How does it affect me?
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) considers this global outbreak to be a serious public health event.
The CDC also reminds us that we should not associate a disease with a population or nationality. I encourage you to reject false statements and conspiracy theories about coronavirus. The disease does not discriminate, and nor should we.
As with many viruses, we must focus on prevention (to stop the disease’s spread), and care (to ensure anyone with the disease gets the medical attention they need). Coronavirus has spread rapidly since it was identified, so it’s also important to stay informed. Breaking news on COVID-19 can be found through the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO).
What are the symptoms?
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure, including:
Shortness of breath
Call your health care professional if you develop symptoms, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19.
How can we prevent it?
The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. CDC recommends simple everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
Follow CDC guidelines for wearing a facemask.
CDC does not recommend for people who are not showing symptoms to wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of face masks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
Is it Safe to Travel?
Travel advisories related to COVID-19 can be found here. The CDC currently recommends avoiding all nonessential travel to China, Iran, South Korea, and Italy.
What Is Congress Doing About Coronavirus?
Our country needs a fully-funded, coordinated government response to confront the coronavirus. The House of Representatives voted on a funding package to begin to address the scale and seriousness of this public health crisis.
Once a vaccine is made available, I will work with my colleagues to ensure it remains affordable and accessible.
Where Can I Find Local Resources?
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Governor JB Pritzker’s announcement of enhanced preventive action and guidance to limit spread of Coronavirus disease 2019 can be found here.
The Chicago Department of Public Health Coronavirus information page can be found here.
The Illinois Department of Public Health Coronavirus information page is here.
The coronoavirus is hitting older adults and people with underling health conditions the hardest. The AARP and the CDC have created a resource page for those most vulnerable here.
My priority is to ensure you and your loved ones are safe. If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to call my Northside office at (773) 342-0774, my Southside office at (773) 475-0833, or my DC office at (202) 225-8203.