Medical Care for Sexual Assault Survivors

Illinois Hospitals Are Ready and Safe for Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Survivors to Receive Medical Care

Sexual assault and domestic violence survivors come to hospitals to seek important medical and forensic care in their most vulnerable moments. During these tumultuous times, it is imperative that survivors know hospitals remain committed to providing these essential services to survivors who seek them. Hospitals work in collaboration with Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault rape crisis centers, the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and other advocacy organizations to assist survivors.

Confirmed or Possible COVID-19

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or develop symptoms of COVID-19 after you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, please follow the steps below to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community.

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. Other symptoms may include chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, and are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you should contact your doctor to see if you need to be tested. Learn more about COVID-19 illness and other symptoms here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html.

Concerned but not Exposed

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, get in touch with your health care provider within 24 hours and follow the steps below to help prevent your infection from spreading to people in your home and community.

Could I have COVID-19?

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms from mild to severe, which can appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus, and include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, muscle pain, fatigue, headache, congestion or runny nose, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. If you have any of these symptoms, even if you are not aware of being around anyone with COVID-19, you may have COVID-19 or another respiratory virus. COVID-19 is circulating in many communities, but other respiratory viruses also may be present in your community.

Should I get tested for COVID-19?

Currently, anyone with symptoms of COVD-19 is encouraged to be tested.

Potential Exposure

What to do if you were potentially exposed to someone with confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

If you think you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, follow the steps below to monitor your health and to avoid spreading the disease to others.

How do I know if I was exposed?

You generally need to be in close contact with a person with COVID-19 to get infected. Close contact includes:

FAQ for Businesses Concerning Use of Face-Coverings During COVID-19

These frequently asked questions are to provide guidance regarding the application of the face covering requirement in Executive Order 2021-10 for businesses and other places of public accommodation subject to Article 5 of the Illinois Human Rights Act, 775 ILCS 5/.

When Face Coverings are Required

Q: What does it mean to wear a face covering?

A: A face covering is a mask or cloth face covering that covers your nose and mouth. The face covering should allow for breathing without restriction. There is no requirement to wear a hospital grade mask or other specific type or brand of face covering. You may wear a homemade face covering if it fits closely and covers your nose and mouth. For more specific information on how to make or care for your face covering, visit the Illinois Department of Public Health website at http://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/community-guidance/mask-use.

Individuals Undergoing COVID-19 Testing

What should you do about work while you wait for test results?

  • Please inform your supervisor at work that you have been tested for COVID-19 and note the date of testing.
  • If you are experiencing symptoms: Notify your supervisor and stay home.
  • If you are not experiencing symptoms: Request guidance from your supervisor on any potential work and patient care restrictions until you know your test results.
  • Avoid using public transportation, rise-sharing, or taxis when commuting.

What should you do to protect yourself while you wait for test results?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Donation of Convalescent Plasma

Convalescent Plasma for the Treatment of COVID-19 and Donation of Convalescent Plasma
Use of convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19 patients

People who have recovered from COVID-19 have antibodies – proteins the body uses to fight off infections – to the disease in their blood. Doctors call this convalescent plasma. COVID-19 convalescent plasma has not yet been approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is regulated as an investigational product.  A study by Mayo Clinic researchers of 20,000 hospitalized patients transfused with investigational convalescent plasma published in June 2020 concluded there was “robust evidence” it was safe and supported earlier administration of plasma within the clinical course of COVID-19 was “more likely to reduce mortality.” The following pathways are available for the use of COVID-19 convalescent plasma:

Guidance on the Use of Masks by the General Public

SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus that has emerged and caused coronavirus disease (abbreviated as COVID-19). Public health experts continue to learn about COVID-19, but based on current data and similar coronaviruses, the virus is believed to be spread between close contacts via respiratory droplets or contact with contaminated surfaces. While staying home, social distancing, and strict hand hygiene are still preferred methods for preventing further spread of COVID-19, face masks are one more tool that may be used by the general public and essential workers to protect each other from respiratory droplets produced when we cough, sneeze, or talk.

Guidance for Congregate Living Facilities

Interim Recommendations to Reduce Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in Congregate Living Facilities: Universal Masking and Enhanced Environmental Disinfection

Purpose

This guidance provides universal masking and environmental disinfection recommendations for congregate living facilities in dealing with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

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