ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Public health officials announced the first cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the state outside Chicago and Cook County. A woman in her 60s, in Kane County, and a McHenry County teen, tested positive. Neither had a history of travel to an affected area or a connection to a known case.
“As we anticipated, the number of cases in Illinois is increasing and now includes the first cases outside of Chicago and Cook County,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “The State of Illinois continues to take action to reduce spread of COVID-19 in Illinois and we again want to encourage people to start thinking and preparing now in the event they are not able to go to work, if schools are closed, if public transportation is not available, and how else their lives will be disrupted by this outbreak.”
Currently, 19 people in the state have tested positive for COVID-19. At least one case was acquired in the community, but probably more.
To help minimize the risk of spread:
- Everyone should use the same daily health precautions you would use for other illnesses including wash hands frequently using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, cover your mouth when coughing and sneezing and stay home when sick.
- Healthcare providers should screen patients and visitors for symptoms of respiratory illness such as fever, cough and difficulty breathing; wear proper personal protective gear such as gowns and masks when needed and have employees stay home when sick.
- Daycares, schools, universities should review emergency plans, absenteeism policies and cleaning procedures; identify strategies for alternative learning such as online programs; and consider postponing or canceling student exchange programs.
- Businesses should review emergency and continuity of operation plans, revisit sick leave policies and assess schedule flexibility.
- Community and faith organizations should review emergency plans and communicate with community members if events and services are changed, postponed or canceled.
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