COVID-19 Update
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COVID-19 Update

In light of developments around the world, and most recently the United States, HSHS Medical Group understands that there are many questions and uncertainties about the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.

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In-Person Office Visits

It can be important for patients to be physically examined by their provider, have needed lab tests performed and discuss in person any changes to their treatment plans. We want you to feel comfortable and confident in coming to HSHS Medical Group to visit your provider.
In the early stages of COVID-19, we purposely canceled and rescheduled in-person appointments to allow us time to restructure the office environment to be safe for patients. This was a crucial and needed step to start seeing patients in person again – and now we are ready to see you. Watch this message from Chief Executive Officer Melinda Clark to learn about steps we have taken to ensure your safety when you come in for an appointment.

Virtual Office Visits

When your health condition allows, you can schedule a video appointment with your HSHS Medical Group primary care or specialist provider. Appointments are private and secure from the comfort and convenience of your home.

Check out our virtual office visit web page for more information.

What should you do if you think you are sick?

If you are experiencing cough, fever or shortness of breath, please call your primary care doctor and do not go directly to a doctor’s office. A nurse will assess your symptoms over the phone and advise you on your next level of care. If you do not have a primary care provider, visit to learn about drive-thru testing available in your area. 

Concerned you may have COVID-19 symptoms? Take the CDC self-checker HERE 

HSHS Medical Group COVID-19 Drive-Thru Testing

The ability to test more people for COVID-19 is critical in helping to curb the spread of the virus throughout our communities, and with CARES Act government funding for COVID-19 testing, HSHS Medical Group is able to provide COVID-19 testing at select drive-thru sites until further notice. Registration through MyChart is required for testing.
If you have any of these symptoms, have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or need a COVID-19 screening to return to work or school, you can receive a free COVID-19 assessment and testing:

  • Cough

  • Fever

  • Chills

  • Repeated shaking with chills

  • Muscle pain

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Headache

  • Sore throat

  • Loss of taste or smell

Those who wish to be tested must schedule an appointment through HSHS Medical Group’s online patient portal, MyChart. You do not have to be an established HSHS Medical Group patient to set up an account on MyChart or to access a free test. MyChart can be accessed at or downloaded as an app on Apple or Google Play. It takes just minutes to set up an account, complete a short assessment and register for a test.
Upon registration, MyChart users are able to choose between four different drive-through testing sites in Decatur, Effingham, O’Fallon and Springfield. Testing sites are a service of HSHS Medical Group and are located off-site from local HSHS hospitals. CLICK HERE for more information and to register for a test. 


Learn More About COVID-19

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, in December 2019. People who get sick with COVID-19 develop mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms including fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Illness can begin 2 to 14 days after exposure.

Although you may hear COVID-19 referred to simply as “coronavirus,” this is not entirely accurate. There are many types of coronaviruses, including the common cold. COVID-19 has caused concern among global health experts because it is new, and because its symptoms can become severe in some cases.

How are people infected with COVID-19?

COVID-19 can spread from person to person and is thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. As with most respiratory viruses, people are thought to be most contagious when they have the most symptoms.

What are the symptoms?

COVID-19 can cause mild symptoms, including a cough and a fever. In some cases, it can lead to pneumonia or breathing difficulties. Rarely, the disease can be fatal. Older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions can be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.

What can I do to prevent COVID-19?

  • Use proper handwashing technique. Wash for at least 20 seconds with soap and water before eating; after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing; or after going to the bathroom. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.  
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and dispose of it immediately. You can also cough into the fold of your elbow.  
  • Avoid touching your face, particularly your nose, mouth and eyes.
  • Stay home when you are sick, and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Exercise social distancing in accordance with CDC recommendations.  
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Where can I get reliable information about COVID-19?

For the most up-to-date and trusted information, visit the COVID-19 online information centers established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Illinois Department of Public Health. The Illinois Department of Public Health Hotline number is 800-889-3931.

This is a rapidly evolving situation, and we are committed to keeping our communities, patients and colleagues safe and informed. We will be updating the information on this web page frequently and as necessary.  


Travel Guidance

Learn more about coronavirus and travel in the United States.

Information taken from