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
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.
- The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Read more >
- 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?
For non-food donations 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.
Updated October 12, 2020
Transmission of COVID-19 continues to be a risk in our communities. To enhance the safety of patients, visitors, and colleagues, special visitor restrictions are being implemented across all Memorial Health System sites of service. These restrictions will be reviewed and modified as the COVID-19 situation evolves and infection prevention guidance is updated.
- Visitors must wear a mask at all times and are highly encouraged to bring their own mask from home.
- Social distancing must be followed in public areas (waiting rooms, common areas). In situations where this may not be possible, visitors will be provided a medical grade mask and/or visitors may be asked to leave area.
- Do not visit a patient:
- If you are experiencing signs and symptoms of COVID-19;
- If you or a member of your household tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days;
- If you or a member of your household are awaiting COVID-19 test results due to symptoms or exposure;
- If you have been identified by Public Health as a close contact of someone diagnosed with COVID-19.
- Visitors will be screened upon entry. Visitors will not be allowed to enter if they have a temperature above 100.0°F; display any one of the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- New loss of taste or smell
- Or, any two of the following symptoms:
- Sore throat
- Muscle pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Congestion or runny nose
- You will also be asked screening questions about recent testing, exposure and close contact. It is important that you answer with honesty to keep our patients, healthcare workers and the community safe.
- In the hospital setting, children younger than age 16 will not be permitted, unless they are the parent of a child receiving care.
- All visitors will be restricted to certain areas of the hospital (e.g. surgical waiting room, patient room).
Specific Guidelines: Visitors will be permitted as follows:
- Emergency Department: One visitor who must remain in the patient’s room for duration of visit
- Inpatient adult: One visitor during the hours of 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
- Inpatient at end-of-life: Two visitors
- Inpatient obstetrics: Two designated visitors a day. Visitors can change day to day.
- Pediatrics, inpatient and outpatient: Two parents/guardians
- Surgery/Procedure, inpatient and outpatient: One visitor in the waiting room only for the duration of the surgical procedure.
- Transitional Care Unit at PAH: Visitation is restricted to essential individuals per IDPH regulations.
- Outpatient diagnostic and therapy services: Patients being provided outpatient services are encouraged to come alone whenever possible or have visitors wait outside until services are complete.
- Ambulatory medical services (Memorial Physician Services, Memorial ExpressCare, DMH Medical Group): Members of the same household may accompany a patient with an appointment. One non-household support person may accompany a patient with an appointment.
- Any patient with intellectual and/or developmental disability or cognitive impairments: One support person
Throughout Memorial Health System
- Memorial Health System will resume many surgeries and other medical procedures and visits that had been postponed during the initial stages of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic on May 11, 2020. All patients will be required to wear masks upon arriving at any Memorial Health System facility, and will undergo a health screening, including a temperature check, before entering. Patients who are having surgery must test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours prior to the procedure. The COVID-19 test will be scheduled by Memorial Health System as part of preoperative procedures. After being tested, the patient should self-quarantine, stay at home and practice social distancing until his or her procedure to reduce their risk of contracting COVID-19. The state guidelines also require that patients have only one support person, who may not wait at the hospital during the procedure. The support person will be provided information on how to receive updates, and will be provided discharge and post-procedure care information when picking up the patient. If the patient must stay overnight, the support person must leave the hospital after speaking with the surgeon.
- Memorial Physician Services, DMH Medical Group, Memorial Behavioral Health and Memorial Weight Loss and Wellness Center offer phone and two-way video telehealth appointments. Please call to schedule an appointment. In-person appointments will also be available to maintain social distancing, patients will register by phone and notify the office when they arrive for their appointment. Patients will be escorted directly to the clinical area, bypassing the waiting room whenever possible.
- Memorial Behavioral Health 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.
- 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 Home Medical Equipment & Supplies offers curbside service. Please call the phone number posted at the location from your vehicle upon arrival. If you have questions about Jacksonville, Lincoln or Springfield, call 217-788-4663. If you have questions about Decatur, call 217-876-4040.
- 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 Health System opened a respiratory screening clinic at its South Sixth Memorial ExpressCare location. For COVID-19 or respiratory concerns, please call our Respiratory Clinic at 217-588-4019.
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
Do Your Part to Slow the Spread of COVID-19
Download a COVID-19 recommendations handout to share with family, friends, community members, employees and colleagues information to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Emotional Support Hotline
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.
Learn more about coronavirus and travel in the United States.
The Illinois Department of Public Health also operates a COVID-19 hotline available 24 hours a day.
IDPH Hotline Number: 800-889-3931
Memorial Health System offers virtual care telehealth appointments. You can schedule appointments by downloading the Memorial App on your smartphone or via a browser on your computer at mymemorialapp.com.