Updated: Holiday guidance and vaccine information is now available
Last updated Dec. 14 at 9:30 a.m.
Even though COVID-19 has dominated much of the public conversation for months, it can still be difficult to sort out which resources have clear, trustworthy information you can turn to. This article will be updated regularly with the latest updates and a collection of reliable resources.
As the holidays approach, experts are urging you to avoid in-person gatherings with people you don’t live with. Some alternative ways to celebrate are here.
“I know this is a hard thing to hear. I know it’s been a different year for everyone,” Advocate Aurora Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Gary Stuck told reporters at a virtual news conference. “But it’s going to be especially difficult for our team members and their families if people gather.”
There is, though, some light at the end of the tunnel. The first shipment of vaccines has gone out across the country. Lots of people have questions about the vaccines, and a good place to get your questions answered is here. That site will be updated regularly as the news changes.
But despite the vaccines, people still need to take basic actions to try to slow the number of cases. Keeping your distance from others helps reduce the likelihood of the virus being passed. Wearing a mask helps, too.
Wearing a cloth mask over your nose and mouth can help people protect each other from the spread of COVID-19. And in some places, wearing a mask when you’re indoors or can’t keep distance from others is the law.
Watch below to learn what to look for in a cloth mask.
You need wear a mask and keep your distance from others even if you don’t feel sick. You can pass the virus along even if you don’t have symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control says that symptoms typically appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus and include:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
If you feel like symptoms, you can start with Advocate Aurora Health’s COVID-19 Symptom Checker here.
Get the care you need
Just because COVID-19 rightly has dominated everyone’s attention for months doesn’t mean your other health issues have gone away. News reports have suggested that people aren’t seeking the basic health care they need – even for serious conditions such as heart attacks and strokes. Ignoring what seem like small health issues now can create big problems in the future. Your first step can be to call your doctor.
With that in mind, Advocate Aurora Health has made a Safe Care Promise to patients so that you can feel safe going to see the doctor. Here’s what that means:
- All patients, team members, providers and approved guests will be screened before entering a hospital, office or other care site.
- Patients, team members, providers and approved guests are all provided with a mask before entering.
- Social distancing will be observed. Our newly designed waiting areas and staggered appointment times reduce traffic, minimizing contact and creating safe spaces for all.
- Virtual check-ins through the LiveWell mobile phone app provides for seamless, low-contact arrivals.
- All public and treatment areas will undergo additional disinfectant and cleaning throughout the day and hand sanitizer will be readily available.
Parents face an endless series of difficult choices in normal times, and the pandemic has made just about all of them more difficult.
Knowing that, a group of top Advocate Aurora Health doctors gathered for a Facebook Live event on Wednesday, answering viewer questions about sports, screen time, school and more.
You can watch the full session below.
About the Author
Mike Riopell, health enews contributor, is a media relations coordinator with Advocate Aurora Health. He previously worked as a reporter and editor covering politics and government for the Chicago Tribune, Daily Herald and Bloomington Pantagraph, among others. He enjoys bicycles, home repair, flannel shirts and being outside.