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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.

01. COVID-19 (1)

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

02. Vaccines (4)

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, 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

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

03. Testing (2)

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

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

05. Masking (3)

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

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

06. Guidance/Mandates (2)

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

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

10. Miscellaneous (1)

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

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