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COVID-19 FAQs

This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and NorthShore will provide updated information as it becomes available.

We continue to closely monitor the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.

Experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or think you may have been exposed? View our care options.

Read our frequently asked questions to learn more about NorthShore's response to COVID-19.


COVID-19 Current Resurgence
Helpful Information About NorthShore Services and Safety Tips

Are NorthShore's hospitals reporting a spike in COVID-19 positive cases?

NorthShore is currently experiencing a significant upward trend in COVID-19-positive patients who need to be hospitalized. Our patient census, bed capacity, staffing and work-flows across all NorthShore locations are assessed on a daily basis, and discussion continues as it relates to adapting care to respond to the need. The IDPH coronavirus site is updated frequently and includes figures on the number of cases in Illinois.

Why does the current COVID resurgence feel more intense now than it did in the Spring?

There are potentially many factors contributing to the current situation, including:

  • People may be letting their guard down – sometimes referred to as COVID fatigue.
  • The more we interact with others, the greater the risk for transmission becomes.
  • The risk increases when all individuals are not masked and within 6 feet of each other for more than 15 minutes.
  • As the weather gets colder and people are spending more time inside, the risk will also increase because they are sharing the same air.
What can you tell me about a COVID vaccine?

While NorthShore is not involved in any COVID vaccine clinical trials, there are many trials being conducted worldwide to identify and bring to market an effective and validated COVID vaccine for mass distribution and use. NorthShore will provide details about distribution once a federally approved vaccine is made available.

How do I get a COVID-19 test at NorthShore?

We are only providing COVID-19 diagnostic testing to those patients who meet the CDC and IDPH criteria for testing—which is testing appropriate symptomatic individuals (people with symptoms). We are not routinely testing asymptomatic individuals (people with no symptoms). For more information, please visit our COVID-19 testing page.

Has Glenbrook Hospital been converted back into a COVID-only hospital?

Yes. Glenbrook has converted back into a COVID-only hospital within our system, meaning it is no longer taking patients in need of overnight care if they don’t have COVID-19. As the pandemic continues to evolve, we are experiencing an increase in the number of COVID patients hospitalized, in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and in need of breathing (ventilating) assistance. Non-COVID-19 patients who need to be hospitalized are being sent to our other pavilions in the system.

Is NorthShore able to provide appropriate care for non-COVID-19 patients?

NorthShore has preparedness plans in place to ensure members of our community who have non-COVID-19 conditions are treated and cared for with the same high standards that the community has come to trust from NorthShore. We have expanded other types of access points to support the practice of social distancing such as phone visits, E-Visits, and video visits.

What about adequate access to NorthShore’s Emergency Departments (ED) for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients?

Our Emergency Departments (ED) are very busy as a result of the current spike in COVID cases. However, we have COVID-19 preparedness plans in place to accommodate the increased ED patient volume.

How is NorthShore handling all elective surgeries and procedures?

We are evaluating all elective surgeries and procedures on a case-by-case basis. All emergency and urgent surgeries and procedures that impact the health of our patients will continue as planned.

Does NorthShore have adequate medical supplies and medicine?

We are managing our Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other critical supplies very carefully and sensibly for the protection of our patients and employees; and are currently at adequate supply levels. The same is true for our pharmaceutical needs—we have sufficient medicine supplies for our patients.

What can I do to protect my health and safety?

There are several things we can all do to remain safe, healthy and vigilant.

  • Wear a mask and make sure it completely covers your nose and mouth.
  • Wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer when washing is not available.
  • Practice physical distance—6 feet or more of distance between people.
  • Avoid social gatherings and instead use technology such as FaceTime/video communication to keep in touch with loved ones.
  • Avoid unnecessary travel.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
How can I help spread the word, not the virus?

Everyone can play their part by becoming a NorthShore Safety Ambassador. Please visit northshore.org/covidsafety.

Where can I find more information about COVID-19?

You may access additional information from the following sites:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: CDC.gov
Illinois Department of Public Health: DPH.Illinois.gov
World Health Organization: WHO.int