The Latest on the COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) in Northwest Illinois

The current COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) outbreak is a continuously developing story. FHN continues to participate in webinars and conference calls with local, state, regional, and national experts to be advised of the current status and next steps with respect to confirmed cases of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) in the United States.

COVID-19 Vaccination Information

If you haven’t gotten your COVID-19 vaccine, take care of this important task now!
Online self-scheduling is available for FHN Vaccination Clinics held monthly. You may also use to find the most convenient time and location for you to get vaccinated. It will help keep you, your family, and your community safe and healthy, and let you enjoy getting back out there for some fun this summer!

Vaccine Boosters

Online Self-scheduling is available for the monthly FHN Booster Clinics.
You must have been fully vaccinated with the Moderna, Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to be eligible for this booster vaccination.

Please be aware of the following:

  1. Bring your COVID-19 Immunization card with you to your booster appointment
  2. It is recommended, but not required, that it should be 6 months since you received your second COVID-19 vaccine before receiving the booster
  3. It is recommended, but not required, that you have 14 days between your flu vaccine and your COVID-19 vaccine
  4. You must be ASYMPTOMATIC and without a fever over 100 degrees on the day of your booster vaccine
  5. If you have recently had COVID-19 (within the last 90 days), the CDC recommends that your symptoms are resolving or have resolved before receiving the booster
  6. COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

    FHN President and CEO Mark Gridley and Infection Preventionist Margie Kochsmier Answer Questions about COVID-19. January 18, 2022

    El Dr. Lucio Martinez de FHN responde a preguntas sobre COVID-19 en el noroeste de Illinois.


    The following symptoms, which are not the same as those for the common cold, may appear 2-14 days after you've been exposed to COVID-19:

    • Fever or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea

    Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild non-specific symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover.

    If the symptoms worsen or persist, call your healthcare provider.

    Symptoms that call for immediate medical attention include:

    • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion
    • Inability to wake or stay awake
    • Bluish lips or face

    Covid SHIELD Testing

    Free Covid SHIELD testing is now available at FHN. This testing is open to the public and will be offered via appointments from 7 to 11 a.m. Mondays and from 2 to 5:30 p.m. Thursdays at FHN’s COVID-19 vaccination site, 1763 S. Dirck Drive in Freeport.

    In order to get tested, individuals should create an account on the SHIELD Illinois portal located at and schedule their test appointment. Please use df5brbrj for the Agency Code. Individuals can also contact 217-265-6059 for help setting up an account, creating appointments, and accessing results.

    Persons must present an ID and the QR code provided when the appointment was scheduled and should not eat, drink, or put anything in their mouth for an hour before taking the test. That includes smoking, drinking, chewing gum, and using mouthwash.

    Results are available within 72 hours and will be posted in the SHIELD patient portal after the lab results are completed. FHN will not be made aware of nor have access to your results; please refer to the SHIELD portal for your results. By law, positive test results are reported to the relevant public health department(s) for contact tracing.

    For more information about the Covid SHIELD test, visit SHIELD Illinois

    Who to Call

    If you are experiencing respiratory symptoms and have an FHN primary care provider, please call your primary care provider's office. If you do not have a primary care provider, and you would like to establish with one, please call 815-599-7060.

    If you have any questions related to COVID-19, please call the Illinois Department of Public Health COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-889-3931.

    While there is currently no treatment for COVID-19, people who are mildly ill can be safe at home. While at home, they should stay in a specific room as much as possible if living with others and away from other people who may visit.

    Protect Yourself and Others:

    Avoid Spreading Germs

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
      • If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Stay at least 6 feet away from other people, even if they aren't displaying symptoms.
    • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.
    • 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 wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
      • If surfaces are visibly dirty, use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

    COVID-19 Visitor Restrictions

    In light of the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in the area, additional visitor restrictions for FHN Memorial Hospital and all other FHN locations will begin at 7 a.m. Monday, Jan. 10:

    NO visitors will be allowed for adult inpatients at FHN Memorial Hospital with the following limited exceptions:

    • One healthcare decision-maker or support person is permitted for those with disabilities who require a support person.
    • One primary support person is allowed to accompany a patient in the Emergency Department or a patient having surgery, including a gastroenterology procedure or GI surgery, or cardiac cath lab procedure.
    • Labor and Delivery Care: Father and one additional primary support person allowed. Patient siblings or anyone under 18 will not be allowed.
    • Pediatric: Two primary support persons per patient allowed. Patient siblings or anyone under 18 will not be allowed.
    • Limited visitors may be approved for end-of-life patients, comfort care, or extenuating circumstances. Only 2 visitors will be allowed at a time.
    Clinic Appointments at FHN Family Healthcare Centers or Specialty Care Centers: One healthcare decision maker or support person is permitted for those with disabilities who require a support person.

    Throughout all FHN locations, no visitors who are currently experiencing or recently experienced COVID-19 or respiratory symptoms, such as a cough, fever or shortness of breath, are permitted.

    All visitors throughout all FHN locations must:
    • Be 18 years of age or older
    • Wear a mask at all times, and maintain social distancing
    • Wash hands when entering and leaving rooms
    • Leave directly after visiting the patient room

    Thank you for helping us keep our community safe during this time.

    Flyers for Public Posting

    Please feel free to download the attached flyers for businesses and organizations to print and post:

    How NOT to Wear a Mask

    COVID-19 Information Videos

    December 16

    November 22

    September 22

    August 12

    June 29

    May 5

    April 21

    April 5

    March 26

    March 11

    March 1

    February 22

    January 26

    January 12, 2021

    Between Us, About Us: W. Kamau Bell speaks with black healthcare workers about COVID-19 vaccines

    November 19

    November 2

    September 18

    September 4

    August 25

    August 13

    July 30

    July 14

    June 29

    June 15

    June 8

    June 1

    May 25

    May 18

    May 11

    May 6

    May 4

    April 28

    April 21

    April 14

    April 6

    March 30

    March 23


    Please review the following resources to find out more about the virus and what can be done to help prevent its spread:

    Keep Yourself and Your Family Safe: Get the Mask Facts

    Listen to FHN Infection Preventionist Margie Kochsmier, MSN, RN, CMSRN talk about COVID-19 Vaccine Myths - November 2.

    CDC Recommends COVID-19 Vaccine for Pregnant Women

    Why the Vaccinated Are Still at Risk From Coronavirus - July 21.

    5 Reasons to Wear a Mask Even After You're Vaccinated - January 20.

    SCHD reports on COVID-19 Vaccine Arrival in Region 1 - December 16.

    Listen to Mark Gridley, FHN President, CEO give a COVID-19 update - November 16.

    Listen to FHN's Dr. Farhan Khan discuss COVID-19 symptoms and prevention - November 3.

    Listen to FHN Infection Preventionist Margie Kochsmier, MSN, RN, CMSRN talk about remaining vigilant in COVID-19 prevention practices - October 27.

    Illinois Department of Public Health's Small Social Gatherings Safety Tips

    How coronavirus symptoms differ from the flu, allergies, and common cold, in one chart

    Tips to Protect Children During a COVID-19 Outbreak

    Find specific information about COVID-19 testing and related treament costs.

    How to wear a cloth mask safely

    How to wear a medical mask safely

    Get the basics of a good medicine cabinet updated to include supplies recommended during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

    Listen to Dr. Keith Martin, FHN's Chief Medical Officer, review FHN Memorial Hospital's COVID-19 Preparations - April 28.

    Listen to Mark Gridley, FHN President, CEO, talk about the Coronavirus - April 21.

    FHN's Infection Preventionist Margie Kochsmier, MSN, RN, CMSRN, talks about COVID-19.

    Listen to Mark Gridley, FHN President, CEO, talk about the Coronavirus - April 7.

    Listen to Kathryn Martinez, FHN Chief Operating Officer, talk about FHN's preparations for outbreak - March 31.

    Listen to Mark Gridley, FHN President, CEO, talk about the Coronavirus - March 17.

    Listen to Gabriel Gonzalez, Assistant Vice President of Behavioral Health at FHN, talk about mental health during this outbreak.

    If your loved one is over 60, read this.

    The best way to avoid spreading (or catching) any illness is to:

    Practice good handwashing, Practice good coughing and sneezing etiquette, and Stay home if you are sick.

    Good advice about the importance of cleaning your phone.

    How Safe Is It To Eat Takeout? - Find out and get tips to keep safe.

    Support Your Local Restaurants - Get a list of area restaurants providing takeout and delivery service.

    Essential Business FAQ

    COVID-19 Coronavirus Descargas de documentos en espanol

    IHA's Wear a Mask Video

    IHA's Usar una Mascara Video

    IDPH's COVID-19 Face Covering Dos & Don'ts

    The FHN Family Counseling Center is a proud partner of the Illinois Call4Calm Text Line Service. Text "TALK" TO 552020 (or "HABLAR" for Spanish). The Illinois Call4Calm Text Line is not a crisis hotline, but is a source of support for anyone experiencing stress and in need of a listening ear. We are here to serve you.

    New and Updated COVID-19 Resources for Parents