Household Preparedness

The COVID-19 outbreak may last for an extended period.  The Illinois Department of Public Health has recommended community actions designed to keep people healthy, reduce exposures to COVID-19, and slow the spread of the disease. Local health department officials also have made recommendations appropriate to the COVID-19 situation in your community. Creating a household plan can help protect your health and the health of those you care about during the COVID-19 pandemic. The details of your household plan should be based on the needs and daily routine of your household members.

  • Talk with the people who need to be included in your plan.
  • Plan ways to care for those  at higher risk for severe illness like people 65 years of age or older and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions.
  • Get to know your neighbors.
  • Identify aid organizations in your community.
  • Create an emergency contact list.

Practice good personal health habits and plan for home-based actions

Practice regular preventive actions. Remind everyone in your household of the importance of following preventive actions that can help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to receive medical care.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily (e.g., tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, toilet flush handles, and cabinet handles) using a regular household detergent and water.
    • If surfaces are dirty, clean using a detergent and water prior to disinfection. For disinfection, a list of products with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved emerging viral pathogens claims maintained by the American Chemistry Council Center for Biocide Chemistries (CBC) is available at Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Fighting Productspdf iconexternal icon. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products.
  • 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 a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.

Choose a room in your home that can be used to separate sick household members from those who are healthy.

Be prepared if your child’s school or child care facility is temporarily dismissed

Learn about the emergency operations plan at your child’s school or child care facility. During the COVID-19 outbreak, the state has closed schools to help slow the spread of illness. Understand the plans for remote learning and social services (such as student meal programs) during the school dismissals. If your child attends a college or university, learn about the school’s plan for the COVID-19 outbreak and the upcoming 2020-2021 school year.

Plan for potential changes at your workplace

Learn about your employer’s emergency operations plan. Discuss sick-leave policies and telework options for workers who are sick or who need to stay home to care for sick household members. Learn how businesses and employers have planned and responded to COVID-19.

Last Updated:  6/30/2020

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