission, regardless of vaccination status. Continue to wash hands, watch your distance. Breakthrough infections can occur. Consider getting tested before joining indoor gatherings with others who are not in your household. A positive self-test result means that you have an infection and should avoid indoor gatherings to reduce the risk of spreading disease to someone else.

Yes. The first case of Omicron variant was confirmed by the California and San Francisco Departments of Public Health on 12/1/21 in a U.S. resident who returned from South Africa on November 22, 2021. Since then, both travel-associated and non-travel-associated cases have been reported in multiple U.S. states, including Illinois. On December 7, 2021, Illinois Department of Public Health and Chicago Department of Public Health officials announced the first Illinois case of Omicron variant in a Chicago (Cook County) resident. To see where Omicron is circulating, visit the CDC website at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/variants/omicron-variant.html.

The Omicron variant likely will spread more easily than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus and how easily Omicron spreads compared to Delta remains unknown. CDC expects that anyone with Omicron infection can spread the virus to others, even if they are vaccinated or don’t have symptoms. While we don’t have all the answers right now, we know the general prevention strategies we’ve been recommending – vaccination, boosters, masking, testing, physical distancing – are our best protection against the virus and its variants.

It’s very concerning anytime we see kids being hospitalized. Throughout the course of the pandemic, outcomes have been worse for older adults and those with chronic conditions, with children much less likely to develop severe illness. The most recent national data suggest that the proportion of children becoming severely ill has not changed over time. National data also clearly show that kids living in higher vaccinated states are less likely to be hospitalized than their counterparts who live in less well vaccinated states. CDC recommends that everyone 5 years and older protect themselves from COVID-19 by getting fully vaccinated.

Everyone 2 years and older, regardless of vaccination status, should wear a mask when in indoor public settings. Due to the high transmissibility of the omicron variant, individuals may want to consider upgrading to a respirator. Always choose a well-fitting mask. Options include a double or triple layer cloth mask or a disposable surgical mask, or for added protection a respirator (e.g. KN95 or N95). Wear it properly (covering your nose and mouth). Some masks and all respirators are designed and tested to ensure they perform at a consistent level. Learn more about mask types and how to select a quality, approved mask.

It’s wise to be concerned and cautious, but there is no reason to panic. Getting vaccinated is still the best way to protect yourself and your community from the Omicron and Delta variants. Continue to prevent germs from spreading by: wearing a mask and keeping your distance from others when indoors (unless you are only with members of your immediate household); frequently washing hands with soap and warm water or using hand sanitizer; covering coughs and sneezes and staying home when sick.

Scientists need time to learn more about the Omicron COVID-19 variant, but in the meantime, we already know how to be vigilant. So, get your vaccine, get your booster, wear your mask indoors, wash your hands, and get tested for COVID-19 if you feel sick or have been exposed to someone who tested positive.All Illinois residents are encouraged to make a plan for how to best protect themselves and their loved ones, especially in the holiday season.

State and federal agencies can test for the Omicron variant in the U.S. now. In fact, the first case of Omicron variant was identified 12/1/21, and in cases since, using genomic sequencing conducted at the University of California, San Francisco, and then confirmed at CDC. PCR tests can also reveal if a virus is the Omicron variant.

At a Dec. 15, 2021 media briefing, Anthony Fauci, the president’s chief medical adviser, said booster shots of the Covid-19 vaccines already in use are enough to combat the fast-spreading omicron variant, and that it is unlikely the shots will need to be reformulated to target omicron specifically. CDC is strongly encouraging everyone ages 16 years and up to get their booster if they are eligible, to keep the disease from spreading and prevent serious illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths.

Omicron is the name of a new version of the COVID-19 virus. The COVID-19 virus changes over time and new versions are given new names. Right now we are still learning about Omicron. We are concerned because this version of the virus has a lot of changes from the original virus. These changes could mean a lot of things. Public health experts and scientists worldwide continue to study the Omicron variant to determine if it spreads more easily, causes more severe illness, and how effective the current vaccines are against it. While we don’t have all the answers right now, we know the general prevention strategies we’ve been recommending – vaccination, boosters, masking, testing, physical distancing – are our best protection against the virus and its variants. As long as the virus continues to circulate, it has the potential to mutate into new variants. Vaccination can help stop circulation, but we need more people to get vaccinated. Despite the increased attention of Omicron, Delta continues to be the main variant circulating in the United States.

0.3 Dec. 23rd Mitigation Order 2021-11 (44)

Individuals 18 years of age and younger participating in youth sports (any venue) are exempt from the proof of vaccination requirement.  Sports and recreation programs must follow the Sports Safety Guidance issued by the Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois State Board of Education. 

Employers are not required to pay for COVID tests.  There are many community testing sites that provide free COVID testing.  If an employee chooses to conduct a rapid antigen test in the presence of their employer, the employer is not required to provide the test. 

Yes.  Hospital cafeterias are covered by the Order. 

Yes.  Individuals 5 years old and older dining in igloos must show proof of vaccination.

Yes. Masks are required: Any individual aged two and older and able to medically tolerate a mask shall be required to wear a mask when indoors in a public place, regardless of vaccination status.  Indoor public spaces include any common or shared space in: (1) a residential multi-unit building or (2) any non-residential building, including but not limited to retail stores, restaurants, bars/taverns, health and fitness clubs, museums, hotels, personal services, performance venues, movie theaters, commercial buildings, event venues, healthcare settings, congregate facilities, on public transportation and in transportation hubs.

Tag: Masking

Spectators of indoor sporting events are exempt from the vaccination requirements provided that no food or drink is being served and that they remain masked at all times.

Yes.  Individuals 18+ must show proof of vaccination to use swimming facilities. 

Yes. Tennis clubs are covered by the Order. Individuals 18+ must show proof of vaccination to use these facilities.

Yes:

  • Individuals entering an establishment for less than 10 minutes for ordering and carrying out food; making a delivery; or using restroom facilities.
  • Individuals who have previously received a medical exemption, as long as proof of the medical exemption and a COVID-19 test administered by a medical professional within the last 24 hours prior to entering a business covered by the Order are provided to the business upon entry. 
  • A nonresident performing artist or nonresident person accompanying the artist who is not regularly performing in a business where the Order applies, but only while in the business for the duration of the performance.
  • A nonresident professional athlete or nonresident person accompanying the athlete, who enters a covered location as part of their regular employment for purposes of the professional athletic or sports team competition.
  • An individual 18 years of age or younger who enters a business subject to this Order to participate in a school activity, or after-school program offered by any pre-kindergarten through 12th grade public or non-public school or childcare program. 
  • Any individual 18 years of age or younger participating in youth athletics or recreation, as long as no food is being served. 
  • Any individual participating in recreation programs though special recreation for individuals with disabilities. 
  • Any person entering a business subject to this Order for the purposes of voting in a municipal, state, or federal election; or, pursuant to law, assisting or accompanying a voter or observing such elections.

There are no religious exemptions in Mitigation Order 2021-11.  Any unvaccinated person, except for those with a medical exemption, would not be allowed to enter the businesses that are covered by the Order.

There is nothing prohibiting an employer from retaining copies of vaccination cards if employees are made aware of the employer’s policy to do so, and with such notice, the employees willingly provided their cards. However, the order does not require that the employer maintain copies, but only confirm vaccination status or require weekly testing of those employees who fail to confirm vaccination status. The CCDPH Business Vaccination Compliance plan includes a documentation template that allows businesses to record that status is documented and meets the requirements without making card copies necessary. That plan is available here. 

Renters of public spaces can provide evidence that they have checked the vaccine status of all of their guests.  They should provide a guest list that documents that vaccination status has been verified. They do not need to maintain copies of vaccination cards.  The order states: Businesses may, in the interest of efficiency, allow patrons to provide the required vaccination proof prior to entry, either directly to the business itself or through an intermediary such as an event planner.

Hotel employees that are not involved in food service do not need to provide proof of vaccination or test, unless this is hotel policy. All employees of a fitness enter need to be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing. For other businesses that contain exercise facilities, employees that do not have any contact with the exercise areas are not covered by this Order. If the hotel is subject to the Emergency Temporary Standard issued by OSHA, it will need to comply with the requirements and timelines.

Vaccination is encouraged for all employees. Employee proof of vaccination must be documented by the employer. For any employee who is not fully-vaccinated or chooses not to provide proof of vaccination, weekly negative COVID-19 tests are required. It remains mandatory for all employees to wear masks while in the workplace.

Yes.  Contractors must comply with requirements for employees in businesses or settings covered by the Order. 

  • No.  Hotel guests must only provide proof of vaccination to enter the breakfast room, restaurant or any eat on-site location in the hotel, or to use the fitness center. 
  • Hotel guests attending an event at a hotel where food or drink is provided for on-site consumption must provide proof of vaccination.

No. This is similar to a person entering an establishment for fewer than 10 minutes in order to pick up or place a carryout order, or a person entering for delivery purposes. A business would not need to check vaccination status of this person. 

Signage must be posted at all entrances used by patrons.

  • Spectators do not need to show proof of vaccination, provided that NO food or drink are being served and they remain masked at all times. 
  • Skaters 18 and older must show proof of vaccination. 

A person entering a covered business for repairs or service can be exempt from the vaccination requirement, provided they remain masked the entire time they are on premises.

Volunteer coaches must provide proof of vaccination.  For any volunteer who is not fully-vaccinated or chooses not to provide proof of vaccination, weekly negative COVID-19 tests are required.

Please go to the “file a complaint page” on the CCDPH website. From there, use this link for general complaints about compliance. If you are an employee and believe your employer is not following COVID mitigation guidelines or the provisions of this order, use this form. 

  • People can provide proof of vaccination by showing
    • A CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card; or
    • An official immunization record from the jurisdiction, state, or country where the vaccine was administered; or
    • An ‘app’ that provides a digital record of vaccinations; or
    • A digital or physical photo of such a card or record that includes the individual’s name, the vaccine brand administered, and the date the vaccination was administered.

Yes. Participants and spectators will need to show proof of vaccination. 

  • If concessions are offered and there is NO designated space for eating and drinking, all people 5 years old and older must provide proof of vaccination to attend (athletes and spectators).
  • If concessions are offered and consumption is limited to a designated area of the event (ex: food court, café area or similar) then only those people 5 years old and older entering the space to consume food must provide proof of vaccination. 

Yes. Vaccination is required for participants in a rental party room if food and drink are being served for on-premises consumption.  

Patrons entering the facility for art classes, bingo – any activities that are not sports/ fitness do not need to provide proof of vaccination.

Yes.

Yes.  This would qualify as exempt (K-12 school).

Any individual who attains 5 years of age after the effective date of this Order shall be entitled to a grace period of 6 weeks, to allow time for the individual to become fully vaccinated.

  • Houses of worship do not need to require proof of vaccination, but are strongly  encouraged to take steps to ensure social distancing, and implementation of other public health measures.
  • K-12 schools, preschools, and child care centers.
  • Indoor locations in a residential or office building the use of which is limited to residents, owners, or tenants of that building.
  • Charitable food service establishments, such as soup kitchens.
Tags: Vaccine, Vaccines

An individual is considered fully-vaccinated:

  • Two weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series with an approved COVID-19 vaccine, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • Two weeks after a single-dose series with an approved COVID-19 vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.

This is based on the current CDC definition and may change according to CDC guidelines. As of 1/5/22, the definition of “fully vaccinated” had not changed and CDC also started using the phrase “up-to-date,” for people who have also received their third primary doses or booster doses, as applicable.

An entertainment center that discontinues food or drink provision would no longer be covered by the vaccination requirements of the Order. Masking for all people age two years and older must be maintained.  

An approved COVID-19 Vaccine is a vaccine has been authorized or approved by either the Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organization to prevent COVID19, whether for emergency use, or otherwise.

Tags: Vaccine, Vaccines

A letter or other documentation signed by an individual’s medical provider can be used to provide information on a medical exemption. 

  • Indoor dining establishments, including bars, breweries, wine / spirit tasting rooms, restaurants, private clubs, country clubs, banquet halls, dining areas within any public business that is ancillary to the main business (cafes within grocery stores, other retail, etc.) coffee shops, food courts and food halls;
  • Event spaces, including hotel ballrooms and commercial event and party venues and nightclubs.
  • Recreation and entertainment venues in areas where food or beverages are served, including movie theaters, live performance spaces, including live theater and live music, sports arenas, skating rinks (spectators), adult entertainment venues, arcades, bowling alleys, play spaces, family entertainment centers, billiard halls, and venues for card playing; and 
  • All indoor settings for recreation and exercise, including health clubs, gyms, fitness centers, hotel fitness centers, recreation centers, yoga studios, cross-fit studios, cycling studios, dance studios, skating rinks (skaters), fieldhouses, boxing and kickboxing gyms, and other facilities conducting group fitness classes indoors. 

The testing option is available for employees.  See this document for a full discussion of acceptable tests: CCDPH Vaccination Compliance Plan. 

  • January 3, 2022

CCDPH will be looking at COVID-related metrics weekly in our jurisdiction, including positivity rates and hospitalizations, to determine when the Order can be lifted. 

Any patron 5 years old and older must provide proof that they are fully-vaccinated to enter.

Yes.  Signs are available on the CCDPH webpage here.

Tag: Businesses

Signs are available on the CCDPH webpage here.

A template and guidance is available for download on our website here. 

No, language in a CBA cannot override a public health order.  Employers should consult with their labor attorneys to determine what may be required in further dealings with their unions in this situation.

0.5 Children (22)

Yes. If you are required to get vaccinated (because you work in healthcare, at a school, college/university or state-owned or operated church or place of worship), you do have the option to be tested weekly instead. However, your employer may have stricter requirements.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

No. The COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any parts of the virus, so they can’t give your child COVID-19.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

No. School-aged children do not have to quarantine after returning from domestic travel.   They should continue to attend school in-person. However, they should get tested 3-5 days after returning from their trip and should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days.

Yes. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for all children age 5 and older. The vaccine is free for everyone, both kids and adults. You don’t need to show proof of insurance or immigration to receive it.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

Test results must be provided in writing (paper or electronic copy) and must include information that confirms the person’s identity, the type of test that was done (must be NAAT or antigen test), the test result, the clinic or compant that is providing the test result, and the date the test was performed.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 03. Testing

Kids from 5-11 years old get a dose that is one third (1/3) the amount adults get. The needle is also smaller. Kids need two shots, 21 days apart, just like adults who get the Pfizer vaccine.

Categories: 0 Hot Topics, 0.5 Children

In the clinical trials (the research), zero out of 3,082 children from 5-11 years old developed myocarditis due to COVID-19 vaccination. Still, we believe there is a very small risk of a child developing myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccination.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

Children are just as likely to get COVID-19 as adults! It is true that children are less likely to have symptoms and if children have symptoms they are usually mild. But children with COVID-19 can still get very sick, need to go to the hospital, and even die.

Tags: Kids, Symptoms
Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

The unvaccinated teacher will need to resume weekly testing when they return to work.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 03. Testing

Children and adolescents (ages 12-18 years) receive the same dosage of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine as adults. There are no weight requirements for vaccination and the dose is the same no matter what you weigh.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

Yes. COVID-19 vaccines are safe for children and teens. CDC recommends everyone ages 5 years and older get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible to help protect against COVID-19. The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks. For more information, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/children-teens.html

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

You should vaccinate your child as soon as possible, even if that means they will get the smaller dose. When your child returns for their 2nd dose, at age 12, they will get the higher dose.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

Yes! The research shows that the Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective in preventing COVID-19 in children 5-11 years old. Even though children don’t usually get as sick as adults who get COVID-19, there are still some children who get very sick and need to go to the hospital. Also, we don’t know yet if there are long-term problems from COVID-19 that will show up when children are older. Last but not least, vaccinating our children helps to slow down the spread of COVID-19 which is good for everyone!

Category: 0.5 Children

The possible side effects of the vaccine for children are the same as for adults: things like fever, chills, or a sore arm. Young children usually have less side effects from the vaccine than adults do.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

Whether vaccinated or not, any employee who tests positive for COVID should immediately isolate at home. If they have symptoms, isolation should continue for 10 days starting with the day symptoms began. If they have no symptoms, isolation should continue for 10 days starting with the day the positive test was collected.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 03. Testing

They must have received the first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series (Pfizer or Moderna) or a single dose vaccine (J&J) by September 19, 2021.

For those with Pfizer or Moderna 2-dose vaccine: The second dose must be done within 30 days (no later than October 19, 2021). For employees starting in these positions after September 19th, the employer will determine when vaccination must be completed.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

Clinical trials (the research) are happening right now to make sure the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for kids as young as 6 months old. We cannot say for sure but it looks like the vaccine will be ready for children under 5 sometime in the beginning of 2022.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

Many pediatricians are ordering the COVID-19 vaccine to have it ready for their patients. If your pediatrician does not have it, you can find the Cook County Health site closest to you here: myshotcookcounty.com.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

All Cook County Health sites will be offering the vaccine. To find hours and a site closest to you, visit myshotcookcounty.com. You can make an appointment or walk in.

The COVID-19 vaccine will also be offered in most physician offices. Parents are encouraged to reach out to their family doctor with questions.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 01. COVID-19

No. There is no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems in women or men.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

Yes. IDPH will provide free testing for all public PK-12 schools (includes tiers 1, 2, 3 and 4) and private schools through June 30, 2022 through the SHIELD Illinois program. For info, go here: http://shieldillinois.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/IDPH-SHIELD-IL-overview-091621.pdf

Many people do not have any side effects after getting the vaccine.
Some common side effects include:
• pain, redness and swelling on the arm where you got the shot
• tiredness
• headache
• muscle pain
• chills
• fever
• nausea

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

01. COVID-19 (6)

COVID-19 can spread easily between people when they are close together through doplets in the air from coughing, sneezing, talking or singing. Most of these droplets cannot be seen withe naked eye.

Category: 01. COVID-19

Many people with COVID-19 don’t have any symptoms. Some people have symptoms similar to a cold or flu. Some people get very sick and need to be taken care of in the hospital. The most common symptoms include: fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

Tag: Symptoms
Category: 01. COVID-19

School leaders should work directly with their local health department to decide when schools should temporarily close because of an outbreak. The number of COVID-19 cases needed to close a building will change depending on things like how much of the community is vaccinated and how many people in the community are testing positive.

All Cook County Health sites will be offering the vaccine. To find hours and a site closest to you, visit myshotcookcounty.com. You can make an appointment or walk in.

The COVID-19 vaccine will also be offered in most physician offices. Parents are encouraged to reach out to their family doctor with questions.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 01. COVID-19

Anyone can get sick with COVID-19. People with immune symptoms that don’t work as well are at higher risk for getting really sick if they get COVID-19. This includes: older adults, people with heart, lung, kidney or liver disease, people with diabetes, and people who are overweight or obese. Some people get very from COVID-19 even without any of these conditions. If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor to make sure you get all the vaccines you need. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine, getting a vaccine booster if needed, wearing a mask, washing your hands, and keeping your distance from others are all very important to keep you safe from COVID-19.

Tag: At-Risk
Category: 01. COVID-19

COVID-19 tests that you can buy over the counter and take at home can sometimes be less accurate. Because of that, the public health department does not use at-home tests to track cases or make public health decisions.

Categories: 01. COVID-19, 03. Testing

02. Vaccines (53)

Yes. All of the COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States are effective at reducing your chances of getting COVID-19, getting very sick, and dying from COVID-19. To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, you should continue to wear a mask indoors when in public, even if you are fully vaccinated.

Category: 02. Vaccines

All of the COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States are safe. Millions of people in the United States have received these vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history. We recommend that you get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible.

Category: 02. Vaccines

Yes, effective July 1, 2021, the COVID-19 Vaccination Rights for Employees and Employer Obligations Ordinance went into effect. In Cook County, employers cannot require workers to get vaccinated outside of work hours. If your employer requires you to be vaccinated and your appointment is during your shift, you are to be compensated up to four hours per dose. If your employer does not require you to be vaccinated, you can use paid sick leave or paid time off to get vaccinated, but your employer cannot require you to find coverage for your shift during that time. Learn more or file a complaint with Cook County’s Commission on Human Rights: https://bit.ly/VaxRights

Category: 02. Vaccines

Yes. Businesses with health care, school or higher education employees or students are allowed to require proof of vaccination status for anyone, including visitors.

Category: 02. Vaccines

If you work in healthcare, at a school, college, university, state-owned or operated church or place of worship, and you are not fully vaccinated, you are required to get tested weekly. Employees who are exempt from the vaccine requirement due to a medical or religious reason must get tested weekly.

Category: 02. Vaccines

All healthcare providers in the state enter immunization data into the state IDPH I-CARE system. CCDPH has access to vaccination records through the Illinois Comprehensive Automated Immunization Registry Exchange (I-CARE) system. You can see vaccination data for the CCDPH jurisdiction on our ShinyApp: https://ccdphcd.shinyapps.io/covid19/. For more information about I-CARE visit:https://dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/prevention-wellness/immunization/icare.html.

Category: 02. Vaccines

Many people have no side effects from the COVID-19 vaccination. Some people experience soreness where they received the vaccine, a headache or other side effects that make them feel under the weather for one or two days. These side effects are normal signs that your body is building protection against the virus.

Category: 02. Vaccines

Usually the answer is yes, but it can be complicated depending on exactly what vaccine the person received. If you have a primary doctor, they can help you decide what vaccines you need. If you don’t, go to a location that has COVID-19 vaccines and ask to speak to someone who can help you. Most pharmacists at the drug store can help.

Category: 02. Vaccines

Yes. If you are required to get vaccinated (because you work in healthcare, at a school, college/university or state-owned or operated church or place of worship), you do have the option to be tested weekly instead. However, your employer may have stricter requirements.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

Yes, you can get COVID-19 even if you already had it. Getting the vaccine will give you a strong boost in long-term protection against severe illness, hospitalization or death.

Tags: Guidance, Vaccine
Category: 02. Vaccines

No. The COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any parts of the virus, so they can’t give your child COVID-19.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

Yes. Private workplaces can require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Category: 02. Vaccines

Yes, health care workers, school personnel, higher education personnel and students, and state employees and contractors who work at state-owned or operated congregate facilities are required to be fully vaccinated or  undergo weekly testing and can provide confirmation of a negative test result on a weekly basis.

Category: 02. Vaccines

There is no federal or state mandate to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC recommends the vaccine to all Americans 12 and over.

Category: 02. Vaccines

CDC recommends everyone ages 5 years and older get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible to help protect against COVID-19. On Nov. 4, 2021, the Biden administration and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a new emergency temporary standard (ETS) requiring large companies with 100 or more employees to mandate coronavirus vaccinations by January or undergo regular COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at work. OSHA issued an Emergency.

Category: 02. Vaccines

Yes. In Illinois, as long as you can medically tolerate it, everyone 2 years and older should wear a mask over their nose and mouth in indoor public places. Masking is also recommended for crowded outdoor settings and activities that involve close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.

You can remove your face covering while actively eating or drinking (including in bars or restaurants). While working, workers can remove their masks as long as they consistently maintain six feet of distance. An example of this would be if you’re working in your own office room or cubicle.

Everyone is required to wear a face covering on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation; in transportation hubs such as airports, train and bus stations; in congregate facilities such as correctional facilities and homeless shelters; and in healthcare settings.

Category: 02. Vaccines

Yes. As of October 21, 2021, the most current recommendations are: There are now booster recommendations for all three available COVID-19 vaccines in the United States. Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received, and others may prefer to get a different booster. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.

Category: 02. Vaccines

Yes. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for all children age 5 and older. The vaccine is free for everyone, both kids and adults. You don’t need to show proof of insurance or immigration to receive it.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

If your COVID immunization was administered within the state of Illinois, you can access your immunization record using Vax Verify to download the Vax Verify SMART Health Card. It is not a replacement vaccination card, but is a digital version of your COVID vaccination history. The SMART Health Card provides a convenient way to keep a copy of your records on hand and easily share this information with others if you choose.

Category: 02. Vaccines

If you need a new card, ask your physician to look in I-CARE and give you a new one. If you lost or misplaced your vaccination card, visit IDPH Vax Verify website and print verification.

Category: 02. Vaccines

If you lost or misplaced your vaccination card, visit IDPH Vax Verify website and print verification. If you need a new card, ask your physician to look in I-CARE and give you a new one.

Tag: ID
Category: 02. Vaccines

You can access your immunization records by visiting the Vax Verify portal.
http://www.dph.illinois.gov/immunizationsupport

Categories: 0 Hot Topics, 02. Vaccines

All steps have been taken to ensure the vaccines are safe and effective.
Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history.
The CDC recommends you get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can.
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/safety-of-vaccines.html

Category: 02. Vaccines

In the clinical trials (the research), zero out of 3,082 children from 5-11 years old developed myocarditis due to COVID-19 vaccination. Still, we believe there is a very small risk of a child developing myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccination.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

It usually takes about two weeks after vaccination for your body to build protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. If you get a two-dose vaccine, you are not fully vaccinated until 2 weeks after your 2nd dose.

Category: 02. Vaccines

Yes. As of October 21, 2021, the most current recommendations are: There are now booster recommendations for all three available COVID-19 vaccines in the United States. Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received, and others may prefer to get a different booster. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.

Category: 02. Vaccines

Yes. Anyone who has COVID-19 can spread it to others, whether they have had the vaccine or not. When a person who got the COVID-19 vaccine gets infected with COVID-19 it is called a “breakthrough infection.” COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing most infections but not all of them. Your chances of getting COVID-19 are much lower if you get the vaccine. You also have a much lower chance of getting really sick or needing to go to the hospital.

Category: 02. Vaccines

Children are just as likely to get COVID-19 as adults! It is true that children are less likely to have symptoms and if children have symptoms they are usually mild. But children with COVID-19 can still get very sick, need to go to the hospital, and even die.

Tags: Kids, Symptoms
Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

If you are vaccinated and were exposed to someone with COVID-19, you don’t need to quarantine. You should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days after exposure and get tested 3-5 days after exposure. If you are not fully vaccinated, you should get tested right away. If your first test is negative, get tested again 5-7 days after you were exposed. Quarantine yourself for at least 7 days from exposure and make sure you have a negative test before leaving quarantine. To be extra safe, stay in quarantine for 14 days and monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days after exposure.

Category: 02. Vaccines

Yes. Having COVID-19 in the past does not give you lasting immunity. The COVID-19 vaccines can give you long-lasting immunity and also protect you against other COVID-19 variants.

Category: 02. Vaccines

If you received your first two vaccinations at a Cook County site and you get the booster at a local pharmacy, the booster vaccination does not show up in your Cook County vaccination records. Only vaccinations received from Cook County will show up in Cook County records. However, all immunization data is entered into the IDPH I-CARE system and can be found on the Illinois Department of Public Health Vax Verify website. Learn more at: https://idphportal.illinois.gov/s/?language=en_US.

Category: 02. Vaccines
The vaccines are working very well to prevent the worst cases of COVID-19 that lead to hospitalization or death, even against the highly contagious Delta variant. The virus is constantly changing and scientists are seeing reduced protection against mild and moderate disease. A booster dose is recommended for all individuals 18 years and older if it has been at least 6 months after receiving their second Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, or at least two months after receiving the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Category: 02. Vaccines

Children and adolescents (ages 12-18 years) receive the same dosage of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine as adults. There are no weight requirements for vaccination and the dose is the same no matter what you weigh.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

Yes. COVID-19 vaccines are safe for children and teens. CDC recommends everyone ages 5 years and older get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible to help protect against COVID-19. The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks. For more information, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/children-teens.html

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

Yes. COVID-19 vaccines are safe and recommended for most people with any medical conditions. Vaccination helps to prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. If you have a medical condition, speak with your healthcare provider about steps you can take to manage your health and risks. Getting vaccinated, wearing a mask, washing your hands, and keeping your distance from others are all very important to keep you safe from COVID-19.

People with moderately to severely compromised immune systems should receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine after the initial 2 doses. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines.html

Category: 02. Vaccines

No. COVID-19 vaccines do not contain microchips. Vaccines work by using your body’s natural defense system to help your body fight disease.

You should vaccinate your child as soon as possible, even if that means they will get the smaller dose. When your child returns for their 2nd dose, at age 12, they will get the higher dose.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

Many people do not have any side effects after getting the vaccine.
Some common side effects include:
• pain, redness and swelling on the arm where you got the shot
• tiredness
• headache
• muscle pain
• chills
• fever
• nausea

Category: 02. Vaccines

The possible side effects of the vaccine for children are the same as for adults: things like fever, chills, or a sore arm. Young children usually have less side effects from the vaccine than adults do.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

The active ingredient in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines is Messenger RNA (or mRNA). Messenger RNA is a protein that helps the body make antibodies to the COVID-19 virus. Antibodies are like soldiers that fight the virus. The vaccine gets your body ready to fight for when it recognizes the real virus.

Category: 02. Vaccines

Most side effects will go away on their own.
If you gave pain, redness or swelling on the arm where you got the shot, you can put a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area. Keep using your arm as you usually do.
If you are feeling feverish, drink plenty of fluids and dress lightly. Talk to your doctor about taking an over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
If your side effects don’t go away within 3-4 days, talk to your doctor.

Category: 02. Vaccines

A booster shot is recommended due to concern that the effectiveness of the vaccine decreases over time and may not protect against a new strain, such as delta. Doctors use the term third dose when referring to people with compromised immune systems who may not have gotten the level of protection needed from the first two doses. The third dose provides additional immunity.

Tags: Boosters, Vaccine
Category: 02. Vaccines

They must have received the first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series (Pfizer or Moderna) or a single dose vaccine (J&J) by September 19, 2021.

For those with Pfizer or Moderna 2-dose vaccine: The second dose must be done within 30 days (no later than October 19, 2021). For employees starting in these positions after September 19th, the employer will determine when vaccination must be completed.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

As long as you are no longer in isolation or infectious, it is safe to get the vaccine. If you had symptoms of COVID-19, you are no longer infectious 10 days after your symptoms started. If you never had any symptoms of COVID-19, you are no longer infectious 10 days after the day you tested positive.

Category: 02. Vaccines

Clinical trials (the research) are happening right now to make sure the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for kids as young as 6 months old. We cannot say for sure but it looks like the vaccine will be ready for children under 5 sometime in the beginning of 2022.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

Many pediatricians are ordering the COVID-19 vaccine to have it ready for their patients. If your pediatrician does not have it, you can find the Cook County Health site closest to you here: myshotcookcounty.com.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

As of Dec. 16, 2021: Everyone ages 16 years and older can get a booster shot after they have completed their COVID-19 vaccine primary series. People ages 16 to 17 years old can get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster shot. On this date, CDC stated the U.S. supply of mRNA vaccines is abundant – with nearly 100 million doses in the field for immediate use and updated its recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines with a preference for people to receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) over Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine. Individuals who are unable or unwilling to receive an mRNA vaccine will continue to have access to Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine. Read CDC’s media statement.

Category: 02. Vaccines

If you work in healthcare, at a school, college, university, state-owned or operated church or place of worship, you are required to be fully vaccinated.

Category: 02. Vaccines

The COVID-19 vaccines are extremely effective in protecting fully vaccinated people from catching and spreading the virus. Unvaccinated people are 11 times more likely to die of COVID-19 than fully vaccinated people (according to CDC data, August 2021). While COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective, no vaccine provides 100% immunity.

Because this is a new virus, scientists and medical experts continue to monitor how long immunity lasts, how well the vaccines protect against new variants of the virus, and whether some groups may need additional doses. Secretary Powell, while vaccinated, was also being treated for Parkinson’s disease and multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer. The medications he had to take for his health conditions made the vaccine less effective. This is one reason why it is so important for other people to get vaccinated, to protect people with health conditions like Secretary Powell from getting COVID.

Category: 02. Vaccines

Data shows the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination for all people 5 years and older, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future. The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks. For more information, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/pregnancy.html

Category: 02. Vaccines

No. There is no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems in women or men.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

Many people do not have any side effects after getting the vaccine.
Some common side effects include:
• pain, redness and swelling on the arm where you got the shot
• tiredness
• headache
• muscle pain
• chills
• fever
• nausea

Categories: 0.5 Children, 02. Vaccines

No. The COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any parts of the virus, so they can’t give you COVID-19.

Category: 02. Vaccines

03. Testing (21)

Yes. Approved in-home PCR tests are available online and in pharmacies. Search “at home COVID PCR test” on Google or call your nearest pharmacy for more information. IDPH recommends using a PCR test because they are the most reliable and accurate.

Category: 03. Testing

Use this tool from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to find a site near you, and call and ask the facility about potential costs before going for a test. If there is going to be a fee for testing, and if you are uninsured or undocumented, talk to the testing provider to see if they will agree to bill the federal government for COVID-19 services so you do not have to pay any costs. If the provider does not submit a bill for your COVID-19-related testing to the federal government, or the care was not eligible for reimbursement from the program, you may be responsible for full payment of the bill.

Category: 03. Testing

Test results must be provided in writing (paper or electronic copy) and must include information that confirms the person’s identity, the type of test that was done (must be NAAT or antigen test), the test result, the clinic or compant that is providing the test result, and the date the test was performed.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 03. Testing

Visit www.covidtests.gov to order your free COVID tests. Every home in the U.S. is eligible to receive up to 4 free COVID-⁠19 tests. Order your tests as soon as possible so you have them when you need them. Orders will usually ship in 7-12 days. If you cannot wait and need a COVID-⁠19 test now, free testing locations can be found on the Cook County Health website (you must call 312-864-2749 to register for a test) or the Illinois Department of Health website.

Category: 03. Testing

If you are fully vaccinated, you should get tested 3-5 days after you were exposed to someone with COVID-19. If you are not fully vaccinated, you should get tested right away. If your first test is negative, get tested again 5-7 days after you were exposed. Quarantine yourself for at least 7 days from exposure and make sure you have a negative test before leaving quarantine. To be extra safe, stay in quarantine for 14 days. If you are vaccinated you don’t need to quarantine. Both people who are vaccinated and unvaccinated should monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days after their exposure.

Categories: 0 Hot Topics, 03. Testing

Positive test results are reported to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and local health departments using a system called I-NEDSS (Illinois’ National Electronic Disease Surveillance System). Contact tracing is then conducted to let contacts know they may have been exposed and should monitor their health for signs and symptoms.

Category: 03. Testing

The unvaccinated teacher will need to resume weekly testing when they return to work.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 03. Testing

Whether vaccinated or not, any employee who tests positive for COVID should immediately isolate at home. If they have symptoms, isolation should continue for 10 days starting with the day symptoms began. If they have no symptoms, isolation should continue for 10 days starting with the day the positive test was collected.

Category: 03. Testing

No. Antibody tests should not be used to diagnose a current infection and are not recommended to meet the requirements of Executive Order 2021-22.

Category: 03. Testing

On Dec. 17, 2021, CDC released two reports in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report highlighting the use of test-to-stay practices used in schools to minimize absenteeism and learning loss which can occur during traditional quarantine at home. In light of this updated data, CDC has added information on test-to-stay practices to the K-12 Transmission Science Brief and on K-12 webpages. Test-to-Stay is another valuable tool in a layered prevention strategy that includes promoting vaccination of eligible students and staff, requiring everyone age 2 years and older to wear a mask inside schools and facilities, keeping at least 3 feet of distance between students, screening testing, ventilation, handwashing, and staying home when sick.

Category: 03. Testing
Yes. People should get tested for COVID after spending time with people that do not live in the same household as them, especially if they have symptoms or are returning from travel.
Category: 03. Testing

Viral tests – also known as PCR or rapid antigen tests – show whether you have a current COVID infection.

Tags: PCR, Testing
Category: 03. Testing

CDC recommends that all states define school-associated outbreaks according to the standards established by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE): (A) “multiple cases comprising at least 10% of students, teachers, or staff within a specified core group” (e.g., extracurricular activity, cohort group, classroom, before/after school care, etc.) or (B) “at least three cases within a specified core group meeting criteria for a probable or confirmed school-associated COVID-19 case (laboratory-positive by PCR or antigen testing) with symptom onset or positive test within 14 calendar days of each other; who were not identified as close contacts of each other in another setting outside of the school setting (i.e., household); and that are epidemiologically linked in the school setting or a school-sanctioned activity.”

Category: 03. Testing

All Cook County residents aged 12 years or older are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Currently, children under 18 can only receive the Pfizer vaccine and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. In some cases, parental consent can be given in advance. Vaccinations are free, regardless of insurance or immigration status. Visit myshotcookcounty.com or cookcountypublichealth.org to find a site near you.

Category: 03. Testing

Call your municipality to report your issues with testing sites. Municipalities have the authority to deny or revoke business licenses. If you believe there may be fraud or other criminal activity associated with a testing facility, please contact the Illinois Attorney General’s Consumer Complaint Division online or call the Chicago office at 800-386-5438 or TTY: 800-964-3013.

Tags: Complaint, Fraud
Category: 03. Testing

Employees should receive a viral/PCR test if possible. The test must have EUA/FDA approval.

Tags: PCR, Testing
Category: 03. Testing

Whether vaccinated or not, any employee who tests positive for COVID should immediately isolate at home. If they have symptoms, isolation should continue for 10 days starting with the day symptoms began. If they have no symptoms, isolation should continue for 10 days starting with the day the positive test was collected.

Categories: 0.5 Children, 03. Testing

Schools and other community-based testing sites do not need a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) waiver when collaborating with a testing provider for screening, such as SHIELD Illinois. The testing provider will be responsible for obtaining a CLIA waiver. Go here for info: https://shieldillinois.com/

Category: 03. Testing

You should be tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19 and/or you were exposed to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. If you are not fully vaccinated, your work or school may require that you get tested every week.

Tags: Testing, Who
Category: 03. Testing

People who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 3 months and recovered do not need to be re-tested for COVID-19.

Category: 03. Testing

COVID-19 tests that you can buy over the counter and take at home can sometimes be less accurate. Because of that, the public health department does not use at-home tests to track cases or make public health decisions.

Categories: 01. COVID-19, 03. Testing

04. Prevention (4)

To prevent the spread of COVID, you should: get vaccinated, wear a mask, wash your hands, keep your distance from people who don’t live with you, and stay home when you’re sick.

Category: 04. Prevention

Monoclonal antibodies therapy is a prevention as well as treatment option for COVID-19 illness for non-hospitalized people and is a way to lower the chance of progression to severe illness or hospitalization. Health care providers – including primary care offices, outpatient clinics, urgent care centers, infusion centers, dialysis centers, home health services, and hospitals – are encouraged to assess their capabilities to provide this treatment to their patients quickly after they have been identified as having COVID-19 and are determined to be at risk for severe illness or hospitalization.

Category: 04. Prevention

The best way to protect yourself and others is to get vaccinated if you’re eligible. For additional protection: Get a booster shot (if age 18 years or older and eligible); get tested within 24 hours before being with others not in your household, and, if you are not fully vaccinated, wear a mask indoors at all times, except when eating or drinking. For the full CCDPH holiday celebration and travel guidelines, visit https://cookcountypublichealth.org/2021/11/23/thanksgiving2021/

Category: 04. Prevention

School leaders should work directly with their local health department to decide when schools should temporarily close because of an outbreak. The number of COVID-19 cases needed to close a building will change depending on things like how much of the community is vaccinated and how many people in the community are testing positive.

05. Masking (12)

Yes. Customers can remove their face coverings when actively eating and drinking but should wear face coverings at all other times when inside a bar or restaurant. It is recommended that tables be arranged so that seated patrons are a minimum of six feet away from patrons at other tables.

Category: 05. Masking

Yes. In Illinois, people in indoor public places must wear a face covering at all times, unless they can consistently maintain six feet of distance all of the time (such as when working in an office or cubicle).

Category: 05. Masking

Yes. Even if you’re vaccinated, you are required to wear a mask on public transportation.

Category: 05. Masking

Face coverings may be removed by workers at workplaces when they can consistently maintain six feet of distance from others.

Category: 05. Masking

Yes. Face coverings must be worn at all times when inside a health and fitness center, including while exercising.

Tags: Gyms, Masking
Category: 05. Masking

People are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings in crowded outdoor settings and for activities that involve close contact with people who are not fully vaccinated. Individual businesses can institute their own policies around masking outdoors, such as concert venues.

Category: 05. Masking

Yes. All employees and customers, regardless of vaccination status and ability to physically distance, must wear face coverings in retail settings.

Category: 05. Masking

It is not required but it is strongly recommended. We also recommend getting vaccinated, washing your hands frequently, keeping your distance from others and staying home if you’re sick. This will help to keep COVID from spreading.

Category: 05. Masking

Sometimes wearing a face covering may not be possible. Face coverings should not be worn by someone if it creates a risk to workplace health, safety, or job duty as determined by the workplace risk assessment.

Category: 05. Masking

A person who cannot wear a mask or cannot safely wear a mask because of a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.) is not required to wear a face covering pursuant to the Executive Order. Employers should discuss the possibility of reasonable accommodation with workers who are not fully vaccinated, who are unable to wear a mask, or who have difficulty wearing certain types of masks because of a disability. https://www.ada.gov/pubs/adastatute08.htm

Category: 05. Masking

Persons who cannot medically tolerate a face covering are exempt from the Order. Individuals and businesses might consider the following alternatives: – Allow the customer to wear a scarf, loose face covering, or full-face shield instead of a face covering. – Allow the customer to wear a scarf, loose face covering, or full-face shield instead of a face covering. – Allow the customer to wear a scarf, loose face covering, or full-face shield instead of a face covering. – Allow the customer to wait in a car for an appointment and enter the building when called or texted. – Offer appointments by telephone or video.

Category: 05. Masking

All individuals the age of 2 or over who can medically tolerate a face covering are required to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when in an indoor public place. All employees must wear face coverings in indoor workplaces.

Category: 05. Masking

06. Guidance/Mandates (9)

Tents, including those used for weddings, must have at least 50% of the sides open in order to be considered an outdoor area. Tents that do not have at least 50% of the sides open are considered public indoor places and occupants must wear face coverings, regardless of vaccination status or physical distancing.

Tags: Guidance, Masking

No. There are no domestic or international travel restrictions but the CDC does recommend delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated.

If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, follow the CDC’s recommendations found here.

Guidance for domestic travel can be found here.

Guidance for international travel can be found here.

Tag: Travel

There are no capacity limits per se, but it is recommended that people limit indoor gatherings to only household members or guests who are vaccinated and ideally boosted and who have tested negative (using a PCR test or at-home rapid test for COVID) within 24 hours prior to the event. Taking layered protections can go a long way toward keeping germs from spreading. These include: masking, distancing, handwashing, opening windows for fresh air circulation, washing frequently touched surfaces, etc. Unvaccinated people are encouraged to stay home. The highest numbers of cases have been among the unvaccinated, as they are at greatest risk of becoming more seriously ill, or having complications that could lead to hospitalization or even death.

No. School-aged children do not have to quarantine after returning from domestic travel.   They should continue to attend school in-person. However, they should get tested 3-5 days after returning from their trip and should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days.

No. It is possible for a health care setting to be subject to the Executive Order, even if it is not listed.

Yes. Businesses and venues should post clear signage for patrons and the public instructing them on face covering requirements. Signage should be posted at entrances and in various locations throughout the premises, especially those where individuals may congregate. You can download signs in English and Spanish here: https://cookcountypublichealth.org/ccdph-covid-19-communications/

Governor Pritzker signed Executive Order 21-22 on September 3, 2021. This Order requires all individuals over the age of 2 and who can medically tolerate a face covering to wear a face covering when in indoor public places. The Executive Order also requires health care workers, school personnel, higher education personnel and students, and employees and contractors of state-owned or operated congregate facilities to be fully vaccinated.

Healthcare workers are defined as people who are employed, contracted or volunteer to provide services at a healthcare facility and are likely to be within 6 feet of others for more than 15 minutes at least once a week on a regular basis.

Local police and public health departments can use traditional police powers and public health authority to enforce the Executive Order.

07. Resources (1)

Yes. IDPH will provide free testing for all public PK-12 schools (includes tiers 1, 2, 3 and 4) and private schools through June 30, 2022 through the SHIELD Illinois program. For info, go here: http://shieldillinois.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/IDPH-SHIELD-IL-overview-091621.pdf

08. Contact Tracing (1)

If an employee who undergoes regular, weekly testing receives a postive COVID test result, they should immediately isolate at home. If they have symptoms, isolation should continue for 10 days starting with the day symptoms began. If they have no symptoms, isolation should continue for 10 days starting with the day the positive test was collected.

09. Misinformation (3)

No. COVID-19 vaccines do not contain microchips. Vaccines work by using your body’s natural defense system to help your body fight disease.

Vaccination gives you the freedom to live a healthy life on your terms. It gives you the control to protect yourself from COVID-19.

Category: 09. Misinformation

Vaccination boosts the body’s natural defenses against disease to keep you free of infection. The vaccines are also preservative-free.

Category: 09. Misinformation

10. Miscellaneous (7)

If a person is employed at a facility that provides healthcare and is in close contact with visitors for more than 15 minutes on a regular basis, they are mandated to get vaccinated or be tested at least weekly.

Category: 10. Miscellaneous

Examples of Health Care Facilities include: pharmacies, ambulatory surgical treatment centers, free-standing emergency centers, birth centers, hospices, hospitals, physician offices, and dental offices. Health Care Facilities also include places that provide: urgent care, post-surgical recovery care, end-stage renal disease care, long-term care, specialized mental health rehabilitation, assistance with activities of daily living, mental health care, and public health services.

Category: 10. Miscellaneous

Examples of healthcare workers include: physicians, nurses, nursing assistants, physician assistants, pharmacists, EMS personnel, first responders, chiropractors, optometrists, dentists, dental hygienists, public health personnel, aides, staff and other personnel working in a health care facility.

Category: 10. Miscellaneous

A health care facility is a place that provides health services, medical treatment, rehabilitation or preventative care.

Category: 10. Miscellaneous

A “public indoor place” is an indoor event space, facility, or building where people visit or work. Examples of public indoor places include businesses, retail establishments, office buildings, entertainment venues, hotel meeting rooms and ballrooms, lobby areas, and indoor sports complexes.

Category: 10. Miscellaneous

The term “Health Care Facility” does not include any State-owned or operated facilities.

Category: 10. Miscellaneous

Contractors who make deliveries to a site where they are more than 6 feet from others or just quickly entering a site to pick up a shipment are not considered health care workers.

Category: 10. Miscellaneous
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