COVID-19

COVID-19: What You Need to Know

The Illinois Department of Public Health also operates a COVID-19 hotline available 24 hours a day.

IDPH Hotline Number: 800-889-3931


Free Virtual Care

Memorial Health System is offering free MemorialNow virtual care during the COVID-19 outbreak. You can access MemorialNow using the MemorialNow App.

Status Reports and Press Releases

Daily updates are available on Facebook pages and many of the websites below for our five hospitals located in Decatur, Jacksonville, Lincoln, Springfield and Taylorville.

Memorial Health System - Facebook | News Releases

Health Departments 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, in December 2019. People who get sick with COVID-19 develop mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms including fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Illness can begin 2 to 14 days after exposure.

Although you may hear COVID-19 referred to simply as “coronavirus,” this is not entirely accurate. There are many types of coronaviruses, including the common cold. COVID-19 has caused concern among global health experts because it is new, and because its symptoms can become severe in some cases.

What are the symptoms?

COVID-19 can cause mild symptoms, including a cough and a fever. In some cases, it can lead to pneumonia or breathing difficulties. Rarely, the disease can be fatal. Older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions can be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.

Do you have symptoms of COVID-19? Have you come into contact with someone who has the virus? Assess your risk for the coronavirus and get instructions for seeking treatment using an online digital assistant. Start COVID-19 Risk Screening Online >

Patients with respiratory symptoms such as cough, chest congestion, sore throat, difficulty breathing and fever can now be screened for respiratory infections, including COVID-19, the new coronavirus, at the respiratory clinics. Screening and evaluation will be performed while the patient remains in their vehicle. To find a respiratory clinic near you, call 217-588-2800.

How are people infected with COVID-19?

COVID-19 can spread from person to person and is thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. As with most respiratory viruses, people are thought to be most contagious when they have the most symptoms.

What can I do to prevent COVID-19?

The same prevention methods for the flu also apply to COVID-19. They include: 

  • Use proper handwashing technique. Wash for at least 20 seconds with soap and water before eating; after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing; or after going to the bathroom. If your hands are not visibly soiled, you could also use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and dispose of it immediately.
  • Avoid touching your face, particularly your nose, mouth and eyes.
  • Disinfect high-touch surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick, and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Practice social distancing. 
  • Experts do not recommend wearing a face mask to protect yourself from respiratory disease. However, if you have symptoms, a hospital-grade mask can help prevent spreading your illness to others. Healthcare workers or family members caring directly for patients with respiratory illness also use these masks. 
     

How is Memorial Health System prepared for cases of COVID-19?

We are following all the current and updated guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). Recognizing the evolving nature of this situation, we continue to monitor and update our protocols to respond to any new recommendations from the CDC/IDPH and, if necessary, we will go above and beyond them.

All patients are screened appropriately at every site of care throughout the health system, including all five hospitals and all of our primary care settings. Our hospitals regularly prepare for all types of emergencies and have plans and processes, equipment and supplies in place to care for our patients, including those with infectious diseases. 

How can I help local healthcare organizations?

Memorial Health System, HSHS St. John’s Hospital, Springfield Clinic and SIU Medicine will accept donations of medical supplies from the community on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. until Friday, April 3. Individuals can drop off their donations at Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach, 4930 LaVerna Road, Springfield.

The donations can include boxed, unused surgical masks (including N95 masks); clean hand-sewn masks; unused, wrapped or boxed gowns and exam gloves; hand sanitizer; and bleach wipes and alcohol wipes. For those who wish to make masks, please use this link (which includes instructions for elastic ties) or this link (which includes instructions using cotton ties) as a guide. Community members should only drop off donations at this designated location in Sangamon County, not hospitals or clinics. Please call 217-525-8843 if you have any questions.

For donations in other counties or volunteering opportunities, please use our donation form.

Where can I get reliable information about COVID-19?

It’s important to get updates from trusted sources, as posts on social media are not always accurate and may cause unfounded panic. For the most up-to-date information, visit the COVID-19 online information centers established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Illinois Department of Public Health. For daily updates from Memorial Health System and its affiliates, visit our Facebook page

Visitor Restrictions

Effective Saturday, March 21

No visitors will be permitted at Memorial Health System’s five hospitals, with limited
exemptions:

  • Visitors under the age of 18 are prohibited, unless they are the parent of a child receiving care.
  • The following exemptions may be permitted:
    • Patients actively dying or coding in the inpatient setting: one visitor at a time.
    • Patients undergoing care in the emergency department: one visitor at a time.
    • Patients undergoing surgery: one visitor in the surgical waiting room only for duration of the surgical procedure who will leave after a post-surgery update from the surgeon.
    • Patients seeking maternity (labor and delivery) care: one visitor who must be the same person for the duration of the patient’s stay.
    • Pediatric inpatients: one parent or guardian as their support person.
    • Patients with developmental disabilities: one support person at a time.
  • Patients reporting for outpatient services should ask their support person to wait in the car until the visit is over. 
    • Outpatients with confusion, dementia, or special needs may be permitted one support person for duration of the visit, test or procedure.
  • Information will be provided to patients/families to support communication using remote telephonic or video methods as possible.
     

VISITATION BY PERSONS TRAVELING FROM OUTSIDE CENTRAL ILLINOIS IS STRONGLY DISCOURAGED.

All visitors to MHS facilities will have their temperature checked with a forehead scan thermometer. 

Visitors will NOT be allowed to enter if have a temperature above 100.0F or display symptoms of acute respiratory illness like cough, shortness of breath and sore throat.

Family members and friends can call hospitals for assistance at the following numbers. Each hospital will also have limited access at designated entrances.

Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital: 217-732-2161. Main Lobby & Emergency entrances open.
Decatur Memorial Hospital: 217-876-2003. Kirkland & Emergency entrances open.
Memorial Medical Center: 217-788-3000. Main Lobby (4:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily) & Emergency entrances (24/7).
Passavant Area Hospital: 217-245-9541. Main Lobby & Emergency West entrances open.
Taylorville Memorial Hospital: 217-824-3331. South Entrance & Emergency entrances open.

At DMH Medical Group, Memorial Physician Services and Memorial Express Care locations, one visitor is allowed for newborn/pediatric patients or person needing assistance. No other visitors are allowed at clinic appointments. A mask will be provided and required for all visitors
and patients. 

Closings, Moves and Cancellations

Throughout Memorial Health System

  • Memorial Health System will delay all postponable and non-emergency surgeries and procedures across its five hospitals and affiliated ambulatory surgical facilities until further notice. Urgent or emergency procedures are not affected.
  • Effective March 18, 2020, Memorial Physician Services and DMH Medical Group will cancel all non-essential appointments until further notice. Please call your provider’s office before traveling to a scheduled appointment. Memorial colleagues can also help you with emergency medication refills if needed. Call volumes may be high, so please be patient if you are asked to leave a message or are put on hold.
  • Events at Memorial Health System facilities may be postponed, canceled or moved to “virtual events” in compliance with “social distancing” guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Memorial Behavioral Health visits will be cancelled or altered effective Tuesday, 3/17/20. Appointments that are able to be moved will transition to a telephonic or virtual approach. Our providers at MBH will reach out to patients to coordinate upcoming appointments.
  • As behavioral health services across the state close temporarily in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Memorial Behavioral Health is providing telehealth and phone appointments with their patients. In addition, MBH has established an emotional support hotline, available at 217-588-5509, to provide support to individuals who are experiencing anxiety or stress, even if they are not MBH patients.
  • Memorial Home Medical Equipment & Supplies is appointment only at this time. Please call first for supplies. • Springfield: 217–757–7101 • Decatur: 217–876–4787 • Jacksonville: 217–243–3431 • Lincoln: 217–732–6912 ;

Decatur Area

  • DMH CrossFit Enhance and DMH Health & Wellness in Decatur are closed until further notice.
  • DMH Home Medical Equipment is appointment only at this time. Please call first for supplies. Decatur: 217–876–4787
  • DMH Signature Health, 389 W. Weaver Rd., Suite 100, Forsyth, IL will temporarily relocate to Forsyth Family Medicine, 241 W. Weaver Road, Suite 145A, Forsyth, IL. 
  • DMH Thrift Shop in Decatur is closed until further notice.
  • Illinois Heart Specialists, 2300 N. Edward St., Suite 2400, Decatur, IL will temporarily relocate to West Hay Family Medicine, 304. W. Hay, Suite 218, Decatur, IL and DMH Lung Center, 302. W. Hay, Suite LL110, Decatur, IL. 
  • Memorial Health System opened a respiratory screening clinic at the DMH ExpressCare East location. All other DMH ExpressCare East patients should use the DMH ExpressCare North at this time.
  • West Hay Family Medicine, 304 W. Hay, Suite 218, Decatur, IL will temporarily relocate to Internal Medicine Associates, 304 W. Hay, Suite 312, Decatur, IL. 

Lincoln Area

  • The Pink Shutter Thrift Shop in in Lincoln is closed until further notice.

Springfield Area
 

  • Joshua Ellison, MD has relocated to our Chatham location at 101 E. Plummer. 
  • Lydia Villafuerte, MD & John K. Lee, MD have relocated to our Koke Mill location at 3132 Old Jacksonville Road, Suite 210.
  • Memorial Physician Services Walk-In Clinic at Hy-Vee will be closed so that staff can assist at the Respiratory Clinic.Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center will be closed so that staff can assist at the Respiratory Clinic. Staff will contact patients to reschedule appointments.
  • Memorial Health System opened a respiratory screening clinic at its South Sixth Memorial ExpressCare location. All South 6th ExpressCare patients should use the Memorial Physician Services Koke Mill location at this time.

Drive-Thru Screening for Respiratory Illnesses, including COVID-19

Patients with respiratory symptoms such as cough, chest congestion, sore throat, difficulty breathing and fever can now be screened for respiratory infections, including COVID-19, the new coronavirus, at the respiratory clinics. Screening and evaluation will be performed while the patient remains in their vehicle.
 

  • Springfield - Respiratory Clinic at Memorial Physician Services – South Sixth, 2950 South Sixth Street, Springfield, IL 62703. Open 7 days per week, 8 am – 8 pm. You can sign up for drive-thru screening by calling 217-588-4019.
  • Decatur - Respiratory Clinic at DMH ExpressCare East, 4455 E. U.S. 36, Decatur, IL 62521. Open 7 days per week, 8 am – 6 pm. You can sign up for drive-thru screening by calling 217-876-1200.

COVID-19 Self-Care at Home

COVID-19 testing is not performed on most people with mild symptoms because there isn’t a treatment specific for this virus. If your symptoms are mild and you do not have any risk factors, such as age or health history, you can treat COVID-19 at home. Most patients with COVID-19 recover well on their own.

Resting, staying hydrated and sleeping are typically helpful. Stay home, limit your contact with others and treat your symptoms with oral fluids as well as medicines for fevers, cough, pain, etc.

A viral illness usually lasts one to two weeks, but sometimes it lasts longer. In some cases, a more serious infection can look like a viral syndrome in the first few days of the illness. You may need to call your physician if you feel you are worsening. Watch for the warning signs listed below.

A few guidelines for taking care of yourself at home:

  • Stay at home in self-isolation. Minimize contact with others to avoid spreading this infection.
  • Self- isolation is needed for at least seven days after your first day of symptoms and several more after that if you are still sick. Do not return to school or work until three days after symptoms end.
  • Separate yourself from other people and your animals in your home. As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available.
  • You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, utensils, towels or bedding with other people or pets in your home. After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Clean and disinfect counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and bedside tables frequently.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or hand sanitizer.
  • You may use Tylenol, acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fever, muscle aches and headache. If you have chronic liver or kidney disease or have ever had a stomach ulcer or GI bleeding, talk with your doctor before using these medicines.
  • Your appetite may be poor, so a light diet is fine. Avoid dehydration by drinking 8 to 12 8-ounce glasses of fluids each day. If you have been diagnosed with a kidney disease, ask your doctor how much and what types of fluids you should drink to prevent dehydration.
  • There isn’t a medicine that helps colds, the flu or the COVID 19 virus. Over-the-counter remedies won't shorten the length of the illness but may be helpful for cough, sore throat and nasal and sinus congestion. Don't use decongestants if you have high blood pressure.

Follow up with your healthcare provider if you do not improve over the next week. Call your healthcare provider right away if any of these occur:

  • Cough with blood
  • Chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • Severe headache; face, neck or ear pain
  • Severe, constant pain in the lower right side of your belly (abdominal)
  • Continued vomiting
  • Frequent diarrhea (more than five times a day); blood in your stool (red or black color)
  • Feeling weak, dizzy or like you are going to faint
  • Extreme thirst
  • Fever of 103 F (38° C) oral or higher that does not improve with fever medication

Translations
 

Resources

Emotional Support Hotline
As behavioral health services across the state close temporarily in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Memorial Behavioral Health is providing telehealth and phone appointments with their patients. In addition, MBH has established an emotional support hotline, available at 217-588-5509, to provide support to individuals who are experiencing anxiety or stress, even if they are not MBH patients.

Hotline number:  800-889-3931
The Illinois Department of Public Health has launched a coronavirus hotline to answer questions about the coronavirus and where people can report suspected cases of the disease.

Hearts for Healthcare Workers
Many people across the country have started hanging pink hearts on their doors to show support for healthcare workers during this challenging time. If you’d like to send a message of appreciation to the healthcare professionals in our community. You can download and print a heart, and hang it on your door or in a window to express your gratitude for those working on the front lines to protect us from COVID-19.

Travel Guidance
Learn more about coronavirus and travel in the United States.

Translations


Video

Video from Our Chief Medical Officer - How much do you really know about COVID-19, the new coronavirus? In this video, Memorial Health System chief medical officer Raj Govindaiah, MD, gives an overview of the virus and shares important information about how to reduce the risk for you and your family. Please note this video was previously recorded on 3/13/2020 with a Q&A portion for internal audiences. The video has been adapted for external use. View Video

Community Information & Resources

Memorial Health System offers a printable resource for community information related to COVID-19.