Stay Healthy, Skokie - Wear A Mask - Watch Your Distance - Wash Your Hands!
Although Skokie, as well as the rest of Suburban Cook County (Region 10), is no longer at an elevated risk of COVID-19 transmission, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the community is reminded to stay vigilant about practicing the 3 W's to stay healthy: Wear a Mask - Watch Your Distance - Wash Your Hands. See this short video created by the American Medical Association and other healthcare partners about how to protect your health and the health of your family, friends and entire community.
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A Message From the Skokie Health Department About Post-Travel Quarantine
The Skokie Health Department is a state-certified local health department with legal authority over all public health matters in the Village of Skokie.
There are no plans to require or recommend quarantine in Skokie at this time, for people who have been in states where the number of COVID-19 cases is on the rise, consistent with the stance of Governor J. B. Pritzker (Tribune article: Pritzker: No Plans To Quarantine Visitors From Other States).
Any business, school or other entity that wishes to require a 14-day quarantine for their own employees who have traveled is able to do so. There is no prohibition on that action. The Skokie Health Department continues to emphasize the more important messages that everyone should stay home if sick, maintain social distancing and wear face coverings in public settings, and wash hands frequently.
This is true no matter where a person is - simply spending time in another state, without engaging in risky behaviors, would not be expected to increase an individual's risk of COVID-19 infection. On the other hand, if you are in Skokie, where new cases of COVID-19 are being identified nearly every day (just as they are in Cook County and Chicago), and choose to participate in large gatherings, do not social distance or wear face coverings then you have substantially increased your risk of infection.
If the situation changes, based on new data, or if there is an Illinois-wide directive issued, the Skokie Health Department will revise its recommendation on quarantine requirements in Skokie.
Skokie Businesses - See Restore Illinois Phase 4 Guidelines
As of June 26, 2020, Skokie and the surrounding region transitioned to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois. Skokie is in region 10 of the Restore Illinois plan.The State of Illinois has developed a business toolkit with signage, posters and other resources to ensure business and activities are conducted in accordance with the latest public health recommendations including those of the Skokie Health Department. Phase 4 guidelines include five new industry categories and updated recommendations for the existing categories from Phase 3. Each set of guidelines includes a common set of guidelines that are expected and encouraged among all employers and activity types, as well as workplace and program-specific guidelines. See details of the Phase 4 guidance for businesses.
All Skokie businesses that choose to reopen or expand operations during Phase 4 are required to adhere to the guidelines for their sector. The Skokie Health Department is available to assist businesses with navigating the Restore Illinois Phase 4 Guidance. Please call the Environmental Health team at 847-933-8462 or email email@example.com if you would like someone to walk through the guidance with you, including making an on-site visit for a consultation. Businesses also are urged to report any cases of COVID-19 in the workforce, so that the health department team can work with you to prevent spread in your facility. All calls will be answered within one business day.
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UPDATED: September 10, 2020 at 3:12 p.m.
State of Illinois COVID-19 Mitigation Plan
On July 15, Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health announced a new COVID-19 mitigation plan focused on combating a resurgence of cases will maintaining the progress the state has made towards bending the curve over the last four months. As states across the country experience a surge of new COVID-19 cases, Illinois remains an outlier with lower hospitalization and infection rates and one of the highest rates of testing in the U.S. The resurgence plan recognizes that the state is in its strongest position to combat the virus since the pandemic began, with a robust testing operation regularly yielding more than 30,000 tests per day, expanded tracing operations with 1,450 contact tracers, a growing stockpile of personal protective equipment, and hospital surge capacity. The plan also accounts for months of additional data and research as public health experts reach a greater scientific understanding of this virus and how it spreads.
COVID-19 Antibody Testing Information and Resources
An antibody test, which is a blood test, can show if you had a past infection with the virus that causes COVID-19. If you were ill with symptoms of COVID-19 since February 2020 and were not able to get tested, it might be useful to get an antibody test now to verify that you had the virus. The antibody test does not diagnose a current infection with COVID-19. See information on local resources for COVID-19 antibody testing.
Not Feeling Well?
If you have a fever, cough or are short of breath, you might have COVID-19. If you are over age 60 or have underlying health conditions, you are at higher risk for serious complications from the disease. If you are at high risk and have any COVID-19 symptoms, please call the NorthShore University HealthSystem community health hotline at 847-432-5849 to be screened for a COVID-19 test.
Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home. Keep track of your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), please call your physician or contact the NorthShore University HealthSystem community health hotline at 847-432-5849 .
If you do not have a physician, please contact one of Skokie’s partner healthcare agencies serving uninsured and underinsured Skokie residents. See the list of providers here.
There are cases of COVID-19 throughout the community and the Skokie Health Department encourages all residents to wear cloth face coverings in public settings, practice good hand washing hygiene, etc. According to the CDC, recent evidence indicates that up to 25% of people with COVID-19 infection may not have symptoms and can still spread the disease. It is very important that you stay at home, even if you feel well.
Contact Tracing Information and Certification Programs
Contact tracing is a specialized skill that requires training, and involves a bit of detective work, where people who have tested positive for COVID-19 are interviewed to determine everyone with whom they have had close contact during the time while they were infectious. Those individuals are then notified of their exposure, and the actions they should take to limit further spread of the disease. To protect privacy, contacts are only informed that they have been exposed to someone with the infection, not the identity of the person.
“The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is seeking interested individuals to support local public health authorities to perform COVID-19 contact tracing. This recruitment effort is developing through partnership with the state, local public health authorities, healthcare entities and community-based organizations. Hiring Contact Tracers will depend on the needs of the local public health authorities and by region of the state. Completing this form does not represent the promise of a job or job interview with the State of Illinois or any other entity.”
Fill out the form below.
Additional questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is information on two online contact tracing certification courses:
Oakton Community College offers a "Public Health Contact Tracing Paraprofessional" course. See the OCC website for more information.
The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials is offering "Making Contact: A Training for COVID-19 Contact Tracers", a free introductory online course for entry-level COVID-19 contact tracers. See additional information.
The Village of Skokie has hired contact tracers and currently is not hiring additional staff for this purpose.
Print an 8.5" by 11" Skokie Stay-At-Home, Save Lives window poster.
Skokie Health Department Monitoring Situation
Skokie Health Department staff, with assistance from numerous other Village departments and divisions, continue to work hard on Skokie’s COVID-19 response. Each day, Skokie Health Department staff are in contact with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). An inter-disciplinary, internal team of Village department and division managers meets regularly to review information updates and plan the Village’s continued COVID-19 response.
The Skokie Health Department is working closely with Skokie Hospital, the IDPH and other community partners to investigate all cases. Due to confidentiality requirements, no additional information about specific cases of COVID-19 will be provided. The community is encouraged to continue following all of the requirements to wear cloth face coverings, practice social distancing and to practice good hand hygiene.