Frequently Asked Questions on the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus/COVID-19, its symptoms and prevention:

This virus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The first infections were linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now spreading from person-to-person.  The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”). Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

Early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that some people are at higher risk of getting sick from this illness including older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and lung disease.

If you are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, you should: stock up on supplies; take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others; when you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick; limit close contact and wash hands often; and avoid crowds, cruise travel, long plane flights and non-essential travel. If there is an outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible. Watch for symptoms and emergency signs. If you get sick, stay home and call your doctor.

Children with confirmed cases of COVID-19 have generally presented with mild symptoms and complications appear to be uncommon.

Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow
  • Throw used tissues in the trash
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place. Or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

The CDC is recommending that US citizens not travel to the following countries: China, Iran, Italy and South Korea.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.  Compass encourages you to be especially mindful of any upcoming travel plans.  With International travel specifically, there is concern about being quarantined for a minimum of 2 weeks upon reentering the country. In addition, travel bans continue to evolve.  Please closely monitor the CDC recommendations on travel.

Compass precautions:

  • Hand sanitizer is available in all waiting rooms, group rooms and offices.
  • Clorox bleach wipes are being made readily available to encourage wiping down of phones, keyboards, doorknobs or any other high touch areas.
  • Compass’ cleaning service will be spending an extra 1-2 hours each day on disinfecting and cleaning all Compass facilities.

Compass will be prescreening patients on initial phone intake for fever, respiratory symptoms and recent travel to countries that have been identified to be high risk. Patients who have a fever of 100° F or higher, severe cough or difficulty breathing will be sent home and will be asked to return with a doctor’s note for medical clearance.

When a patient is identified as being ill, they will be asked to leave program, see their primary care doctor and return only with medical clearance documentation.  Patients with a fever of 100° F or higher are being asked to stay home until they have been fever free for at least 24 hours without taking fever reducing medications (Tylenol, Motrin, Ibuprofen). When a child or adolescent is waiting to be picked up by a parent/guardian, they will be placed in a separate well- ventilated space with monitoring by nursing.

Compass will be sending updated COVID-19 information sheets home with our child and adolescent patients weekly. In addition, we will provide weekly updated information sheets available to young adult and adult patients in the group rooms and at all of our front desks.

In order to streamline communication with our patients who have specific questions or concerns regarding the Corona virus, calls will be routed to Drs. Timchak, Khilanani, Schreiber, Welke or Mary Kate Gruebnau RN.

We plan to send weekly email communication with the latest updates as well as more frequent updates as necessary.

If you are sick, please do stay home, especially if you have symptoms of acute respiratory illness or a fever of 100 degrees or higher. You should be fever-free for at least 24 hours without taking fever reducing medications (Tylenol, Motrin, Ibuprofen) before returning to work. If you are out of the office for more than 3 days, you will be able to take advantage of the Extended Illness Bank (EIB), which gives you up to 5 additional paid days that do not impact your PTO. After 3 days or more out of the office, you will need a doctor’s note in order to return to work.

At this point, we don’t know. Compass always strives to remain open given the severity of illness of our patients and our partial hospitalization status. However, we will continue to follow the guidance of the departments of health of Cook County, Chicago and Illinois.