By Jeanne Novas, MD 

As the COVID-19 evolves and quarantine measures escalate, we continue to care for you in-office and hospital, and per phone (847) 304-0044 press #1 for the nurse. After hours, you can have our service page the doctor with questions regarding flu and COVID-19.

We are taking special measures for your safety:

Enhanced cleaning and wiping down surfaces, no sick/coughing employees and patients in office, social distancing, recommend patients limit children and others attending their appointments. Our hospitals are well prepared for cases, including a drive-thru testing facility open at Good Shepherd Hospital. Call us for guidance: You must have fever/cough, have direct exposure, and/or travel to endemic areas to be tested by IDPH rules, and need a negative flu and respiratory panel before receiving COVID-19 testing. The American College of Surgeons is suggesting that “elective” surgeries be reconsidered as per patient and doctor. We do not currently see any reason to cancel elective care UNLESS YOU ARE SICK, but we will keep you posted. If you have traveled, please reconsider elective health care visits for 2 weeks after. We would urge you to continue your annual visits, procedures, and care with us per routine until further notice.

Due to a severe flu season, visitors, classes and tours are being restricted, and this is continuing with COVID-19. We do urge you to call us with guidance if you have flu symptoms, and highly recommend you get tested for flu at an ER or urgent care. We can give you a flu vaccine (not too late) and can prescribe tamiflu early on to reduce the illness. We are NOT having patients with flu symptoms come to our office for the protection of our pregnant patients and others more susceptible. Please be aware: it is also ALLERGY SEASON. That means some people may be coughing or sneezing due to allergies - in order to be proactive, use meds and proper hygiene measures if you have allergies. Check the CDC (center for disease control) website, and the IDPH (Illinois Department of Public Health) COVID-19 website for accurate and ever-changing information.

Pregnancy, Flu and COVID-19:

Pregnant women typically are affected similar to the flu, which has been serious this year and can result in hospitalization. We recommend flu shots, which we still have. We recommend you suspend all travel if pregnant, and consider avoiding any events with greater than 50 people, many of which have been cancelled. Generally the fetus is not infected with the virus. Breast milk does not carry the virus. While breastfeeding, though, you could give your baby COVID-19 or flu if you are positive, thru direct contact /cough. And flu, or COVID-19 can result in preterm labor and more severe illness compared to younger healthy women who are not pregnant.

As of the date of this notice, there are 93 Illinois cases, half are from travel or direct contact, the remaining are being researched for possibility community-acquired sources.

This message is an update - check our March 11 notice for further info and facts on COVID-19 and flu. Any questions, please call us - we are here for you to direct your car e -(847) 304-0044. Check the CDC website and the IDPH COVID-19 website for latest info.

– Jeanne Novas, MD