COVID-19 Testing Expansion

Through a partnership with the Office of Governor J.B. Pritzker and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Friend Health is pleased to offer COVID-19 Drive Up Testing (you don’t have to get out of your car) and Walk Up Testing at our Cottage Grove and Western locations. To make an appointment, please call 773-702-0660. Read more.

With the increased concerns you may have due to the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), Friend Health wants you to know the safety of our Patients and Care Team is our highest priority. We want you to feel confident that we have created a safe environment for you to receive high-quality healthcare. Read more.

Who is eligible for COVID-19 testing?

Anyone with COVID-19-like illness or symptoms can get a test, even without a doctor’s order. Testing is now available for people who:

  • Have COVID-19 symptoms (cough, shortness of breath and fever)
  • Have a risk factor, such as contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19, a compromised immune system, or a serious chronic medical condition

Testing is also available for those with or without symptoms who:

  • Work in a health care facility
  • Work in correctional facilities, such as jails or prisons
  • Serve as first responders, such as paramedics, emergency medical technicians, law enforcement officers or firefighters
  • Support critical infrastructure, such as workers in grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants, gas stations, public utilities, factories, childcare and sanitation

What you should know about Covid-19

With the increased concerns you may have due to the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), Friend Health wants you to know that the safety of our Patients and Care Team is our highest priority. We want you to feel confident that we have created a very safe environment for you to receive high quality health care.

What to do if you feel sick:

Please call Friend Health at 773-702-0660. Our COVID-19 Care Team is here to discuss your symptoms with you. This will help us to better understand your condition, so that we may better serve you.

If you have an “in-person” appointment:

Please come by yourself if possible. Minors and those who need support, may be accompanied by one healthy adult. All Friend Health patients and their guests will be screened at the entrance to the clinic.

Shelter-In-Place

Effective March 21, 2020, Illinois is under a Shelter-In-Place order, to help prevent or slow the spread of COVID-19. This means all residents of Illinois need to stay home and avoid any unnecessary travel or business. We know this is a hardship and Friend Health thanks you for staying home as much as possible. You are helping us to keep our communities healthy!

You are still allowed to leave your home to go to:

  • Friend Health or another medical provider
  • Pharmacy (FH Pharmacy provides free home delivery. Call 773-702-0660)
  • Grocery Store/ Supermarket/ Convenience Stores/ Hardware Stores
  • Gas station, Auto Repair, Bank or Laundromat
  • Restaurant (Carryout only)
  • Care for someone in another household
  • Exercise outdoor or walk your dog, if you can stay 6-feet away from anyone else
  • Go to work at an “essential” business.

Informative Videos

6 Steps to Prevent Covid-19

CDC Briefing Room: Covid-19 Update: March 14, 2020

Surgeon General Social Distancing

Six Steps to Prevent COVID-19

Handwashing Steps Using the WHO Technique

What Older Adults Need to Know

How to Make your Own Face Covering

What to do if you feel sick

Stay home except to seek emergency medical care. COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to recover at home. Do not visit public places and avoid using public transportation, ridesharing, or taxis.

Separate yourself from others in your home as much as possible by using a separate bedroom and bathroom if possible. You should limit your contact with pets and animals, just like you would around people. Do not share dishes, cups, eating utensils, towels or bedding with people in your home. Cover your coughs and sneezes. Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds.

Routinely clean and disinfect high-tough surfaces in your bedroom and bathroom. Let someone else clean and disinfect surfaces in common areas, but not your bedroom and bathroom.

Monitor your symptoms. Friend Health can provide you with instructions on checking your symptoms and reporting information. Seek medical care if your illness is worsening, but call first (773) 702-0660 and let us know that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help us better prepare to serve you.

If you have had a test confirming that you have COVID-19, you can stop isolation after two negative tests in a row, 24 hours apart. If you have not been tested, you can leave home if you can say yes to the below:

  • You have not had a fever for at least 72 hours (without use of medication to reduce fever)
  • When your cough and/or shortness of breath have improved
  • At least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared

Frequently Asked Questions

What is COVID-19?

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. Symptoms include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure. At this time, there is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19 and no medications approved to treat it.

Who can become infected with COVID-19?

Anyone can become infected, all ages, races, ethnicities, all geographic regions.

A person infected with COVID-19 can be symptom free, but can infect others. We call those individuals carriers. That is why social distancing is essential.

Certain groups are at higher risk of becoming infected:

  • A person who has recently traveled to areas that have high rates of infection
  • A person who has had close contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19

These groups are at higher risk of severe illness if they are infected:

  • Those with chronic health conditions: diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure
  • Older adults (60 years or older)

How does the virus spread?

The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How is it treated?

There is no specific medicine to treat COVID-19 infection at this time, though studies are underway. People sick with COVID-19 should receive supportive care from a health care professional. Supportive care means care to help relieve symptoms; for example, medicine to bring down fevers, or oxygen if a patient’s oxygen level is low.

How is COVID-19 diagnosed?

Diagnosis occurs through laboratory testing of respiratory specimens and serum (blood).

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

COVID-19 symptoms typically appear 2 to 14 days after a person is exposed to the virus. Symptoms are very similar to flu and include cough, fever, and shortness of breath.

Should I go to my doctor and get tested for COVID-19?

If you have any of the conditions that may increase your risk for a serious viral infection—age 60 years or over, are pregnant, or have medical conditions—call your physician’s office and ask if you need to be evaluated in person. They may want to monitor your health more closely or test you for influenza.

If you do not have a high-risk condition and your symptoms are mild, you do not need to be evaluated in person and do not need to be tested for COVID-19. There are currently no medications to treat COVID-19.

What should I do to keep infection from spreading in my family and community?

Stay home except to get medical care.
You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

Cover your coughs and sneezes.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can; immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 to 95% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water is preferred if hands are visibly dirty.

Clean your hands often.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water is preferred if hands are visibly dirty. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day.
High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.

Monitor your symptoms.
Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g., difficulty breathing). Before seeking care, call Friend Health and tell them that your symptoms are consistent with COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before you enter the facility. If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before emergency medical services arrive.

Additional information is available below.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Chicago Department of Public Health

World Health Organization