How to Prepare

How to Prepare Image

It's important to prepare for a situation where you may become ill. These simple actions are useful for all types of illnesses, but especially given the need to stay at home with COVID-19.

No one likes getting sick but preparing for the possibility can provide a sense of comfort.

  • Families should have an action plan that identifies individual needs that must be met if a 14-day isolation period is required. This includes obtaining appropriate food, prescription medications, non-prescription medications like cold and flu aids, and any other items family members may need for physical or emotional support while ill. If you are caring for grandparents or older adults, keep an eye out for symptoms like difficulty breathing, confusion, or pressure in their chest.​
  • Families should know the plans of organizations (schools, work, etc.) in your community, and have back-up childcare plans if childcare centers or schools are closed for an extended period of time. Families should also identify a room in their house that can be used for isolation if a family member becomes ill.
  • Stay informed about the local COVID-19 situation from public health officials and other credible sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at or the State of Illinois Coronavirus response website
  • If you suspect you may have been exposed to COVID-19 because you have traveled to a country with a Level 3 Travel Health Notice, such as China or Italy, or have been around people who may have been exposed and/or are exhibiting symptoms, contact your healthcare provider immediately and let them know you may have been exposed to COVID-19 before visiting the healthcare facility. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take precautionary steps to keep other people from being exposed.
  • Nursing mothers who have laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 or are being tested for COVID-19 should decide whether to continue breastfeeding in coordination with family members and healthcare providers. If continuing, take all possible precautions, including washing your hands, breast pump, and/or bottle parts before and after each use and wearing a face mask while feeding your baby. Consider having someone who is not sick feed expressed milk to the infant.
View additional recommendations from the CDC