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* Coronavirus / COVID-19: Your health

Current situation

"First and foremost, we want our residents to focus on prevention this holiday weekend and avoid close contact with people from other households,” said Mark Pfister, Executive Director at the Lake County Health Department. “If you consistently follow the 3 Ws—Wear a mask, Wash your hands, Watch your distance—and avoid gatherings, you can keep yourself and your family safe and help slow the spread of COVID-19. Following these simple steps will lower your risks of needing testing in the first place." 

Graph showing Lake County Illinois COVID cases over time, with highest by far in November

Illinois is experiencing a record number of new cases in November. “In just one month, our rate of new cases has quadrupled in Lake County, and hospitalizations are increasing back to where they were in the spring,” said Mark Pfister, Executive Director at the Lake County Health Department. As cases continue to surge, health and government officials ask Illinois residents to:

  • work from home if possible
  • go out only to buy groceries, visit the pharmacy, or seek testing or healthcare
  • limit in-home gatherings to the immediate members of your household
  • avoid travel

VIEW all current (Tier 3) safety guidelines in Illinois.

Safety guidelines

Follow the 3 Ws:

  • Wash your hands: Use warm water and soap to clean hands thoroughly and often; hand sanitizer may be used.
  • Watch your distance: Stay at least 6 feet away from others.
  • Wear a face mask: New findings show a face mask protects the wearer as well as others; universal mask-wearing could prevent another lock-down.


  • Avoid touching your face (eyes, nose, and mouth).
  • Avoid all gatherings.
  • If you are ill, self-isolate at home except to receive medical care.
  • Get a seasonal flu vaccine (everyone over 6 months old): Protect yourself and the people around you from flu to help reduce the strain on healthcare systems responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Get more info.

VIEW all current (Tier 3) safety guidelines in Illinois.

How coronavirus spreads

COVID-19 spreads easily from person to person, mainly by the following routes:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within 6 feet)
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes, sings, or talks
  • People who are infected but do not have symptoms

Less common ways COVID-19 can spread:

Household spread

If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 or experiencing symptoms, it is important to act fast to keep others in your household safe. Prevent spread by:

  • staying in a separate room
  • using a separate bathroom, if possible
  • wearing a mask if possible, especially if you must be around others

If you cannot isolate safely within your home, call 211 to connect to resources. Learn more about how to protect yourself if someone in your home is diagnosed with COVID-19.


The CDC urges everyone to stay home for Thanksgiving: celebrate with the people you live with and/or connect online or by phone with friends and family.

Heed the warning: Canada experienced a spike in COVID-19 cases two weeks after celebrating Thanksgiving on October 12. 

Quick links



If you are sick...

Call 911 if you have a medical emergency. Tell the operator that you have or think you have COVID-19. If possible, put on a face mask before medical help arrives.

Illinois COVID-19 Hotline

CALL 1-800-889-3931


If you think you've been exposed...

Symptoms typically develop 2–14 days after exposure to the virus. Some people with COVID-19 may have no symptoms and may still be able to spread the virus to others. For guidance on quarantine and testing:

CONTACT your healthcare provider


CALL 847-377-8130, the Lake County Health Department’s Communicable Disease program



Community-based testing sites are open to all, regardless of symptoms. No appointment, doctor referral, or insurance needed at state-operated drive-thru sites. Testing is available at no cost to the individual.

​COVID-19 testing sites in Illinois

Find a free testing site near you. 

Upcoming Mobile Testing 

Saturday, December 5, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
College of Lake County
19351 West Washington Street, Grayslake

Sunday, December 6, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Grant Community High School, South Lot
285 Grand Avenue, Fox Lake

Monday, December 14, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
College of Lake County
19351 West Washington Street, Grayslake


Contact tracing

The contact tracing process consists of reaching out to those who have tested positive, offering guidance, and identifying the person’s close contacts.

If you get a call or text from 312-777-1999 or IL COVID Help, please respond as soon as possible. Answering is extremely important: it helps the Health Department limit the spread of the virus. Close contacts are notified, but no personal information is shared.


Get support

For mental health

Call4Calm is a free support text line for Illinois residents experiencing stress and mental health issues related to COVID-19. To speak with a mental health professional:

TEXT “TALK” to 552020 

(TEXT “HABLAR” for Spanish)

For seniors

Senior Help Line, Illinois Department of Aging:

CALL 800-252-8966


Other types of help

This is a difficult time. Help is a phone call or text away, completely confidential, and free.

CALL 211 in Lake County

VISIT Lake County's 211 website

VISIT Illinois Department of Human Services