A Note to our Communities

Donate to COVID Relief

Information for HSHS Colleagues

Find a COVID-19 Vaccine

What to Do


We know there are certain things to be true as we face this virus.  Proper hand hygiene is perhaps the best defense.  Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds and do so often, especially before eating, after going to the bathroom, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.  If soap is not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.  Stay home if you are sick.  If you sneeze, do so into the fold of your elbow or into a tissue and then throw the tissue away.  Cover your mouth to cough.  Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.  Practice social distancing and avoid others who are sick.  Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.  
If you think you are sick, please call your primary care doctor’s office, try our virtual doctors’ office called HSHS Anytime Care at www.anytimecare.com or access Prevea Health‘s Virtual Care by visiting www.prevea.com/virtualcare.  You can also call the COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-889-3931. Upon using any of these resources, advice will be given on next steps for you to take. Try to avoid going to the emergency department unless it is a truly urgent situation. 

We'll Keep You Updated


Several of our ministries have cancelled or postponed community events.

These decisions are not made lightly, but they are necessary precautions we must take to protect the health of our communities.  As health care professionals, we feel we have a responsibility to demonstrate best practices and lead the way as we navigate through these times.  
This continues to be a rapidly evolving situation, and we are committed to keeping our communities, patients and colleagues safe and informed. We will be updating the information on this web page frequently and as necessary.  

Get Your Questions Answered


On this page, we’ve gathered answers to some frequently asked questions. We are constantly monitoring new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionIllinois Department of Public Health, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and local health departments, and we encourage you to seek out trusted information from these agencies if you have further questions or concerns.

COVID-19: What You Need to Know


The Illinois Department of Public Health has launched a coronavirus hotline to answer questions about the coronavirus and where people can report suspected cases of the disease.

Hotline number: 800-889-3931

You can also visit their website to view information on COVID-19.  

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services also has a dedicated section on their website to COVID-19.  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website is also an excellent resource.  

What is COVID-19?


COVID-19 is a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, in December 2019. People who get sick with COVID-19 develop mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms including fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Illness can begin two to 14 days after exposure.

Although you may hear COVID-19 referred to simply as “coronavirus,” this is not entirely accurate. There are many types of coronaviruses, including the common cold. COVID-19 has caused concern among global health experts because it is new, and because its symptoms can become severe in some cases

What are the symptoms?


COVID-19 can cause mild symptoms, including a cough and a fever. In some cases, it can lead to pneumonia or breathing difficulties. Rarely, the disease can be fatal. Older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions can be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.

How are people infected with COVID-19?


COVID-19 can spread from person to person and is thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. As with most respiratory viruses, people are thought to be most contagious when they have the most symptoms, but it can spread from asymptomatic people as well.

What if I believe I have been exposed to COVID-19?


If you are experiencing symptoms, do not go immediately to a hospital or clinic. Instead, call your physician for instructions. This will limit the number of people who are exposed to your illness.  Be tested for COVID-19 if instructed and/or you have symptoms.  Find Wisconsin testing sites by clicking here and Illinois testing sites by clicking here.  

What can I do to prevent COVID-19?


It’s important to remember that we are also in the midst of a very severe flu season. The same prevention methods for the flu also apply to COVID-19. They include: 

  • Use proper handwashing technique. Wash for at least 20 seconds with soap and water before eating; after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing; or after going to the bathroom. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.  

  • Wear a mask - properly.  It should cover your nose, mouth and go under your chin.

  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and dispose of it immediately.  You can also cough into the fold of your elbow.  

  • Avoid touching your face, particularly your nose, mouth and eyes.

  • Stay home when you are sick, and avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Exercise social distancing in accordance with CDC recommendations.  

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

How is HSHS prepared to treat COVID-19?


We are following all the current and updated guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Wisconsin Department of Health Services (WDHS) and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). Recognizing the evolving nature of this situation, we continue to monitor and update our protocols to respond to any new recommendations from the CDC/IDPH/WDHS.

All patients are screened appropriately at every point of patient entry at our hospitals and clinics across Illinois and Wisconsin. Our hospitals regularly prepare for all types of emergencies and have plans and processes, equipment and supplies in place to care for our patients, including those with infectious diseases. Please refer to each local hospital for specific guidelines in place to treat and protect our patients and visitors. 

Where can I get reliable information about COVID-19?


For the most up-to-date and trusted information, visit the COVID-19 online information centers established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Illinois Department of Public Health

Travel Guidance
Learn more about coronavirus and travel in the United States.

Information taken from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html