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Frequently Asked Coronavirus Questions

General COVID-19 FAQs

How are Community COVID-19 Levels determined in Will County?

On February 25th, the CDC rolled out an updated approach to monitoring the levels of COVID-19 in communities throughout the United States.

The new measure, Community COVID-19 Level, is determined by the evaluation of three metrics: new hospitalizations for COVID-19, current hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, and new COVID-19 cases.  Community COVID-19 levels are reported as high, medium, or low and are represented by colors dark orange, yellow and green.  The Community COVID-19 level guides communities in determining the necessary COVID-19 prevention mitigations.

The CDC provides an overview of these changes and an interactive graph to determine community COVID-19 levels by county, throughout the United States.

How can I protect myself from COVID-19?

  • COVID-19 vaccines are effective against severe illness, hospitalization and death and are the most effective way to slow the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Keep up to date with your COVID-19 vaccine.  Wondering if you are up to date with your vaccine?  Click here to find out.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask. Masks protect you from inhaling the virus from an infected person and protects others if you become infected.   Your mask should fit snuggly around your face and cover your mouth and nose.
  • Maintain distance from others. If you are not up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines or are immunocompromised, keep 6 feet distance between you and others.
  • Follow good hygiene practices such as hand washing and cough and sneezing etiquette. Clean high touch surfaces frequently as needed.

Where can I get vaccinated?

The Will County Health Department holds vaccine clinics throughout the week at its Joliet and Bolingbrook locations and collaborates with IDPH and local community organizations to host additional one-day clinics throughout the county.  If you are unable to get to a clinic due to physical or medical limitations, the county has a homebound vaccination program.

Visit our vaccine clinic webpage to schedule an appointment at one of the Will County Health Department clinics, or to get information about COVID-19 vaccination clinics at local retail pharmacies, community health partner locations as well as other vaccine clinics throughout the state.

What are the current recommendations for individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 or have been exposed to an individual who is COVID-19 positive?

  • Isolate yourself from other people and animals and stay home for 5 days, except to get urgent medical care.
  • If you have a fever 5 days after testing positive or developing symptoms, continue to isolate until your fever resolves.  If symptomatic and your symptoms are not improving after 5 days, continue to isolate for an additional 5 days.
  • If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can end your isolation on day 6 but,
  • Continue to wear a well fitted mask around others for 5 additional days, including in the home.
  • Avoid using public transportation, ridesharing, or taxis and restrict outside activities except for getting needed medical care.
  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible if your illness worsens or if you are at high risk for severe illness or complication.
  • Notify your close contacts.

Follow CDC guidelines for COVID-19 isolation.

Additional criteria may exist for individuals in certain industries such as healthcare, students, and people with weakened immune systems. Click here for more detailed information and access to industry specific guidance.

What is the current isolation/quarantine guidance?

Follow the CDC guidelines for COVID-19 positive or COVID-19 exposure.

Additional criteria may exist for individuals in certain industries such as healthcare, students, and people with weakened immune systems. Click here for more detailed information and access to industry specific guidance.

Where can I find COVID-19 data?

The data page on the Will County Health Department website provides a wide array of state and county level COVID-19 data.  The home page provides county level, summary data on vaccination and case rates.

Testing FAQs

Where can I get tested in Will County?

It is strongly recommended that testing be acquired at a state operated location or a location recognized by the State of Illinois.  Visit our testing webpage to access test site locations.

Rapid test kits for home use can be acquired through a federal government program.  Click here for information.

Illinois residents who live in zip codes identified as “vulnerable communities” by the Illinois Department of Public Health, can also access test kits for home use from the State of Illinois.  Residents in zip codes 60432, 60435, and 60436 qualify for this program.  Click here to order test kits.

What are the different types of COVID-19 tests?

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.

FDA website

CDC website

When should I get tested?

Individuals should get tested:

  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • 2 days after known or suspected close contact to COVID-19. If negative, test again 5-7 days after known exposure.
  • Before and after travel


Additional criteria may exist for individuals in certain industries such as healthcare, students, and people with weakened immune systems. Click here for more detailed information and access to industry specific guidance.

What is the difference between positivity rate and transmission rate?

COVID-19 positivity is defined as the percentage of all coronavirus tests performed that are actually positive.  This number is reported as a percentage.

Click here for more detailed information on the significance of positivity rate..

Transmission rate reports the number of positive cases per 100,000 residents and also considers the county/community Positivity Rate.

FAQs for Business/Workplace

What should a business do if an employee tests positive for COVID-19?

Isolation and quarantine guidance has recently changed.  Click here for updated CDC guidance on isolation and quarantine.

Where can I find COVID-19 guidance and resources for businesses?

The Illinois Department of Public Health has mitigation resources for many industries.   Click here to access this information.

Business and organization guidance for COVID-19 planning, office outbreaks, positive or exposed employees, etc., can be found here.

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.

View Educational Materials.