Risk and Prevention

Am I at risk?

According to the CDC, “the complete clinical picture of COVID-19 is unknown.” Most people who get the virus have mild cases and fully recover. However, some people are at risk for more severe illness, and some have died. According to the CDC, risk factors for severe illness are not yet clear, although older patients and those with chronic medical conditions may be at higher risk for severe illness.

Following is the CDC’s current risk assessment:

  • For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low.
  • People in communities where ongoing community spread with the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported are at elevated though still relatively low risk of exposure.
  • Healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19 are at elevated risk of exposure.
  • Close contacts of persons with COVID-19 also are at elevated risk of exposure.
  • Travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring also are at elevated risk of exposure.

What can I do to prevent getting sick from any respiratory virus?

Please see the CDC recommendations.

  • Avoid others who are sick if possible
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer multiple times a day
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

Have any students, faculty or staff been diagnosed with the coronavirus to date?

We are not aware of any impact to current students, faculty or staff.

What should I do if I think I have COVID-19?

Faculty and staff, as well as students, should contact the SIU Medicine employee health pager at 217-492-2446 with any employee health or patient questions. See additional information below.

  • Follow the CDC’s guidance on how to reduce the risk of spreading your illness to others.
  • If you are a resident in a community where person-to-person spread of COVID-19 has been detected and you develop COVID-19 symptoms, call your healthcare provider about your symptoms.
  • If you are a close contact of someone with COVID-19 and develop symptoms of COVID-19, call employee health about your symptoms and your exposure.
  • People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 should isolate themselves at home during their illness.

How can I donate COVID-19 supplies for healthcare workers?

Community members have asked how they can give personal protection equipment donations for our healthcare workers to use. 

These can include:

  • Clean masks (Including N95)
  • Handmade, sewn masks
  • Gowns
  • Gloves
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Bleach Wipes
  • Alcohol Wipes