How Naperville Is Prepping For Potential Coronavirus

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City officials say it’s no longer a question of if, but when coronavirus will hit Naperville. That’s why they held a meeting about the COVID-19 virus so they can be better prepared, and minimize its spread when it arrives.

“It’s going to be very, very important to first of all acknowledge that this is very likely going to occur locally and we’re going to be ready for it,” said Mayor Steve Chirico. “We’re going to minimize our risks and we will increase our preparedness.”

Possible Vaccine?

The City of Naperville has partnered with local health organizations including the DuPage County Health Department. Chris Hoff, the director of community health resources at the health department, said a vaccine for coronavirus is still a long time away.

“Unlike flu, where we have a vaccine every year, this is a situation where there is no vaccine. So we don’t have a way to protect people that want to protect themselves through that route. We will potentially at sometime, and it is probably eight to twelve months out,” said Hoff.

Take Preventative Measures

You should still take the same precautions you would for the flu, like washing your hands, covering your mouth when you cough, and staying home when you feel under the weather.

Testing For Coronavirus

The Illinois Department of Public Health does have testing kits for coronavirus, but health officials ask that you only get tested if you have symptoms of the flu and have traveled to areas where COVID-19 has been reported, as the test kits are limited.

“But if you’re concerned we’d encourage you to call your health care provider,” said Hoff. “I know Edward [Hospital] has been looking into video visits and other ways to eliminate the need to walk into an emergency room. We want you to call ahead, we want them to have an opportunity to screen you ahead of time to try and figure out to get you to the appropriate care as soon as possible.”

Health officials said most people who have died from coronavirus have been elderly, which is why Naperville’s emergency personnel are working closely with its senior community.

The presenters said data on the coronavirus is being collected daily, so the situation is fluid and subject to change.

Naperville News 17’s Christian Canizal reports.