VERMILION COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — Health officials in Vermilion County are reporting over half of their COVID-19 cases have been released from isolation.
Public Health Administrator Douglas Toole said in an emailed statement Tuesday six of the 11 cases were released from isolation. He added two of those 11 were hospitalized at the time of diagnosis, and both have since been released.
The Vermilion County Health Department (VCHD) received negative results from 440 of its residents who have been tested for the virus. They received no new positive test results Tuesday afternoon.
Toole also said they are frequently asked to release the number of “recovered” patients in their county. He said they are “struggling” with that. .
“The State does not define ‘recovered.’ The CDC only offers suggestions for the return of health-care professionals to work after a positive COVID-19 test, and / or the onset of symptoms. One of our positive cases was asymptomatic, so there is no ‘recovery.’”
According to Toole, people who tested positive once for COVID-19 may test positive again for weeks, long after their symptoms go away.
After reaching out to other health departments, Toole said he received a number of answers.
“Some consider ‘recovery’ to occur after 16 days from onset of symptoms, or 16 days from their testing date,” he said. “Some consider ‘recovered’ to be 72 hours fever-free without use of fever-reducing medication.”
He said not all cases involve fevers, which makes using that definition complicated. Other health departments, he said, never use the term “recovered” because they are relying on people to self-report their symptoms.
“The Macon County Health Department uses ‘released from isolation’ instead of recovered,” Toole said, “because a full recovery may be hard to document (a cough may persist, for example, or the patient may not be able to be tested again to confirm they are COVID-19-free.)
“We feel that ‘released from isolation’ sounds like a safe thing to report.”