Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preparedness | Loyola Medicine

Coronavirus Preparedness at Loyola Medicine

What Is Coronavirus and Other Information

What Is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a novel (new) respiratory disease first detected in China and now identified in almost 168 locations around the world, including the United States.

While we are still learning about the disease, it appears to be transmitted person-to-person, with illnesses ranging from mild to severe. Person-to-person spread means being in close contact with an infected person or through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Older people, especially those with a history of underlying health conditions such as heart disease or diabetes, seem to be at the greatest risk of complications if exposed to the coronavirus.

COVID-19 Outbreak Interactive Map

Stay up-to-date with the COVID-19 Outbreak Interactive Map:

COVID-19 Outbreak Interactive Map


Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure*:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

If you feel sick with fever, cough, have difficulty breathing, or if you have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, please call our COVID-19 hotline at 708-216-8300, Monday through Friday from 7 am – 4:30 pm. 

*According to the CDC

What to Do if You Feel Sick

If you have a fever, trouble breathing or are coughing, call your doctor or a health care provider to set up an appointment to be tested. As a first step, please explain your symptoms over the phone before going to the doctor’s office, immediate care or emergency department.

Make sure to tell your doctor if you have traveled internationally. You should also mention if you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

Prevention Tips

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid exposure.

In general, we recommend taking the following precautions to avoid exposure:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the restroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60-95% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Facemasks:
    • The CDC recommends that people who are well wear a cloth facemask when going out in public, especially to places where social distancing is difficult (i.e., grocery stores) to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.

How Loyola Medicine Is Prepared

Loyola Medicine is collaborating with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Illinois Department of Public Health to ensure the safety of our patients, staff and visitors. Our staff has been trained for how to screen for and proceed with care for possible cases of COVID-19

Screening for COVID-19 and Next Steps for Potential Cases

Health care providers at Loyola obtain a detailed symptom history for patients being evaluated with fever and acute respiratory illness. Patients are considered high risk for the coronavirus if they have had exposure to confirmed COVID-19, patient under investigation (PUI) for COVID-19 or recently returned from areas outside the U.S. with widespread transmission of fever and severe respiratory illness.

Isolation: Patients who are under investigation for novel coronavirus will be provided a mask and moved to an airborne infection isolation room (AIIR) or private room, with Precautions sign placed on room entry door.

COVID-19 Visitor Restrictions


Protecting our patients is our top priority. Due to COVID-19, Loyola Medicine hospitals (Loyola University Medical Center, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital and MacNeal Hospital) will no longer allow visitors as a precaution for your safety and the safety of our patients, our caregivers and our community members.

On rare occasions, adult visitors will be allowed access to patient areas if they are important to the patient’s emotional well-being and care. In those rare occasions, the visitor will be screened for COVID-19 exposure based on established Centers for Disease Control guidelines.

If allowed, visitors are limited to one person at one time in the patient room.

Outpatient Facilities

For your safety and the safety of our patients and their visitors, the following restrictions are in effect until further notice:

  • Only ONE support person age 18 or older will be allowed to accompany a patient in the following areas:
    • All outpatient clinics
    • Outpatient surgery
    • Immediate Care Centers
    • Lab and Radiology services
  • No one under the age of 18 will be allowed as a support person. Siblings younger than 18 years of age won’t be allowed in the outpatient setting.
  • Emergency Department patients may have one support person, age 18 or older. However, our staff may ask you to wait in the waiting room or another area depending on the seriousness of the patients’ condition in the emergency department. For stable patients, we may ask that the support person wait in their car if the waiting room is full to protect you from exposure to flu or coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • For those patients receiving therapy services (physical, occupational, or speech), adult visitors will be asked to wait in their car until the patient has completed services.
    • For adult patients there will be an exception if an adult caregiver is required for family training
    • For pediatric patients, one adult may accompany the patient for the duration of treatment
  • All visitors will be screened at the front desk during the registration process and those who have traveled outside of the Chicagoland area, have had exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19), have a fever or symptoms of cough, shortness of breath or diarrhea will be restricted from accompanying the patient as a support person and asked to return to their car.

Frequently Asked Questions about Coronavirus

Who is at greatest risk for coronavirus infection (COVID-19)?

  • Currently, there is a wide range of people that can contract COVID-19. Those at greatest risk of infection are persons who have had prolonged, unprotected close contact with a patient with symptomatic, confirmed COVID-19 and those who live in or have recently been to areas with sustained transmission.

Who is at greatest risk for complications from coronavirus infection?

  • From the limited data that are available regarding COVID-19 infected patients and those with related coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus), it appears that older adults (>60 years) and persons who have underlying chronic medical conditions, such as immunocompromising conditions, may be at risk for more severe outcomes.

When is someone infectious?

  • The onset and duration of viral shedding and period of infectiousness for COVID-19 are variable. It is possible that SARS-CoV-2 RNA may be detectable in the upper or lower respiratory tract for weeks after illness onset, similar to infection with MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV Existing literature regarding SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses (e.g. MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV) suggest that the onset of symptoms (if they occur) is 2–14 days after infection by the virus.

Which body fluids can spread infection?

  • Very limited data are available about detection of SARS-CoV-2 and infectious virus in clinical specimens. SARS-CoV-2 has been isolated from upper respiratory tract specimens and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. SARS-CoV-2 RNA has been detected in blood and stool specimens, but whether infectious virus is present in extrapulmonary specimens is being studied. It is also being studied whether other non-respiratory body fluids from an infected person including vomit, urine, breast milk, or semen can contain viable, infectious SARS-CoV-2.

Can people who recover from COVID-19 be infected again?

  • The answer to this is not certain, but looking at patients with MERS-CoV infection, re-infection shortly after recovery is very uncommon. It is not yet known whether similar immune protection will be observed for patients with COVID-19. Some people have tested positive for COVID then negative and then positive, but it may be that the negative test represents false negative or low viral shedding and the patient had a prolonged infection.

For more information about COVID-19, please visit the CDC and IDPH online.

COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing

During these unprecedented times, it is important for you to know the cost of COVID diagnostic testing. The COVID-19 test cash price is $135 – $375, depending on the type of test.  The test conducted will be billed. Patients are not required to pay for COVID-19 tests. The cash price will be charged to third party payers if a contracted price has not been negotiated. The amount charged also is subject to adjustment if state law mandates pricing or the test is performed by a government agency.

How You Can Help

There are many ways you can help our health care providers, patients and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, including donating funds, meals and supplies. Please refer to the details below to find the right giving opportunity for you.

Monetary Donations

Loyola Medicine COVID-19 Medical Response Fund

The Loyola Medicine COVID-19 Medical Response Fund will address the greatest needs related to our regional COVID-19 response. Gifts to this fund will be available to support critical needs related to equipment, supplies, personnel, capital projects, telehealth, technology and operational expenses.

Loyola Medicine Colleague Assistance Fund

The Loyola Medicine Colleague Assistance Fund will assist employees who experience sudden, urgent financial hardship. Gifts to this fund will be available to provide assistance including childcare, elder care, housing, medical, utilities and other basic living expenses.

Meal Donations

Send a meal (or food/beverage donation) directly to nurses, physicians, food service workers and other members of our health care teams caring for COVID-19 patients.

Supply Donations

We are accepting (in original and sealed packaging):

  • Disposable masks, including N95, KN95, Gerson N95 and 3M masks
  • Hand sanitizers containing over 60% alcohol content
  • Hand-sewn cloth masks
  • Cavicide wipes
  • Disposable isolation gowns
  • Disposable surgical masks
  • Disposable surgical caps
  • Disposable foot covers
  • Disposable exam gloves, especially non-latex
  • Safety goggles
  • Face shields
  • Wipes (bleach or antimicrobial)​

Supplies Not Accepted

  • 3D ventilator parts
  • Medications
  • Blankets

Contact Information for Supply Donations

Email: Wil Gonzalez, Procurement Project Manager, Supply Chain
Phone: Donation Hotline: 708-216-1155 (Monday-Friday, 8 am – 5 pm)

COVID-19 Symptom Checker