COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions
Every week, the DuPage County Health Department will be sharing the most frequently asked questions about the coronavirus pandemic to help educate and inform county residents.
- COVID-19 Vaccine
- Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Program
- DuPage County COVID-19 Test Site
- Resurgence Mitigation
DuPage County Health Department (DCHD)
Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine (4/13/21)
Is DCHD cancelling vaccination appointments?
The DuPage County Health Department is using the Pfizer vaccine for appointments that are scheduled at the DuPage County Community Vaccination Site. At this time, we do not anticipate having to cancel appointments. Our partners are also being asked to pause any use of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine and use other vaccine brands if available until we receive the recommendation to resume.
I received the J&J vaccine recently; do I need to worry?
We understand that this news may cause concern. Millions of people have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine with no serious side effects. Serious reactions are extremely rare. The CDC has shared that if you got the vaccine several weeks ago, the risk of a reaction is very low. People who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider and share their recent vaccination history. Patients with other clinical questions should contact their health care provider.
How likely is it that someone would have an adverse reaction to J&J?
Adverse reactions to the vaccine are extremely rare. There were six reports of a rare type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) in combination with low levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia) out of 6.8 million doses given in the United States using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
|For more information, refer to DCHD Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine Update (4/13/21)|
Week of 4/9/21
Is it safe for me to get a COVID-19 vaccine if I would like to have a baby one day?
Yes. If you are trying to become pregnant now or want to get pregnant in the future, you may receive a COVID-19 vaccine when one is available to you.
There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problems with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta. In addition, there is no evidence that fertility problems are a side effect of any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines.
Like all vaccines, scientists are studying COVID-19 vaccines carefully for side effects now and will continue to study them for many years.
Is DuPage County opening vaccine eligibly to people 16 years and older on April 12? I will be eligible, so how can I get an appointment?
Yes. DuPage County is expanding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all DuPage and Illinois residents 16 years of age and older. You can register for vaccination appointments in DuPage County at www.dupagehealth.org/covid19vaccine, or call (630) 682-7400 if you need assistance with registration. Appointment opportunities may still be prioritized for eligible individuals in earlier phases to help ensure individuals at higher risk of exposure and severe health outcomes are vaccinated. Please be patient, yet persistent, as we continue to move forward in vaccinating our residents as quickly and equitably as possible.
Since some providers are receiving vaccine directly from the state or federal government, we also encourage you to contact your primary care doctor, local retail pharmacies, and other vaccine providers in your area for other vaccine appointment opportunities. Additional vaccination locations can be found here www.dupagehealth.org/covid19vaccinelocations.
Week of 4/2/21
After I’m fully vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine, is it safe to visit in person with friends and family?
Fully vaccinated people can:
Week of 3/26/21
Is DuPage County expanding eligibility to residents 16 years and older?
Today, Mar. 26, the Governor announced local health departments who are experiencing low COVID-19 vaccine demand are now able to begin vaccinating residents 16 years and older. At this time, DuPage County Health Department will not be expanding eligibility to this group as vaccine demand remains high in the current eligible priority groups.
Who is eligible for COVID-19 vaccine in DuPage?
DCHD is following the State’s expanded eligibility criteria. Currently, individuals who meet Phase 1a, 1b, 1b+, or who are government employees, higher education staff, or news media are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Beginning March 29, restaurant staff, construction trade workers, and religious leaders will become eligible. Beginning April 12, any resident age 16 and older will become eligible.
Can I get my second vaccine dose at a different location than where I got my first dose?
People are highly encouraged to get their second vaccine at the same location they received their first. Second doses are shipped to each provider so that they receive the same number of doses as the first doses they administered, with the intention that people will return to the same location for their second dose.
DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) is sending appointment notifications for the DCHD Community Vaccination Clinic and other partner vaccine providers to eligible individuals registered on our vaccine registration list. Eligible DuPage County and Illinois residents can register on DCHD’s website to be notified of upcoming appointments at www.dupagehealth.org/covid19vaccine, or call (630) 682-7400 if assistance is needed with registration.
Everyone who is registered is also encouraged to contact their primary care doctor or local retail pharmacy for vaccine and appointment availability and explore additional opportunities through other vaccine providers in their area. For a list of available locations, visit www.dupagehealth.org/covid19vaccinelocations.
Week of 3/19/21
After I register for vaccine on the DCHD website, do I need to call to confirm I am registered?
There is no need to call and confirm your registration at this time. If you are receiving emails from DuPage County Health Department, then you are successfully registered. You will receive additional emails and/or text messages from us once appointments become available for you.
Is it safe to travel this Spring Break?
DCHD reminds parents, teachers, and families that postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect themselves and others from COVID-19, including the new variants identified in Illinois and DuPage County. People who choose to travel should follow CDC requirements and recommendations found at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-during-covid19.html.
When am I considered to be fully vaccinated?
People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, like the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. Or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, like Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine. If it has been less than two weeks since your shot, or if you still need to get your second dose, you are NOT fully protected.
Week of 3/12/21
I received a second e-mail from DCHD requesting more information. Is this a scam?
The email you received this week is not a scam and was only sent to people on our registration list who had not submitted the additional information requested. Last week DCHD upgraded our registration system. Everyone who was registered received an email last week with instructions on how to update their information in the new system. This update provides you with an opportunity to confirm your interest in being vaccinated or opt-out if you have already been vaccinated. If you do not complete the link by March 18, 2021, you will no longer receive appointment alerts from DuPage County Health Department.
If you have any concerns about your registration status, please call us at 630-682-7400 for assistance.
I received a second e-mail from DCHD requesting more information. Is this a scam? I registered for a vaccine in early February and still haven't been contacted to schedule an appointment. Why?
An estimated 330,000 individuals in DuPage County are currently eligible as part of Phase 1a and 1b. Based on the unpredictable vaccine supply we receive each week; we expect it may take until May before everyone eligible for Phase 1a and 1b is offered an appointment.
As new appointments become available at DCHD’s vaccine clinic or through our partner healthcare providers, emails with instructions on how to schedule an appointment are sent to individuals on this list who indicated Phase 1a or 1b eligibility when registering for this list. Notifications are sent to groups of several hundred individuals in the order that they signed up for the list.
DCHD is one of many providers in DuPage County currently administering COVID-19 vaccine. These include healthcare providers and retail pharmacies. We encourage residents to explore all options to access vaccine, sign-up on multiple lists, and take advantage of the soonest appointment available to them. You can find other vaccination sites here coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/vaccination-location.
Week of 3/5/21
I received an e-mail from DCHD requesting more information. Is this a scam?
The email you received on either March 3 or March 4 is not a scam. This week, we upgraded our vaccine registration system. Everyone registered on the previous vaccine registration list received an email with instructions on how to update their information in the new system to keep their place in line. The link provided is unique to the individual and should not be shared with others. This request allows people who are signed-up to confirm their interest in getting the vaccine or to opt-out if they have already been vaccinated. If you have not already submitted your information, please do so at the unique link sent to you. If you do not update your information with the link sent to you by March 11, 2021, you will no longer be on the vaccine registration list to receive appointment alerts from DuPage County Health Department.
Will I lose my place in line after re-registering?
If you provide the additional information requested (using the unique link sent to you), you will not lose your place in line. People who are transferred from the previous registration list to the new one will keep their place in line and be offered an appointment once it is their turn.
Which COVID-19 vaccine will I get?
Due to high demand, low supply, and the unpredictable nature of vaccine supply, individuals vaccinated at the DCHD clinic will not have the opportunity to choose in advance which vaccine they receive (i.e., Pfizer, Moderna, Janssen). If you do not want to be vaccinated with the vaccine brand available that day, you may decide not to be vaccinated at the clinic.
As an Employer of Frontline Essential Workers in DuPage County, how do we ensure our staff can get vaccinated?
Week of 2/26/21
I have a family member who is part of the Phase 1b group and wants to get the vaccine. How can they get an appointment?
They should register on DCHD’s website at www.dupagehealth.org/covid19vaccine, or call (630) 682-7400 if they need assistance with registration (i.e., no internet or computer access, language assistance, or have questions). Also, they should contact your primary care doctor or local retail pharmacy for appointment availability and explore additional opportunities through other vaccine providers in the area. For a list of available locations compiled by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), visit coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/vaccination-location.
Is DuPage County expanding eligibility to the Phase 1b Plus group? If not, then when?
Until COVID-19 vaccine supply increases, DuPage County will not be expanding to the Phase 1b Plus group that includes individuals ages 16–64 years with co-morbidities and underlying conditions, as well as individuals with disabilities. DuPage County plans to expand to the Phase 1b Plus group once vaccine supply significantly increases, demand in the current group declines, or a significant proportion of the current group is vaccinated.
If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. That’s because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible—although rare—that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again. Learn more about why getting vaccinated is a safer way to build protection than getting infected.
If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
Week of 2/19/21
Will DuPage County expand the 1b priority group to include people 16-64 with underlying health conditions on Feb. 25th?
Until vaccine supply increases, DuPage County will not be expanding to the Phase 1b Part II group announced by the Governor last week that includes individuals ages 16–64 years with co-morbidities and underlying conditions, as well as individuals with disabilities.
How long will it take to complete the 1a and 1b priority groups?
Based on the extremely limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine available each week across the country and in DuPage County, we anticipate it may take approximately 12 weeks to vaccinate the nearly 270,000 individuals in DuPage County who meet Phase 1b criteria. Once vaccine supply is more robust, the rate of vaccination is expected to increase as more vaccine will be available for the DCHD community vaccination clinic as well as the network of healthcare providers approved as vaccination sites.
I’m part of the 1b priority group and want to schedule an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine. What should I do?
Persons eligible in Phase 1a or 1b who are interested in receiving vaccine should do the following:
Week of 2/12/21
Will the amount of vaccine administered on a weekly basis increase? If so, when?
The DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) is hopeful that COVID-19 vaccine supply will increase but there are no definitive timelines on when that may occur. Once vaccine supply is more robust, the rate of vaccination is expected to increase as more vaccine will be available for the DCHD community vaccination clinic as well as the network of healthcare providers approved as vaccination sites.
When someone is alerted they are now eligible to get the vaccine and schedule an appointment, is that only through the DCHD vaccine clinic?
Individuals who have registered with the DuPage County Health Department will receive information to schedule an appointment through DCHD or another healthcare provider. If a person eligible in Phase 1a or 1b has registered with the DuPage County Health Department (DCHD), they will receive weekly updates on the progress of our vaccination efforts. Once it is their turn, they will receive a link to schedule their appointment with DCHD or another healthcare provider. While individuals wait their turn, they may also contact their healthcare provider and private pharmacies for earlier appointment opportunities.
What do people do if they're not permanent residents or workers of DuPage?
If they have verification of their current employment or residence in DuPage County when they schedule their appointment they will be served. Everyone is encouraged to seek vaccine opportunities within the county they live or work in and should return to the same location for their second dose.
Week of 2/5/21
Is DuPage County Health Department prioritizing teachers in Phase 1b or how will they be vaccinated?
The DuPage County Health Department has been working with DuPage County schools through the Regional Office of Education (ROE) throughout the pandemic response. With the assistance of the ROE, we have developed a COVID-19 vaccination plan that links vaccine providers with 13 points of dispensing (PODs) established through the High School Districts. These providers are ready to begin vaccinating once vaccine is available with the understanding that it may take several weeks to have enough vaccine supply allocated and distributed to DuPage County.
There are over 28,000 educators and school staff and we are receiving only about 14,000 doses of vaccine in the county each week for those remaining to be vaccinated in 1a and all 270,000 individuals eligible in 1b. As the health department for all county residents, we are working to ensure that all people eligible in the Phase 1b priority groups have equitable access to the still limited vaccine.
If I have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, do I need to wear a mask, avoid close contact with others, and quarantine if I am exposed?
Yes. Everyone, including those who have been fully vaccinated, should continue using these measures to help end this pandemic as we learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions.
We don’t yet know whether getting a COVID-19 vaccine will prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to other people, even if you don’t get sick yourself.
Week of 1/29/21
Currently can anyone in Phase 1b sign up at any site, or is availability limited to specific groups within 1b?
Anyone eligible in the 1b group will be able to schedule appointments as vaccine supply increases. The state has not released guidelines for prioritizing within 1b. We encourage people to register for updates about when and where COVID-19 vaccine will be available at www.dupagehealth.org/covid19vaccine. However, if opportunities to register become available through pharmacies, healthcare providers, or medical groups, people should also register there and get vaccinated at the first opportunity available. Many providers will be administering vaccine in the coming weeks and months as vaccine supply increases.
Do you have to live or work in DuPage to receive a vaccine in DuPage?
As the vaccine supply provided by the State of Illinois/IDPH is allocated based on county jurisdiction, DCHD is further prioritizing its administration of vaccine for individuals who live or work in DuPage County.
When will the mass vaccination site at the Fairgrounds open?
Next month, DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) will be moving and expanding the current COVID-19 vaccination clinic, operated at the health department building in Wheaton, to the DuPage County Fairgrounds. The vaccination clinic will be by appointment only, scheduled in advance. No walk-up appointments will be available.
As a reminder, this will be one of the many sites in DuPage County that eligible individuals will be able to access to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. DCHD has a decentralized, community-based vaccine allocation for our County that has over 80 locations for residents to access the vaccine. For more information, visit www.dupagehealth.org/covid19vaccine.
Week of 1/22/21
At this time, we are recommending residents register through their county health department. Through this registration, information will be shared about when and where vaccine is available for people to begin scheduling appointments.
However, if an individual is contacted directly through their healthcare provider or medical group, before they are contacted through the health department, they should get vaccinated at the first opportunity available.
How far in advance can I register?
People should begin registering now. This will provide them direct communication and updates as vaccination sites begin offering appointments to their corresponding phase.
Is there a time lag or delay to get the vaccine through the county?
The supply of vaccine is currently not adequate to meet the demand. The DuPage County Health Department is one of many healthcare providers who are currently vaccinating. We encourage people to be vaccinated at any of the healthcare providers who will be administering vaccine in the coming weeks and months. We anticipate additional vaccination sites will become available as vaccine supply increases.
Week of 1/15/21
This depends on whether or not you fall under the Phase 1a, 1b, or 1c guidelines as listed here: https://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/vaccination-plan. DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) and healthcare providers in the community are currently vaccinating healthcare personnel as part of Phase 1a and anticipate moving to Phase 1b in the coming weeks. Once in Phase 1b, we estimate nearly 270,000 individuals in DuPage will become eligible. With this large of a group, it may take about 12 weeks for all Phase 1b individuals to be vaccinated. Because it will take time to get this many people vaccinated, we are urging patience from our residents while we continue working to deliver as many vaccinations as quickly as possible through both the DCHD and a network of partner providers in the community.
What should I do now?
Currently, DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) asks any individuals living, working, or attending college/university in DuPage and interested in learning more about opportunities to become vaccinated for COVID-19 to sign-up for our weekly updates at www.dupagehealth.org/covid19vaccine. Signing up for these updates is not a registration for a vaccine. However, signing up allows DCHD to communicate with you efficiently as opportunities to become vaccinated by providers all over the county become available.
What is the Health Department’s plan for Phase 1b?
DuPage County Health Department is working with many different partners at all levels, including hospitals, healthcare providers, pharmacies, and community leaders to expand access to vaccine throughout numerous sites across DuPage County. Our goal is to make COVID-19 vaccine available in as many locations as possible as we prepare to move into Phase 1b in the coming weeks. As vaccine supply increases and additional vaccination sites become available, the Health Department expects the rate of vaccination will increase and more information will be available about the specific locations people will be able to go to schedule appointments for vaccine.
How much of the vaccine received in DuPage County has made it into people’s arms?
In the first four weeks of vaccination, DuPage County received 46,305 doses of vaccine, and 32,711 doses of vaccine were administered, which represents 71% of doses received being administered. Please note that not all received doses can be administered immediately as each week vaccinators must hold vaccine doses for upcoming appointments. Of the 32,711 doses administered in DuPage County as of January 11, DuPage County Health Department has administered 3,406 doses and other healthcare partners have administered 29,305 doses.
What are you doing to get people vaccinated more quickly?
The DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) is working diligently to increase the number of vaccines administered each week. Local healthcare partners are also planning and expanding additional opportunities. DCHD understands, very clearly, the need to expand the availability of the vaccine as the population to be vaccinated increases in Phase 1b. It will, even with the expansion, require patience and calm from our residents. We are working around the clock to ensure these efforts are successful and achieve high vaccine coverage levels across our communities.
Week of 1/8/21
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
How is CDC working to make sure people want to and can get vaccinated once a COVID-19 vaccine is available?
Will there be enough vaccine for everyone?
The goal is for everyone to be able to easily get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as large quantities are available. Several thousand vaccination providers will be available, including doctors’ offices, retail pharmacies, hospitals, and federally qualified health centers.
How long will it take for COVID-19 vaccines to take effect?
The COVID-19 vaccine is expected to provide some protection a couple of weeks after your first shot and reaches its greatest effectiveness after your second shot. It is very important to take the second shot within the recommended time period for maximum vaccine effectiveness.
Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH)
When can I get a COVID-19 vaccine?
The first supply of COVID-19 vaccine receiving Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began being distributed in the U.S. on December 14, 2020. Initial supplies of the vaccine will be limited, and therefore allocated to health care personnel and Long-term care (LTC) residents and staff. However, the vaccine supply will increase over time and all adults should be able to be vaccinated in 2021.
Where can I get the vaccine?
Initially, hospitals will provide COVID-19 vaccine to health care personnel. As more vaccine is distributed by the federal government, several thousand vaccination providers will be available, including but not limited to doctors’ offices, retail pharmacies, hospitals, and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), across the state.
CDC is working with pharmacies to establish a system to offer on-site COVID-19 vaccination services to residents and staff in LTC settings, including skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities where most individuals are over 65 years of age.
Is a COVID-19 vaccine safe?
The U.S. vaccine safety system is a deliberate and multi-phase process to ensure all vaccines are as safe as possible. Safety is a top priority. Vaccine candidates conduct clinical trials with many thousands of study participants to generate scientific data and other information for the FDA to determine their safety and effectiveness.
If the FDA determines a vaccine meets its safety and effectiveness standards, it can make these vaccines available for use in the U.S. by approval or Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). After the FDA makes its determination, ACIP will review the available data in order to make vaccine recommendations to the CDC. ACIP will then recommend vaccine use. After a vaccine is authorized or approved for use, vaccine safety monitoring systems will watch for adverse events (possible side effects). CDC is working to expand safety surveillance through
Can the COVID-19 vaccine cause me to become infected or infect others?
No, you cannot become infected or infect others from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, because the vaccine contains no live virus. Instead, the vaccine directs your body to produce a protein that teaches your body how to fight off the virus.
Do I have to get a COVID-19 vaccine?
There is no federal or state mandate to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC recommends the vaccine to all Americans 16 and over.
Can my employer require that I receive a COVID-19 vaccine before returning to work?
Decisions regarding immunization at private workplaces are up to the employer.
Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Program
Are you a volunteer?
Each person you speak to is a trained Case Investigation and Contact Tracing (CICT) specialist employed by the DuPage County Health Department (DCHD). These specialists undergo a rigorous 2-week training to learn the intricate processes of disease surveillance, interviewing skills and techniques, how to navigate our electronic system, and identify local resources to provide to cases and close contacts, as needed, to reduce spread of COVID-19.
Why do you ask me so many questions? How are you going to use the information I provide?
Because COVID-19 is still a novel virus, information collected regarding symptoms, locations visited, and close contacts helps public health learn more about this virus and how it spreads throughout the community. The information provided helps:
Is DCHD able to do outreach to all cases and close contacts in our area? What are we doing with businesses/schools (what type of outreach)?
The CICT specialists at DCHD are working tirelessly to reach every COVID-19 case in DuPage County, as well as close contacts, as capacity allows. With state and federal funding support, DCHD has significantly expanded our workforce to be able to complete this important work to prevent further spread of COVID-19 within households, schools, workplaces, and the community.
The Health Department also has dedicated COVID-19 response teams to follow-up directly with businesses and educational institutions within DuPage County. These teams provide initial public health guidance and resources, including recommendations for isolation and quarantine for cases and contacts, respectively, as well as symptom monitoring, anticipatory guidance, infection prevention and environmental cleaning/disinfection, and communication templates for close contacts and low-risk contacts.
Why do I need to quarantine after my household confirmed case is done with isolation (if not able to be separate during isolation period)? Does it really take up to 14 days to show symptoms/test positive?
The incubation period (i.e., time from exposure to onset of illness or infection) of the virus that causes COVID-19 is 2-14 days. If you have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, it is important you quarantine away from others for the full 14 days to monitor for any development of symptoms. This is crucial in slowing the spread of COVID-19 to your friends, family, and ultimately to the community.
DuPage County COVID-19 Test Site
I have symptoms and need to get a COVID-19 test. Is this test site my only option?No, if you have a primary care provider, you should call and make an appointment to be tested through your doctor.Often, doctor’s offices can have results available much sooner and will follow-up after your results are received to answer any questions that you have and provide additional education.
Other testing locations can be found at dph.illinois.gov/testing
General testing information as well as mobile COVID-19 testing site locations can be found at www.dupagehealth.org/covid19testing
About how long will it take to receive my results from the test site? What should I do while I wait?
Generally, test results are received in 3-4 days. If you are tested because you have symptoms or are identified as a close contact, please stay home and quarantine. Even if you test negative for COVID-19 or feel healthy, you should continue to stay home for the 14 days after your last exposure to the infected person since symptoms may appear 2 to n14 days after.
In addition, if you are an employee, you should
Why are restaurants and bars being “singled out” during regional mitigation?
Restaurants and bars are considered environments where transmission can occur at higher levels due to more social gatherings indoors without physical distancing, tighter spaces and inherent removing of masks for eating and drinking, while talking and releasing droplets in close proximity over the course of one to two hours. According to a recent CDC study, “Adults with confirmed COVID-19 (case-patients) were approximately twice as likely as were control-participants to have reported dining at a restaurant in the 14 days before becoming ill. In addition to dining at a restaurant, case-patients were more likely to report going to a bar/coffee shop”.
What are the metrics that the Governor’s office is using to identify restaurants as a setting to minimize gatherings (rather than grocery stores, retail, etc.)?
Guiding Principles to Keep in Mind
Isn't it obvious that if the super spreader events, like large home gatherings, are the major cause of the increase of the virus, that eliminating restaurants would only cause more people to gather together in homes, where social distancing and mask wearing would certainly not be followed, as they are in restaurants?
First, we need to limit any form of indoor gatherings as much as possible, including in both homes and restaurants/bars. We must emphasize preventive actions in all indoor settings, and one should not come at the expense of the other. Practicing the 3 W’s (wear a mask, watch your distance by keeping at least 6-feet apart, and wash your hands) always is vitally important if congregating with others outside your household in any setting. Unfortunately, with current community transmission at a very high level, it remains difficult to definitively identify true sources of exposure in many instances and it is challenging to ensure people are using masks correctly throughout the duration of social gatherings in any setting. Staying connected virtually with family and friends is encouraged as much as possible to prevent COVID-19 spread.
Do the mitigation measures impact drive-thru, take-out or delivery for restaurants?
No. Mitigations do not restrict take-out, drive-thru, or delivery options for restaurants. The guidance only provides for additional operating restrictions for indoor dining.
Do bars and restaurants need to stop accepting customers at 11:00 p.m., or do they have to clear the premises by 11:00 p.m.?
All patrons must be off the premises by 11:00 p.m. and may reopen at 6:00 a.m. or later. Drive-thru, carry out, and delivery service is still permitted after 11:00 p.m., but customers must depart after obtaining their food and there should not be congregation of customers outside of the restaurant after closure time.
Does the limit of 25 people in a gathering apply to outdoor events?
Yes, gatherings must be kept to lesser than 25 guests or 25% of overall room capacity both indoors and outdoors see: dceocovid19resources.com/assets/Restore-Illinois/COVID-19-Resurgence-Migitations.pdf
Does the limit of 25 people in a gathering apply to churches?
Organizers of religious gatherings are encouraged to follow the mitigation measures by limiting gatherings to 25% capacity or 25 persons, whichever is less. Additionally, places of worship are recommended to follow IDPH guidance on social and physical distancing posted here: www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/communityguidance/places-worship-guidance For this and other FAQs regarding the resurgence mitigations see www2.illinois.gov/dceo/Documents/Essential%20Business%20FAQ.pdf (start on page 9)
Are tents permissible for outdoor dining?
Subject to any required municipal and/or local liquor commission restrictions and approval requirements, tents may be used for outdoor dining if at least two sides of the tent are open to allow airflow.
If more than two sides of the tent are enclosed, this is considered indoors for purposes of the guidelines.
If I’ve had close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19, do I need to be tested?
Yes. If you have been in close contact, such as within 6 feet of a person with documented SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) infection for at least 15 minutes during the infectious period of the person with COVID-19, you need a diagnostic test 5-7 days after your exposure to see if you have current infection. Please consult with your healthcare provider or public health official. Testing is recommended for all close contacts of persons with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Because of the potential for asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission, it is important that contacts of individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection be quickly identified and tested. Pending test results, you should self-quarantine/isolate at home and stay separated from household members to the extent possible and use a separate bedroom and bathroom, if available. A single negative test does not mean you will remain negative at any time point after that test.
Even if you have a negative test, you should still stay home for 14 days and monitor yourself for symptoms.
How do you determine quarantine for a household contact?
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) examples illustrate four different scenarios:
Do contacts to a contact that are not household contacts need to quarantine?
No, only people who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 (excluding people who have had COVID-19 within the past 3 months) need to quarantine.
People who have tested positive for COVID-19 do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to 3 months as long as they do not develop symptoms again. People who develop symptoms again within 3 months of their first bout of COVID-19 may need to be tested again if there is no other cause identified for their symptoms.
What counts as close contact?
How do I get a Release from Quarantine letter?
Call (312) 777-1999 or contact your school for a Quarantine Release Letter.
My staff member tested positive for COVID-19; when can they return to work? Additionally, a few of my employees were close contacts to the positive case. Do they need to do anything? If they test negative can they come back to work?
Your positive staff member must isolate through a minimum of 10 days after their symptom onset date (or through 10 days after their first positive diagnostic test date, if without symptoms). Isolation may be discontinued after those 10 days as long as they at least 24 hours have passed without a fever (without use fever-reducing medicine) and their COVID-19 symptoms are improving.
Close contacts must quarantine for 14 days from their last exposure to the person with COVID-19. They MAY NOT return sooner than 14 days, even if they test negative for COVID-19.
Am I required to report COVID-19 cases to the DuPage County Health Department? Doesn’t the doctor’s office report this to you?
Yes, you are required to report any COVID-19 case that you are aware of associated with your business/workplace. Doctors’ offices and testing sites do report cases to the health department for the jurisdiction where they reside, but we want to ensure that we don’t miss a single case. Additionally, the Health Department wants to discuss next steps with a business that has a COVID-19 case and provide educational materials and public health recommendations in a timely manner. If you have more than one case in your facility within a 14 day period, that may be considered an outbreak and we will work with you regarding reporting and next steps.
Please see link for information on reporting rules:
Where can I find additional resources for places/events other than restaurant guidance?
You can find many helpful resources at the links below:
Last Updated: 4/13/21