How to Protect Yourself and Others

Protect yourself and your community from getting and spreading respiratory illnesses like COVID-19. Everyone has a role to play in getting ready and staying healthy.

We encourage residents to take “everyday preventive actions” to prevent the spread of illness and to keep our communities healthy.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued new guidance for people who are fully vaccinated. Getting vaccinated as soon as possible is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. Vaccinated individuals must continue to wear masks: 

  • In healthcare settings 
  • In congregate settings  
  • On public transit   
  • In schools, daycares and educational institutions

Follow the 3 Ws Until You're Fully Vaccinated

Follow the 3 Ws - Wear a Mask

Wear a mask

  • Wear a mask or cloth face covering when you leave your home. 
  • Wear it anywhere that maintaining social distance is difficult, like the grocery store or office.
  • Make sure your mask covers your mouth and nose.
  • Find more information about masks
Follow the 3 Ws - Wash Your Hands

Wash your hands

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • When soap and water is not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Follow the 3 Ws - Watch Your Distance

Watch your distance

  • Stay at least 6 feet away from people who don’t live in your home.
  • Maintain your distance, even when people are wearing masks.
  • Avoid close contact with others, especially people who are sick.
  • Avoid crowds and confined spaces.
  • Stay home when possible – this is still the safest option.  


If you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or because you have a serious long-term health problem, please take extra actions to reduce your risk of getting sick.

Get Vaccinated

Wearing masks and social distancing help reduce your chance of being exposed to COVID-19 or spreading it to others, but these measures are not enough. Vaccines will work with your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed.

Getting vaccinated and following the CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.

Visit our COVID-19 Vaccine page to learn more.


If You Are Feeling Sick

Stay home. If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, stay home. Distance yourself from others in the household and if possible, stay in your own bedroom and use your own bathroom. If your symptoms worsen, call your healthcare provider.

Do not walk into a healthcare facility, urgent care clinic, or hospital before calling. Discuss your symptoms with your doctor. If your doctor believes that you need to be tested for COVID-19, your doctor can refer you to a testing site. 

If you do not have a primary care provider, please contact the Lake County Health Department at (847) 377-8800.

Updated Quarantine and Isolation

A CDC press release on December 27, 2021, announced a reduction in the isolation and quarantine periods for the general public. 

Schools should continue to follow the IDPH COVID-19 School Guidance. Health care personnel and other specific groups and settings should continue to follow their respective guidance, see additional resources in this document. Guidance applicable to specific groups and settings (e.g. healthcare workers, daycares, and congregate settings) are in revision and will be made available when finalized.

Read the full media statement from the CDC for more information.

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If You Test Positive for COVID-19 (Isolate)

Everyone* regardless of vaccination status should:

  • Isolate for 5 days after onset of symptoms, or 5 days after date of positive test if no
    symptoms are present.
  • Mask when around others for 10 days following onset of symptoms, or for 10 days following date of positive test if no symptoms. 
  • Continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days. If the case has no symptoms or their symptoms have resolved after 5 days, they are released from isolation after 5 days.

If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever resolves. 

*Guidance applicable to specific groups (e.g. healthcare workers, daycares, and congregate settings) are in revision.

If You Were Exposed to Someone with COVID-19 (Quarantine)

If you:

Have been boosted; OR
Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months; OR
Completed the primary series of Johnson & Johnson vaccine within the last 2 months.

  • Wear a mask around others for 10 days.
  • Test on day 5, if possible.

If you develop symptoms, get a test and stay home. 

If you:

Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago and are not boosted; OR
Completed the primary series of Johnson & Johnson  over two months ago and are not boosted; OR
Are unvaccinated

  • Stay home for 5 days. After that continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
  • Test on day 5, if possible.
  • If you can't quarantine you must wear a mask for 10 days.

If you develop symptoms, get a test and stay home.