CHICAGO — Gov. JB Pritzker is urging Illinoisans to stay home as much as possible with a new campaign dubbed All In Illinois.
The campaign, which was announced Thursday, asks people in Illinois to stay home — and encourage their neighbors to stay home — to fight the spread of coronavirus.
The All In Illinois website features printable signs for people’s windows, special logos for Facebook profile photos and social media and feel-good news stories about how Illinoisans are working together (while staying apart, of course).
There are also PSAs from Illinois celebrities like Jane Lynch, “Veep” star Matt Walsh and comedian Deon Cole.
Pritzker said he launched the campaign because the state has done virtually everything it can — from closing schools to issuing a stay at home order — to get people to stay home. Now, Illinoisans simply have to follow that dierctive.
“Our strongest weapon against COVID-19 is you,” Pritzker said at a Thursday briefing. He added, “I see you fighting for each other, Illinois. I see you as tough as you are kind, as courageous as you are creative. I see you taking care of one another. And I’m very, very proud. For a little while longer, we must all commit to staying home, staying safe.”
Watch the PSAs:
Staying home is the biggest thing individuals can do to prevent the spread of coronavirus and the resulting deaths, officials have repeatedly said.
As of Thursday, there have been 157 deaths in Illinois from the pandemic and 7,695 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Illinois. The new fatalities include Chicago Police officer Marco Di Franco, 50, a 21-year veteran of the department assigned to the narcotics unit. He was the first police officer to die from a COVID-19 infection in the state.
Coronavirus can be deadly, but the vast majority of cases have been mild. Those most at risk from the virus are people who are elderly or who have underlying health conditions.
Symptoms of coronavirus can appear two to 14 days after a person has been exposed to the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control. People with no symptoms may have the virus and spread it to others.
The virus spreads between people through coughing and sneezing, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
The most common symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
People have also experienced body aches, nasal congestion, runny nose and sore throat, according to Harvard Medical School.
If you or someone else has difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, become confused, cannot be roused or develop a bluish face or lips, get immediate medical attention, according to the CDC.
How To Protect Yourself
The CDC only recommends those are already sick wear facemasks because they help you avoid spreading the virus.
Here’s what you can actually do to prevent getting ill:
- The CDC and other officials have said people should wash their hands often, including before, during and after eating; after using the bathroom; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
The CDC has a guide here for how to properly wash your hands. Remember: Wash with soap and water, scrubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds.
- If you can’t wash your hands with soap and water, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
- Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth, with unwashed hands.
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces you touch frequently, like cellphones and light switches. Here are tips from the CDC.
- Stay home when you’re sick and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- If you have to sneeze or cough with a tissue, throw it out immediately after using it, according to the CDC.
What To Do If You Think You’re Sick
Even if you’re not showing symptoms, the Chicago Department of Public Health recommends people coming from high-risk countries (here’s a CDC list) self-quarantine for 14 days after returning home.
If you do have symptoms of coronavirus, contact your primary doctor or a health care facility before going in. Explain your symptoms and tell them if you’ve come into close contact with anyone with coronavirus or traveled to an area where COVID-19 is widespread (here’s a CDC list) within the last 14 days, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
From there, the experts will work with your local health department to determine what to do and if you need to be tested for coronavirus, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
And, of course, if you think you’re sick with coronavirus, don’t risk exposing other people to the virus. Anyone who feels unwell has been ordered to stay home or risk getting a $500 fine.
Those with questions and concerns about coronavirus can call the Illinois Department of Public Health at 800-889-3931.
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