What is COVID-19 (coronavirus)?
A novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing the disease is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold. Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness for confirmed coronavirus cases.
The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:
- Shortness of breath
Other symptoms may include fatigue, sore throat, aches and pains, as well as loss of smell or appetite. If you believe you may be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please take immediate steps to isolate yourself from others and call Esperanza at (773) 584-6200.
If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, please call 9-1-1. Emergency warning signs include:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- Sudden confusion or difficulty waking up
- Bluish lips or face
How can I protect myself from infection?
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially if you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- 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 and immediately wash your hands.
- Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet (approximately 2 meters) from other people when in public spaces. Social distancing can help limit your exposure to COVID-19
- Please limit unnecessary travel, stay home from school or work (if possible), and avoid gatherings to help slow the spread of disease. If you must leave the house (to purchase groceries or visit the pharmacy, for example), try to plan your visit at hours of the day when fewer people are likely to be present, such as soon after opening or shortly before closing.
- Please remember that people with chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure, and those 60 and older may be at higher risk for severe illness if they become infected with coronavirus. If you believe you may have contracted COVID-19, please do NOT put your loved ones at risk.
- Use a cloth face covering when in public to protect yourself further from COVID-19.
Can I get a COVID-19 test at Esperanza?
Yes, Esperanza offers testing to any person who wants one, regardless of whether you have symptoms or not. Esperanza offers testing services at our Brighton Park health center (4700 S. California Ave.) and at Marquette Park (71st St. and Sacramento Ave.). All appointments are scheduled in advanced, so please call (773) 584-6200 if you need to be screened for COVID-19. And remember, if your symptoms are severe, please call 9-1-1.
How much does it cost to have a COVID-19 test at Esperanza?
FOR UNINSURED PATIENTS
Esperanza collects no fees or copays for COVID-19 testing or services. These are provided to you free of charge.
FOR INSURED PATIENTS
If Esperanza is in your network, we will collect no copays or fees for COVID-19 testing or treatment. If you receive a bill, please call us immediately at 773-584-6200 so we can appeal or waive the fee for you.
If Esperanza is not in your network, you may be billed for any COVID-19 testing or treatment services you receive with us. Please call your insurance company first to verify your network status before scheduling your test with Esperanza.
Any person in financial hardship can call our billing department to request assistance.
Should I be wearing a cloth face covering/mask in public?
Wearing a cloth face covering in public may offer extra protection against COVID-19 infection, but please remember the following:
- A cloth face covering is NOT a substitute for other protection measures. If wearing a covering, you must still continue to observe social distancing, hand washing, and other steps designed to protect you. A covering offers additional protection, not immunity.
- A cloth face covering should always fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face, covering your nose and mouth at all times. Pulling your covering down under your nose or other improper use will not protect you or others.
- Always wash your hands before putting on a covering or taking it off.
Public health officials recommend wearing two (2) layers of material whenever possible to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and its new variants. To add layers of material:
- Use a cloth mask that has multiple layers of fabric
- Wear one (1) disposable mask underneath a cloth mask
- The second mask should push the edges of the inner mask against your face
- Make sure you can see and breath easily
The CDC has put together some helpful information on how to create your own cloth face covering, even if you don't know how to sew. Click here to be redirected to the CDC page.
What is Esperanza doing in response to the pandemic?
- In order to minimize potential exposure to COVID-19, most Esperanza care (including clinical care and behavioral health) is being delivered via telehealth services. Click here for more information.
- All Esperanza programs are cancelled until further notice.
- Patients who drive to the clinic may be asked to wait in their cars after registering until they are called for their appointment. This may happen more often during peak hours.
- We are asking all patients to not bring any additional friends or family to their visits to minimize potential exposure to the coronavirus.
- We are also asking patients visiting our clinics to PLEASE arrive wearing a cloth face covering as our own supplies are very limited. To learn how to make your own cloth face covering, please click here.
- If you are a patient and experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness and/or fever, PLEASE CALL US FIRST at (773) 584-6200 so that one of our registered nurses can evaluate your symptoms over the phone. You will be asked about your travel history and your symptoms before deciding next steps.
- We are taking special care to sanitize surfaces around the clinic, including door handles, touch-screen kiosks and other high-touch areas.
- If you are at the clinic and experiencing symptoms of illness, please help us do our part by not using touch-screen kiosks for registration. Instead, we ask you to check in directly with Esperanza personnel at the front desk.
- If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19 and are showing symptoms, call (773) 584-6200 to ask about obtaining a COVID-19 test at our Brighton Park health center (4700 S. California Ave.) or at Marquette Park (71st St. and Sacramento Ave.).
Please follow the following prevention and treatment tips from the CDC that help avoid the spread of this illness. Visit CDC and Chicago Department of Public Health for more updates as they become available.
* PLEASE NOTE THAT IMMIGRATION HAS ANNOUNCED THAT GETTING TESTED OR TREATED FOR COVID-19 WILL NOT MAKE YOU A PUBLIC CHARGE, EVEN IF YOU ARE USING MEDICAID. PLEASE DON'T BE AFRAID TO GET A TEST OR TO SEE A DOCTOR IF YOU'RE FEELING SICK AND BELIEVE YOU MAY HAVE COVID-19.