Frequently Asked Coronavirus Questions
General COVID-19 FAQs
How can I prevent myself from catching COVID-19?
Practice social distancing and try to stay home as much as possible. When unable to stay home or practice social distancing, a good rule of thumb is to follow the three W’s:
- Wear a mask or face covering that completely covers your nose and mouth.
- Wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Watch your physical distance, staying at least 6 feet away from others who don’t live in your household.
What should I do if I come in contact with a COVID positive person?
COVID-19 is primarily spread through close contact with an infected person. If you spent at least 15 minutes within 6 feet of an infected person, you should take the following steps:
- Try to stay separated from other household members as much as possible and use a separate bedroom and bathroom if possible. Monitor your symptoms. If isolation or quarantine is not possible, wear a mask, practice social distancing and avoid crowds and indoor places.
- Get yourself tested for COVID-19. If you need help finding a testing site, contact your primary care provider or go to the Will County Health Department’s Testing Sites Page. Even if you test negative, you should still self-quarantine for 14 days and monitor your symptoms. COVID-19 can take between 2-14 days to develop, and there may not have been enough viral load to test positive. Once you’ve completed your quarantine period, you can request a release from quarantine letter.
How do I get a release from quarantine/isolation letter?
Once you’ve completed your quarantine period, call 312-777-1999 to request a release from quarantine or isolation letter.
Where can I find COVID-19 data?
Data on COVID-19 cases in Will County can be found on our data page. The data page includes graphics for cases by age and gender, by location, mortality data and more. For data on COVID-19 cases throughout the entire state, you can go to the Illinois Department of Public Health’s COVID Statistics.
Where can I get tested in Will County?
There are multiple testing sites from several organizations throughout the county. The Will County Health Department has developed a comprehensive list of all testing sites in the county, broken down by whether they are free or fee-based, what type of test they use and how fast you will receive results. Also, Will County Community Health Center’s Mobile Van is traveling throughout the county conducting testing. The locations change daily.
To find the comprehensive list of testing sites and list of locations the Mobile Van testing sites, please visit our COVID Testing Sites Page.
What kinds of tests are used for COVID-19?
There are two types of diagnostic tests used for COVID-19, PCR and antigen.
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are highly accurate diagnostic tests, that look for viral load and are conducted via a nasal swab or throat swab. A healthcare worker collects nasal or saliva fluid then sends it to be analyzed for viral load. If analyzed on site, results can be quick, if sent to a lab it could take a few days for results.
Antigen tests look for certain proteins in the virus. It can also be conducted through nasal swab or throat swab and produces faster results. It’s highly accurate but has more risk of false-negatives than a molecular PCR test. If you test negative but still show symptoms, your doctor may recommend a PCR test to confirm the results.
For more information on the types of tests, including antibody tests, please visit the FDA and CDC links below.
Where can I find data on testing and positive test rates in Will County?
FAQs for Business/Workplace
What should I do if a staff member tests positive for COVID?
Ensure that your positive staff member goes into quarantine for at least 10 days after their positive test. Isolation can be discontinued after those 10 days if they have been fever free for 24 hours without using any fever reducing medication and their other symptoms are improving.
All close contacts of the positive employee must quarantine for 14 days from their last exposure to the positive staff member. They must not return sooner than 14 days even if they test negative.
Report the case to the Will County Health Department. According to the Illinois General Assembly, you are required to report the COVID positive case to your local health department. WCHD staff will be able to conduct contact tracing and recommended next steps for your business to take to prevent further spread of COVID-19.
To report a case to WCHD, please call (815) 727-8481
Where can I find guidance/resources for businesses?
Where can I find posters and educational materials for my workplace?
The Will County Health Department has developed several educational posters and materials that organizations are free to download and print. Posters include education on mask wearing, social distancing, and symptoms of COVID-19. If you cannot print them on your own, we will be able to print them and send them to you free of charge.