Dear Chicago Residents and Partners,

For the past several weeks, you’ve probably been hearing about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) is working in close collaboration with city, state and federal partners to manage cases of COVID-19 as they arise here and to prevent local spread.

Like you, we are dedicated to ensuring that all Chicagoans get trusted information about our local situation. We want the general public to have timely, accurate updates about the COVID-19 response and what they can do to protect themselves and others.

So, you’ll begin receiving emails from CDPH about the City’s response – including press releases, new guidance, and other important information. We ask that you share these resources widely with your networks, colleagues, clients, friends and families. You can also access local, up-to-date information about COVID-19 on the CDPH website,

As always, and especially in moments like these, we are grateful for your partnership to promote a healthy Chicago. Thank you!

What’s New

  • Frequently Asked Questions: We know that you might be worried about COVID-19. CDPH and many others across City departments and agencies have been working hard for months to ensure that our city is as prepared as we can be. Get the facts and help us in our efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Guidance for People at Higher Risk: Most cases of COVID-19 result in mild illness; however, people who are older and who have other health conditions are more likely to have serious illness. These individuals are strongly encouraged to avoid travel as well as large gatherings.
  • Enhanced Surveillance: Chicago is among the first cities in the U.S. to expand testing in an effort to diagnose new cases of COVID-19 quickly and prevent community spread. Several emergency departments in Chicago, as well as others across Illinois, are testing a sample of patients who present with influenza-like symptoms for COVID-19. Much more testing is happening for COVID-19, and we expect to continue to identify cases in the U.S. and here in the Chicago area.

Resources and Guidance

  • Individuals and Households
  • Older Adults and Other People at Higher Risk
  • Travelers
  • Pregnant Women and Children
  • Childcare Programs
  • Schools and Institutions of Higher Education
  • Businesses and Employers
  • Community and Faith-based Organizations
  • Organizers and Staff Responsible for Planning Mass Gatherings or Large Community Events
  • Healthcare Professionals
  • First Responders

Tips for Staying Healthy

  • Clean your hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • If you are sick, stay home, unless you are seeking medical care. Look out for symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. If you’re not familiar with your employer’s sick leave policy, please talk to your supervisor or HR representative.
  • While sick, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, and wash your hands.
  • Remember that viruses do not target people from specific populations, ethnicities, or racial backgrounds. We need to fight stigma and fear as we look ahead.

In the News

  • On Tuesday, March 10, public health officials announced the first coronavirus disease cases in Illinois outside Chicago and Cook County. Currently, there are 19 individuals in Illinois who have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • On Monday, March 9, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker issued a proclamation that formalizes emergency procedures already underway across state government. This will unlock additional federal resources to help city and state agencies in their preparations.
  • On March 6, a Chicago Public Schools (CPS) employee tested positive for COVID-19. Since then, CDPH and CPS have been actively investigating that case thoroughly, reaching out to all students, faculty and staff, and monitoring the health of everyone who might have been exposed. CPS has begun a thorough cleaning of the school and removed the buses that serve the students for additional cleaning. Students and staff are being kept out of the school through March 18 out of an abundance of caution.


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