CHICAGO (WLS) -- Click here to see all of our coronavirus coverage from ABC7 Chicago or click here to see the latest information from Gov. Pritzker.
Click on your state to see our latest COVID-19 reporting in your area: Illinois | Indiana | Wisconsin
Here are answers to some common questions and additional resources related to the COVID-19 outbreak in the Chicago area:
What is COVID-19 and where did the novel coronavirus come from?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some of which cause the common cold. Others found in bats, camels and other animals have evolved into more severe illnesses.
The coronavirus referenced in news headlines is a newly identified strand. The disease from this new coronavirus is officially named COVID-19, while the virus itself is called SARS-CoV-2. The new virus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019 and has since spread globally.
Coronaviruses are responsible for two other recent outbreaks: the 2003 SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak and the 2012 MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak.
What are the symptoms?
The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, common symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms can appear anywhere from two to fourteen days after exposure. Click here to see what COVID-19 does to your body.
Those experiencing trouble breathing, pain or pressure in the chest, bluish lips or face or confusion should seek medical attention immediately.
What are the rules about wearing masks in public where I live?
All Illinoisans should wear a mask or face covering when they must leave their home or report to work for essential operations. The guidance is especially important when people cannot or it is impractical to maintain six feet of physical distance, as advised by the CDC. Click here for more information.
Starting May 1, everyone in Illinois over the age of 2 is required to wear a mask in public when social distancing is not possible. This includes while shopping at essential businesses, when getting food from a drive-thru or curbside pick up, when visiting a healthcare provider, when traveling on public transportation, and when interacting with clients or coworkers at an essential business. Read our complete guide to the Illinois face mask order.
Governor Pritzker also announced a five-phase plan to reopen the state, called "Restore Illinois." The plan breaks the state up into four regions and sets milestones to move from phase to phase, ending with a widespread treatment or vaccine that will allow large gatherings to resume. Click here for more information and to read the full Restore Illinois plan.
In Indiana, state health officials echo CDC guidance that residents should cover their mouth and nose with a cloth face cover while around others. Click here for more information.
When does the stay-at-home order end where I live?
Gov. Pritzker has extended the statewide stay-at-home order in Illinois until at least May 30, though a judge on April 27 ruled in favor of the lawsuit against an extension of the order, granting a temporary restraining order blocking it for the lawmaker who filed the suit. The governor has pledged to "act in a swift fashion to try to have this ruling overturned." Click here for more information from the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb announced he is relaxing of business restrictions imposed to slow the coronavirus spread for much of the state, allowing more manufacturers, retailers and shopping malls to open their doors starting May 4 under health and social distancing guidelines. The governor's new directive lifts travel restrictions under the statewide stay-at-home order that took effect March 25, but doesn't allow restaurants to resume in-person dining or hair salon reopenings until May 11. The new directive removes churches from limits on gathering sizes effective May 8. Holcomb's new order keeps previous restrictions in place for Marion, Lake and Cass counties until later in May.
When can we stop social distancing?
Easing off the strict social-distancing rules in place in much of the country would have to occur on a "rolling" basis, not all at once, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, reflecting the ways COVID-19 struck different parts of the country at different times.
Fauci explained in an April 14 interview with the Associated Press that until a vaccine is developed, the nation's ability to test for coronavirus infections and carry out contact-tracing for those infected will determine when we can ease social distancing.
Click here to learn more about social distancing.
How many people have died in my city, county or state?
The number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the United States and around the world is changing every day.
Click here to see a map of COVID-19 cases in our area by ZIP code or click here to see the latest information about deaths in Illinois.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore are maintaining a real-time, interactive map showing the number of confirmed cases and deaths.
When are hand sanitizer and toilet paper expected to be back in stock?
Numerous retailers have stated that there is no issue with the supply chain for toilet paper and many other household necessities. People are buying these staples at a higher-than-normal rate, and manufacturers are working to get product from their warehouses to store shelves.
Many stores are receiving shipment on a daily basis and restocking shelves that were empty the day before.
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