Rush University Medical Center has new restrictions regarding visitors and is adjusting non-urgent scheduled appointments, elective procedures and surgeries, beginning Wednesday, March 18. Learn more.
For information about coronavirus, see the latest updates and our FAQs.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs

As you’re aware, the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and we will continue to provide updated information as it becomes available.

For the most up to date information, visit the CDC website.

The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), started in Wuhan, China and was spread from animals.
Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. The virus can cause pneumonia.
According to the World Health Organization, the disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets.

According to the CDC, based on current available information, those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 include: 

  • People aged 65 years and older
  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • People with high-risk conditions, such as:
    • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
    • People who have serious heart conditions
    • People who are immunocompromised including cancer treatment
    • People of any age with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] >40) or certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease might also be at risk
  • People who are pregnant should be monitored since they are known to be at risk with severe viral illness, however, to date data on COVID-19 has not shown increased risk

It is important to remember that COVID-19 typically causes mild symptoms, and the vast majority of people will recover fully from it. Adults who are 70 years of age or older and people with serious illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, hypertension and cancer are more vulnerable to COVID-19. You can best protect yourself in simple ways by practicing the following:

  • Wash your hands. Washing your hands with soap and water, or using hand sanitizer when soap is not available, is a great way to prevent the spread of any disease.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or face when hands are unwashed.
  • Stay home when you are sick. The best way to stop the spread of this disease or any illness is to stay away from heavily populated areas like work or school when ill.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect household surfaces frequently.
We have dedicated Rush staff handling coronavirus cases who have been rigorously trained and are protected with special masks, eye-shields and other protective gear. Other patients in the hospital are completely separate from the isolation rooms in our hospital dedicated to treating coronavirus patients.
Patient privacy laws prohibit us from sharing any details about patients at Rush. What I can tell you is that any patient with coronavirus screened or treated at our hospital is immediately moved to isolated patient rooms with dedicated infectious control staff taking rigorous precautions.
Absolutely. Your safety and that of our staff is our highest priority. Our medical center was built for this – including inpatient treatment rooms completely isolated from the rest of the hospital. We are one of only 35 medical centers in the nation designated by the CDC as having the highest standards in infection control.

Your health and well-being while visiting Rush is our top priority. In an effort to protect patients and the community, we have updated our visitor policy.

Effective immediately and until further notice, we are not allowing visitors in most of our inpatient and outpatient areas. Exceptions have been made for certain patient groups, including children. For the full details on these restrictions, including the exceptions, please click here.

To protect our patients and the community, we are adjusting non-urgent scheduled appointments, elective procedures and surgeries beginning Wednesday, March 18. This also applies to endoscopy procedures, cardiac catheterization procedures, diagnostic testing, and routine mammography and lung cancer screening. Your provider will reach out to you to reschedule your procedure. This is effective through April 30, and we will regularly reassess this decision and will keep you updated. We will continue to perform all emergency and urgent procedures and surgeries.

We will reschedule all non-urgent clinic appointments and will provide an alternative mode, such as telephone visits or video visits to provide care where possible. If you have a non-urgent clinic appointment, your provider’s office will reach out to you to reschedule your appointment. We also have virtual convenient care options for everyday conditions like cough, cold and flu through our On Demand Virtual Care platform on the My Rush app.

If you do not have symptoms of COVID-19 – including fever, cough and difficulty breathing – you should not come in to be tested. The rules around testing for COVID-19 are very strict, and we do not conduct routine testing for people who do not have any symptoms.

If you do have symptoms, please call ahead ((888) 352-RUSH) or start a video visit with a Rush provider who will assess your risk and determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19. If you need to be tested for COVID-19, your provider will give you instructions for coming to Rush to be tested.

If you have symptoms but are unable to call ahead or conduct a video visit and come to the emergency department or your primary care provider, we will screen you for symptoms to determine if you need a COVID-19 test — and we will test those who need it.

If you are having trouble breathing and need emergent care, please call 911 or visit your nearest emergency department to get immediate care.

You can help in preventing the spread of COVID-19 by washing your hands frequently and practicing social distancing. To learn more about good social distancing habits click here.

If you would like to help combat COVID-19 in the Chicago area by making a monetary gift to the Rush system click here.

To learn about other forms of donation, such as personal protective equipment, please view our COVID-19 donations webpage.

  • Novel Coronavirus Information and Resources
  • For patients, general questions about our plans, prevention and more, please refer them to the Rush Call Center at ext. 2-5555 or (888) 352-7874 (Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.).
  • IDPH COVID-19 Hotline at (800) 889-3931 or at dph.sick@Illinois.gov