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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

For general information and resources about COVID-19, please click here.


‼️ CGH Medical Center is aware of potential COVID-19 outbreaks in our community‼️

However, please remember:

** CGH Ready Care and the CGH Emergency Department are NOT to be utilized for general COVID-19 testing or for those curious about their status following a possible exposure.

** CGH Ready Care and the CGH Emergency Department are ONLY for testing SYMPTOMATIC members of the community and ASYMPTOMATIC ESSENTIAL workers who have KNOWN exposure to COVID-19.

Individuals with NO symptoms that want to be tested (including those with possible exposure) need to utilize one of the following resources for testing:

* Illinois Mobile and Community Based Testing Sites:
* Other Testing Partners, including the Whiteside County Health Department (find here by zip code):

To reduce the chances of a false negative, IDPH recommends testing 5-7 days after your last known exposure to COVID-19. Symptoms of COVID-19 may include ANY of the following that cannot be explained by previously diagnosed conditions: fever or chills, headache, loss of taste and smell, cough, fatigue, congestion or runny nose, shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle or body aches, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea.


As you know, we are living through an unprecedented moment in history, and our plan for COVID-19 comes down to this: Together, we will continue to bring you the safe, high-quality healthcare that you and your family members can depend on! While continuing to closely follow IDPH and CDC guidance, careful attention to patient screening, masking, social distancing, intensive cleaning and safety guidelines will be followed. Please remember that our top priority at CGH Medical Center has been and continues to be the health and safety of our staff, physicians and patients. You can rest assured that we have gone to great lengths to do everything possible to keep you healthy and safe!

** NEW Support Person Instructions (as of July 17, 2020) ** -

For the health and safety of our patients and our community, please follow the following requirements. One patient-designated support person per day is allowed and will be placed on the official visitor list by nursing/clinical team.
Please see dropdown menu below for Hospital/Department Specific Guidelines.

** For a printable PDF of our NEW Support Person Instructions, click here. **

General Requirements

  • Comply with screening at facility entrance.
    • If you screen positive, you will be asked to leave.
    • If you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the previous 10 days, you will be asked to leave.
  • Comply with personal face covering (cover nose and mouth) during visit.
    • If you are not able to comply with masking, you will be asked to leave.
  • Comply with social distancing and do not congregate in designated areas.
  • If you are under the age of 18, visitation is not allowed.
  • You are required to consume any food or drink outside the hospital/clinic to ensure compliance with use of face coverings.
  • NO visitors/supports persons allowed for COVID-19 positive patients.
  • The hospital cafeteria is closed to support persons from noon to 1 p.m. daily, but is otherwise available to you. Limited seating is available. No food or drinks are allowed in patient care areas.
  • Please follow department specific support person instructions when applicable. Staff will guide you to specific areas.

Inpatient Units (Medical, Surgical, CCU, Pediatrics)

  • Visiting hours are from 1 to 7 p.m.
  • Upon admission, nursing staff will ask patient for name of designated support person.
  • Staff will call down to front desk to provide name.
  • As the designated support person, you will present to the front entrance for temperature check and screening.
  • If screen is passed, you will proceed to the front desk and give name of patient and your name as the designated support person.
    • If you are not the person on the list, the front desk will call the unit to validate and clarify before asking you to leave.
  • You will be provided the colored sticker for the day to wear during the visit and will proceed to the unit.
  • You will not be allowed to stay overnight.
  • Special exceptions:
    • End of life - maximum three support persons
    • Pediatrics - both parents/guardians may remain with patient during normal visiting hours

Inpatient Surgery, Same Day Procedures (Operating Room, Digestive Health, Invasive Radiology & Cath Lab)

  • One support person to accompany patient.
  • Patient to be dropped off at the front entrance for temperature check and screening.
  • Patient will then proceed to the front desk to share name and designated support person name.
  • Patient will then proceed to Admitting (if not already pre-admitted) and then to the unit to get settled in.
  • Once initial check in on the unit is complete, the patient or nurse will call you as the designated support person to let you know you can come up to the unit.
  • You will present to the front entrance for temperature check and screening.
  • You will be provided the colored sticker for the day to wear during the visit and will proceed to the unit.
  • You will remain in the patient room during the patient’s stay or in the designated area.

Emergency Department (ED)

  • Patient screening and triage is the priority for clinical greeter.
  • Patient is dropped off at the ED entrance for temperature check and screening.
  • Support person will remain in vehicle.
  • Once triage is complete, the patient is settled, and COVID-19 risk is ruled out, the patient may receive one designated support person.
  • As the designated support person, you will present to the front ED desk for temperature check and screening.
    • You will need to wait if patients are being screened ahead of you.
  • If screen is passed, you will be provided the colored sticker for the day to wear during the visit and will proceed to the patient room. You must remain in patient room.
  • Use of the ED waiting room is limited availability to social distance.
  • If patient is admitted, you can travel with patient up to unit unless special circumstances are occurring.
    • If admission is outside of normal visitor hours (1 to 7 p.m.), you may come back to visit when visitation hours are available.

Clinics/Outpatient Testing Services

  • Patient is encouraged to come alone or have their ride remain in vehicle until test/visit is completed.
  • Patient should call ahead to the office if they need a support person.
  • As a support person, you will present to the front entrance for temperature check and screening.
  • If screen is passed, you will be provided the colored sticker for the day to wear during the visit. You must remain with the patient for the duration of the visit.
  • Visits that allow support persons:
    • Parent/Guardian
    • Special assistance needed
    • Obstetrics visit/ultrasound
    • Oncology office visit

Additional Information

  • If you have COVID symptoms or if a family member has been tested for COVID, call your provider for further instructions before coming to the hospital or clinic.
  • If you have symptoms of a respiratory illness, such as fever, cough or shortness of breath *AND* you need emergency care for serious or life-threatening health issues, please do not hesitate to come to the Emergency Department or call 911. If you are able, please call ahead to discuss your symptoms, but we know this may not always be possible.
  • Please use ONLY the hospital’s Main Entrance and ED entrance.
  • Do NOT stop any long-term medications, therapies or treatments you may be doing. Maintaining good control of underlying conditions is one of the best strategies to avoid more severe coronavirus symptoms.
  • Patients are encouraged to bring and wear your own mask, or one will be provided to you upon entering any CGH location.
  • Patients will be contacted the day before their appointment to pre-register and to receive special instructions for their visit. This may include staying in your car and calling the receptionist when you arrive.
  • Social distancing markers will be placed at check-ins and waiting areas.
  • All surfaces in the waiting rooms and exam rooms will be cleaned after every patient. Patient education, pamphlets, table paper, magazines, etc. will be removed from exam rooms and waiting rooms.
  • Don't delay emergency care if needed! Again, we have many measures in place to ensure your safety in our Emergency Department.
  • We will continue to offer Telehealth visits - a way for new and established patients to see your healthcare provider - or a CGH Ready Care provider for more urgent issues - through a secure video appointment.
  • ALL non-essential visitors are restricted (this includes club/community meetings, groups, outside salespeople and vendors).
  • If you feel you have symptoms of COVID-19 or other respiratory illness and wonder if you should be tested or be seen, call your provider’s office, CGH Ready Care or the CGH Emergency Room.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
For general questions about COVID-19, call the IDPH hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email

Please continue to watch our FB page and for additions and updates to this information, or call your healthcare provider’s office with any questions.

Thank you for your patience and understanding!

Additional CGH Outlying Clinic Information

**Information may be subject to change.**

* CGH Ready Care: Ready Care hours will be 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday, and 9 am to 1:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday. Upon arrival, patients will need to call 815-564-1999 for further instruction.

* The Main Clinic Lab will be open from 6 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday, and will be closed on Saturday.

* Dixon, Lynn Blvd, Morrison, Chiropractic and Downtown Medical Centers: Walk-ins are highly discouraged. Patients will be pre-registered for their appointment. The nurse at the front door will screen the patient, check their temperature and provide a mask before proceeding into the office.

* Milledgeville, Mt. Carroll, Polo, Prophetstown, Rock Falls, Fulton and Walnut Medical Centers: Walk-ins are highly discouraged. Patients will be pre-registered the day before their appointment and provided instructions to remain in their vehicle and call the clinic office upon arrival. (The phone number will be posted at each clinic.) The nurse will meet and screen the patient at the front door, check their temperature and provide a mask before proceeding to an exam room.

* Main Clinic X-Ray: X-rays for Main Clinic providers will be done in the Main Clinic X-ray Department. Patients in Orthopedics and Podiatry will remain in their exam rooms until a staff member escorts them to take the x-ray. X-rays for outlying clinic patients (including Dixon and Morrison) will be done at the hospital.

* Oral Surgery and Vision Center: Patients will be pre-registered and will receive instructions to call upon arrival. The patient will enter the building and the screening process will be followed.

* Optical Center: Only patients who had an appointment with a provider may shop for glasses (exception of cataract patients who underwent surgery prior to COVID-19). Adjustments and pick-ups must be scheduled. No walk-ins will be allowed. If patients need to be seen at the Optical Center, designated chairs will be utilized for patients to wait in to ensure appropriate social distancing.

* Rehab (PT) Services will reopen in Morrison and Dixon. For questions about rehab appointments, please call (815) 622-1210.

* Elective Surgeries will be completed as each patient will be tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of their surgery date.

Please continue to watch our FB page and for additions and updates to this information, or call your healthcare provider’s office with any questions. Thank you for your patience and understanding!

Coronavirus Testing Procedures and Restrictions

We continue to work closely with our state and local health agencies to protect and care for our patients, families and staff. As part of our standard infection prevention procedures, we have implemented policies to identify, treat and limit the spread of the disease in our community.

Non-essential Visitor Restrictions

As a community, we are asking for your help to minimize any unnecessary exposure to our hospital. In an effort to protect our patients that are more susceptible to illnesses, we are restricting all non-essential visitors until further notice. This includes: club meetings, groups, outside sales people, and any other public non-essential gatherings. Also, we ask that you please limit any floral or food deliveries to our patients. Thank you for your understanding.

***** CGH COVID-19 Testing Procedures *****

  1. Stay home and call your healthcare provider before going to their office (unless it is an emergency). To reduce your risk of catching or spreading illness, stay home if you feel sick, even if your symptoms are mild. Do not go to work, school or public places, and avoid public transportation. If your symptoms are severe or you feel like you need medical care, call before you go to your healthcare provider’s office or CGH Ready Care. Describe your symptoms over the phone. If you have a medical emergency, call 911 and tell the dispatcher about your symptoms and recent travel history. For general questions about COVID-19 and symptoms, call the IDPH hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email
  2. Answer questions regarding your symptoms.
  1. THIS IS CGH MEDICAL CENTER’S CURRENT PROCESS FOR TESTING and is subject to change based on IDPH and CDC recommendations:
  • Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions - Based on your answers to the screening questions, and on your risk for COVID-19, you will receive instructions over the phone. You will be told if you need to be evaluated, and if so, what to do next. Your health care provider may recommend that you:
    • Continue to monitor your health and call back if you develop a fever or respiratory symptoms.
    • Stay home and await further instructions.
    • You may be asked to go to the emergency department if you have more severe symptoms, such as higher fever and severe shortness of breath.
    • ONLY if directed to do so by your healthcare provider following your pre-screening, report to CGH Ready Care, located in the lower level of 15 W. 3rd Street, Sterling, for testing. If possible, it is best to go alone to your appointment. Unless you need assistance, do not bring children or other family members. Once at Ready Care, drive up to the east entrance near the blue awning. Stay in your car for further instruction.

Important things you should know about COVID-19

  • The novel (new) coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through respiratory droplets, which means that others can become infected when they inhale particles from the air when a person with the disease coughs or sneezes. It can also be spread by touching surfaces that have been contaminated by droplets of body fluids like nasal mucus.
  • Younger ages are probably less likely to have a severe infection. However, it is still possible to spread through children and it is important that we all follow recommendations to limit the spread.
  • As is true for any respiratory virus, elderly individuals, those with lung diseases, and the immunocompromised are at a greater risk for complications from COVID-19 such as pneumonia. However, they are not more likely to be infected by COVID-19 than with another respiratory virus.
  • If you or a loved one has a fever and cough and appears to have trouble breathing, call 911 and tell the dispatcher about your symptoms.

General recommendations for avoiding viral infections

  • Wash your hands thoroughly (for at least 20 seconds) after sneezing, blowing your nose, coughing or using the bathroom, and before preparing or eating food.
  • If you cough or sneeze, do so into the bend of your elbow, not your hand. Or use a tissue, and then throw it away immediately afterward.
  • At home, clean often-touched surfaces such as doors and doorknobs, cabinet handles, bathroom hardware, tabletops, phones, tablets and keyboards regularly with disinfectant.

What to do if you have an upcoming appointment at CGH Medical Center

  • As the COVID-19 situation evolves, you may be contacted to reschedule your appointment for your health and safety. If you would like to reschedule your appointment, please call your healthcare provider and we will help with this.
  • We are restricting those who enter the hospital in order to limit the spread of the virus. On the day of your appointment, only one person can accompany a patient. Everyone else, including those under the age of 18, may not come along.
  • If you or anyone in your household has symptoms such a cough, fever or shortness of breath, call your healthcare provider before the day of the appointment and tell us about your symptoms and of those in your household. We will ask you additional questions and give you instructions for next steps.

For more information and updates visit the CGH News Center

Illinoisans can dial 1-800-889-3931 twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week or email DPH.SICK@ILLINOIS.GOV to get their questions answered.