Coronavirus (COVID-19) Newsletter — February 19, 2021

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Lake County Health Department Coronavirus (COVID-19) Newsletter

February 19, 2021

Vaccination Update

Vaccine Upadate

Phase 1b Expansion and What it Means in Lake County 

Governor Pritzker recently announced that starting February 25, Phase 1b in Illinois will be expanded to include people with high-risk medical conditions and those with disabilities. Due to the current limitations in vaccine supply, Lake County will not be adopting this expansion of Phase 1b. 

The Health Department is committed to getting as many people vaccinated as quickly and efficiently as possible. However, we continue to receive a very limited supply of vaccine. Expanding Phase 1b would further delay vaccinating healthcare providers, seniors and frontline essential workers already in Phase 1a and 1b.   

Pharmacies and other entities that receive vaccine supply of their own (separate from the Lake County Health Department’s supply) may choose to follow the expanded guidelines of the State. 

For more information and resources, please visit the Lake County COVID-19 Vaccine page. 


Upcoming Community Vaccination Sites 

Several community vaccination sites plan on opening in the coming weeks. Due to limited vaccine supply, all sites are by appointment only, and no walk-ins will be accepted. 

Providers may be added or removed at any time. These sites are listed for the community’s convenience and are not managed by the Lake County Health Department. The Health Department is not monitoring or assisting with appointment availability or scheduling at these locations.

Details on eligibility and how to make an appointment can be found on Lake County’s COVID-19 Vaccine page.  

The Importance of a Well-fitting Mask

Mask Guidance

Correct and consistent mask use reduces your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. Some masks protect you better than othersConsider how well a mask fits, how well it filters the air, and how many layers it has when choosing a mask.  

recent study showed that wearing a surgical mask or disposable face mask underneath a cloth mask improved protection to the wearer and to othersUsing a double mask this way: 

  • Improves fit by pressing the inner mask closer to the face, reducing the amount of air that leaks around the edges of the masks. 
  • Improves filtration by adding more layers of material to reduce the number of respiratory droplets that come through the masks. 

Whatever mask you wear, make sure that it: 

  • Has two or more layers of breathable fabric. 
  • Completely covers your nose and mouth. 
  • Fits snugly against the sides of you face and doesn’t have gaps. 
  • Has a nose wire to prevent air from leaking out the top of your mask. 

Learn more through the CDC about improving mask filtration.  

For mask guidelines, visit the CDC 's Your Guide to Masks

Travel Guidance


The Lake County Health Department continues to recommend avoiding all non-essential travel at this time, to limit the spread of COVID-19. 

If you do travel, remember to follow the 3 Ws: 

  • Wear a mask. 
  • Wash your hands. 
  • Watch your distance. 

If you did not follow the 3 Ws while you were traveling, you may want to consider a 10-day quarantine. Visit the Guidance for Travelers page to learn more. 

If you are planning to travel internationally, be aware that before being allowed to return to the United States, you will need to show proof that you don’t have COVID-19. The CDC requires all air passengers arriving in the United States to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test administered within three days of when their flight departs, or to show proof of recovery from COVID-19. 

Find more information on the CDCs Requirement for Proof page. 

Volunteers Needed to Help With Vaccination Clinics

Vaccine Volunteers play button

Your help is needed at COVID-19 vaccination clinics. While those with medical training are needed to serve as vaccinators and wellness-check observers, there are many roles available for volunteers that don’t require medical knowledge. These include on-site traffic control, greeters, and check-in screeners, as well as remote customer support.  Watch the video and visit our website to learn more and apply.

Lake County EMA Distributes More than 2 Million Pieces of PPE

PPE Distribution

The Lake County Emergency Management Agency (LCEMA) has been very active in protecting the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of those important roles during the last 11 months has been the securing and distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and supplies such as masks, gloves, gowns, wipes, and various other items. Those items were distributed to numerous people in need such as long-term care facilities, first responders, hospitals, healthcare workers, schools, and numerous other local organizations that are on the front lines across Lake County.   

To date, LCEMA has distributed more than 2 million items of PPE and supplies! Thank you to the LCEMA team for your hard work and dedication in keeping our residents and businesses safe. 

COVID-19 Testing

COVID-19 Testing

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone who has it, getting tested can help you know what steps to take to keep your loved ones safe. 

Where can I get tested?   

Contact your doctor to ask about testing availability, or check the Lake County Testing Site Locator for options.   

State-run Community-Based Testing Sites located in Waukegan (102 W. Water St.), Arlington Heights (2000 W Euclid Ave.), and Rockford (1601 Parkview Ave.) are open 7 days a week from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Testing is free and open to all regardless of symptoms. These sites have drive-through testing, as well as walk-up testing for those who do not have a vehicle or need to use public transportation. Please note, you are not permitted to exit your car to use the walk-up line once you arrive. 

Know Before You Go 

A phone number and name are required in order to receive testing results. Photo identification and proof of insurance are helpful, but not required. High demand for testing may result in long wait times. Testing locations may close early due to inclement weather or if daily testing supplies are exhausted. Additional COVID-19 testing locations and information can be found at the IDPH website. 

If you were recently tested at a mobile COVID-19 testing site and you have not been contacted within 7 days, please call 888-297-7208 or visit 

Lake County Update


Lake County COVID-19 Cases

As of February 19, 2021, 54,073 Lake County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, including 913 deaths.

Our Coronavirus Data Hub provides data and resources for our county, including cases and deaths, tests performed, demographic data, and an interactive map and charts. 

View the Lake County, IL Coronavirus Data Hub 

Follow the 3 Ws

divider3 Ws Graphic - Lake County Health Department - English

Who to Contact if You Have Questions


Do you have questions? The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has established a COVID-19 hotline and email address to answer questions from the public:

For additional information from the IDPH, visit:

COVID-19 Resources


Community Guidance and Resources

Protect yourself and your community. Our Information for Specific Groups page is now Community Guidance and Resources. This page is more user-friendly and has information to help residents stay safe and informed. 


Communication Resources

We need your help to keep our communities healthy and safe. The Lake County Health Department, Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer free resources including fact sheets, flyers, posters, and videos.

View communication resources

Useful Links


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