The City of Evanston Illinois Government’s Health & Human Services Department is working with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and local, state and federal health partners to take all preventive steps necessary to prepare for and limit the potential spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
At this time, there is low risk to Evanston residents, as COVID-19 is not spreading in communities in Illinois or the U.S. However, there is evidence of community spread in several countries around the world, and the Evanston Health & Human Services Department is working to make sure Evanston is prepared.
“While the current risk to Evanston residents is low, the Health & Human Services Department is taking all necessary steps to ensure we’re ready to respond to and mitigate the potential spread of this infectious disease,” said City of Evanston Health & Human Services Director Ike Ogbo. “We will continue to work closely with our local, state and federal health partners to identify all available resources to keep our community safe.”
The Evanston Health & Human Services Department has assembled an internal response team dedicated to COVID-19 planning. Based on the development of the coronavirus in the U.S., that team will be expanded to a task force to include external community partners to better coordinate the City's efforts.
Ongoing preparedness activities include:
-- Closely monitoring and maintaining situational awareness about this new disease through IDPH and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to better prepare for mitigation and response activities.
-- Assessing and monitoring persons who may be at higher risk of infection.
-- Working with local hospitals to ensure coordination of proper infection control measures and testing, if needed.
-- Determining whether individuals fit the definition of a Person Under Investigation (PUI) subject to further evaluation or testing.
-- Sharing situational updates, preparedness planning and mitigation strategies with City staff and community partners.
-- Responding to inquiries from residents, schools and other organizations, and providing them with guidance and education, as needed.
**What Residents Should Do**
Residents are recommended to use the following mitigation measures to stay healthy and limit the potential spread of COVID-19:
-- Stay home when sick
-- Cover coughs and sneezes
-- Wash hands frequently
-- Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces and objects
-- In addition, residents who are sick and have also either recently traveled to a country with sustained community spread of COVID-19 or had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider.
For more information about COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, here.
Additional information about how to prepare for the spread of the virus and steps to stay healthy are available here.
The IDPH also recently launched a hotline for COVID-19 questions. Community members may dial 1-800-889-3931 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information on COVID-19 is also available on the City's website, here.