- Our Community
COVID-19 Health Information:
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. 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 home after testing positive, even if you feel well. The CDC is also reporting that Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
It is very important that you stay home, even if you feel well. See more from the CDC.
When to Seek Emergency Medical Attention
Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone
*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility: Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.
The virus is thought to spread primarily from person-to-person
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)
- Via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
At this time there is no specific vaccine to prevent COVID-19 or antiviral treatment for COVID-19, however, the CDC recommends these preventive actions to take to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Put distance between yourself and other people (social distancing)
- The importance of social distancing – quote from Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “First, I’d like to thank all the Americans and all the people in our nation that have taken this to heart and really practice aggressive social distancing. Secondly, for those that are still on the sidelines, I’d like to tell them now’s the time to really embrace this. This is not just a little recommendation on a piece of paper. This is a very powerful weapon.”
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using regular household cleaning spray or wipe
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty
- According to the CDC, new evidence indicates that wearing a homemade cloth mask when out in public may decrease the spread of COVID-19, by limiting spread from people who are infected and have no symptoms to others.
If you have a fever or cough, 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.
From the CDC:
If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have COVID-19, follow the steps below to care for yourself and to help protect other people in your home and community.
Stay home except to get medical care
- Stay home: Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and are able to recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas.
- Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency.
- Avoid public transportation: Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
Separate yourself from other people in your home, this is known as home isolation
- Stay away from others: As much as possible, you stay away from others. You should stay in a specific “sick room” if possible, and away from other people in your home. Use a separate bathroom, if available.
- See COVID-19 and Animals is you have questions about pets.
See NorthShore University Health System COVID-19 information.
Questions regarding COVID-19 also may be directed to the Illinois Department of Public Health by calling 1-800-889-3931 or emailing.
From the Skokie Fire Department:
“Tips for calling 9-1-1 to protect the community and first responders”
Protecting the community and our first responders is paramount during the COVID-19 outbreak. Our 9-1-1 dispatchers will be asking the following questions of any caller requesting a service that requires face-to-face contact.
• Does the patient or anyone on the scene have a fever, cough, or trouble breathing?
• Has the patient traveled outside the United States or had close contact with someone who recently traveled outside the United States and was sick?
• Has anyone been exposed to an individual known to have or suspected of having COVID-19?
• Has anyone on-scene tested positive for COVID-19?
• Do you have a surgical mask available? - If someone is coughing, you may be asked to put a surgical mask on that person if they can tolerate it.
We are asking our residents to review these questions with everyone in their household now. Knowing the answers ahead of an emergency will make it easier to recall should the need arise. Please respond honestly to the questions, as they help our first responders take appropriate actions and wear proper personal protective equipment to avoid exposure when they respond. Keeping our EMS/Fire/Police personnel healthy will help us keep the Village of Skokie safe!
Stay Healthy, Skokie - Wear A Mask - Watch Your Distance - Wash Your Hands!
See a list of Skokie restaurants open for outdoor dining as well as curbside and carryout service.
Please help slow in slowing the spread of this virus, DCHD urges residents to follow the effective public health tools available:
- Wear a mask whenever outside your home or around people not from your household;
- Watch your distance, staying at least 6 feet from people outside of your immediate household;
- Wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer often;
- Avoid large gatherings, especially indoors;
- Stay home if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have been in close contact with a person infected with COVID-19; consult with your healthcare provider for medical evaluation and testing, as needed; and
- Get your flu shot, to prevent illness from influenza and to prevent possible co-infection from influenza and COVID-19. Although the Skokie Heath Department's flu shot clinics have concluded, flu shots are still available at many local pharmacies and health care providers.
A reminder that Skokie’s Health Department and Economic Development Department offers businesses support and guidance to assist in keeping their businesses open safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. This team is available to answer questions and direct businesses to the appropriate resources. For assistance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, Skokie businesses can find the latest resources for information on relevant grant programs and financial resources from local, regional, state and federal sources. See a searchable map and list of Skokie Businesses and Services providing curbside, delivery, or other accommodations.
Contact Tracing Scam Alert
State officials and federal agencies are warning of a new phone scam in which callers pose as COVID-19 contact tracers and try to pry credit card or bank account information from unsuspecting victims. Although the Skokie Health Department has not received any such complaints, residents should be aware that legitimate contact tracers will never request payment, and although they will ask for some identifying information such as address and birthdate, to verify that you are the person they are trying to reach, they will never request a social security number. They also will never disclose the identity of the individual who tested positive and is the starting point for the tracing effort. Read an article from Kaiser Health News for more information.
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.
If you are traveling, see updated guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health.
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.
Notification Sign Up
Sign up for COVID-19 Alerts when new information is posted on the website and be sure to also subscribe to SkokieNews for email advisories!
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.
View the full State of Illinois COVID-19 mitigation plan.
See information about the new Illinois Regional COVID-19 Resurgence Criteria. Skokie is in Region 10.
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.
Skokie residents interested in serving as contact tracers need to take a certification course . Here is more information from the State of Illinois:
“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.
Heartland Health Centers Skokie COVID-19 Testing Information - English version and Spanish version
Please watch this video with helpful information about the COVID-19 virus.
CDC Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
Illinois Department of Public Health
COVID-19 Information in Arabic, Chinese, English, Korean, Polish, Russian, Spanish and Urdu
Read SkokieNews email newsletters from February 28, 2020 to present
Guidance for Grocery Shopping During the COVID-19 Pandemic from IDPH
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- State of Illinois Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response
- Illinois Department of Public Health
- IDPH Hotline: 1-800-889-3931, email@example.com
- Governor’s Office COVID-19 Legislative Briefing
- NorthShore University HealthSystem; Community Health Hotline, 847-432-5849
- CCDPH COVID-19 Hotline: 708-633-3319, firstname.lastname@example.org
Niles Township is offering emergency financial assistance to residents who are experiencing financial distress from COVID-10. More information here.
The Village’s Human Services Department offers resource information on financial and emergency assistance towards rent, mortgage, utilities and food. For information, please call 847/933-8208 or email email@example.com.
See information about jobs with the Village of Skokie.
See information about the Chicago Cook County Workforce Partnership that combines federal and philanthropic resources to provide comprehensive workforce development services to employers and job seekers.
Domestic Violence Assistance
Governor Pritzker reminds all that Stay-At-Home can be even more challenging for those that are a victim or live in fear of Domestic Violence.
Need Help Now?
Domestic Violence Helpline:
1-877-TO END DV or 1-877-863-6338 (Voice)
The hotline is toll-free, confidential, multilingual, and open 24-hour.
Comcast Xfinity is offering free WiFi hotspots across the country for anyone who needs them, including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit xfinity.com/wifi. Comcast is also offering Internet Essentials free to new customers. New customers will receive 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service, which is normally available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95/month. More information and services can be found at corporate.comcast.com.
Niles Township Government is distributing additional groceries to parents or guardians of children who usually receive free and reduced lunches at their schools.
Additional information on needed donations also is available on the Niles Township Food Pantry Facebook page.
Interested in volunteering at the Niles Township Food Pantry? Click here.
Senior Shopping Hours and Delivery Services
See a list of Skokie grocery stores and pharmacies that offer delivery service. Some are offering curb-side pickup and senior-only shopping hours.
See Illinois Retail Merchants Association list of senior shopping hours.
Click here for information on the Niles Township Food Pantry that is offering special supplemental food distribution for pick up only.
Digital Library Access
From the Skokie Public Library:
We may be temporarily closed, but we’re still here to help! Here are some of the ways that you can use the library from home.
Don’t have a library card? We can email you a library card number so that you can use all of our online resources. No need to come in! Just fill out the online application and we’ll be in touch.
Federal Level Assistance
- US Small Business Administration Loans
- US Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Program
- US Small Business Administration Lender Match Program
Lender Match is a free online referral tool that connects small business with participating SBA-approved lenders
State of Illinois Level Assistance
- IDES Unemployment Benefits for employees
- State of Illinois COVID-19 Small Business Impact Survey
- IDES Unemployment Insurance
- Grubhub suspends commissions for independently owned restaurants needing delivery service
- Free Xfinity Wifi Hotspots
- Facebook announces grant program for small businesses impacted by COVID-19
For Residents from Other Communities
The Skokie Health Department serves Skokie residents, and suggests that residents of neighboring communities contact the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) for assistance:
CCDPH COVID-19 Hotline
- Call 708-633-3319
- Hours of operation: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday
- Direct the public here for the most up to date information
CCDPH COVID-19 Email
- Direct the public to email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Hours of operation: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
- This is another option for obtaining the most up to date information