What is Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people, and others circulate among animals, including camels, cats and bats. 

Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve, infect people and then spread between people. That is the case with COVID-19.

Human coronaviruses are common throughout the world and commonly cause mild to moderate illness in people worldwide.

However, the emergence of novel (new) coronaviruses, such as SARS and MERS, have been associated with more severe respiratory illness. The same is true of COVID-19.

Information & Care Options for You

If you suspect you have novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and it is not an emergency, DO NOT go to a hospital or doctor’s office.

Instead, use one of the care options that best fits your needs below.

Online

Please use our chatbot, Clare, by clicking the button below. She will check your symptoms and advise you on what to do next.

Start Coronavirus Screening

Note: Clare is not currently available in Internet Explorer; please use , or . Please be sure to turn off any pop-up blocker(s) as well.

Text Messaging

OSF COVID Companion is a free text messaging tool that the public can use to receive guidance about COVID-19.

To sign up, text OSF to 67634 and follow the prompts.

Phone

You may also call our COVID-19 Nurse Hotline, available 24/7, at (833) OSF-KNOW (833-673-5669).

How is Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) treated?

Most people infected with COVID-19 will recover without any major complications.

With a viral infection such as flu or COVID-19, you should:

  • Take pain and fever medications
  • Drink plenty of liquids
  • Stay home and rest

More severe cases in which pneumonia or bronchitis develops might require more intensive care.

Learn More

To learn more and stay updated on COVID-19, please visit the Illinois Department of Public Health, Michigan Department of Public Health or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites.