Lee County Unified Executive Leadership Team COVID-19 Update: March 20, 2020


With the release of Governor Pritzker’s executive order to “Stay at Home”, the Lee County Unified Executive Leadership Team strongly urges our citizens to remain calm and follow the order.  There is no need for panic.  The measures implemented today will make us safer.  Complying with similar orders has already shown positive results.  Essential services related to groceries, medical care, gas stations, and pharmacies remain open and will not close.  There are many other businesses that fall into the category of essential services that will remain open.   

The purpose of this order is to slow and reduce the widespread infection by COVID-19 and to prevent the overrun of medical facilities being seen in cities like California and New York. If residents follow the recommendations released by this team over the past week and adhere to the Governor’s new order, you will have a much lower risk of getting COVID-19 or transmitting this virus to others, especially those over 60 or with underlying health conditions.

Now is a time for our community to pull together, stay positive, and create the positive change that will end this pandemic.  We must now find ways to take this “gift of time” to create positivity in our lives and the lives of others. 

The Unified Executive Leadership team is asking our residents not to rush to the grocery store or gas station.  Please be responsible with your purchases, so there will be plenty of food and essentials for everyone.  Again, these essential businesses will remain open and the distribution centers who serve them will remain open. 

Interstates, highways, and other roadways will remain open.  The Illinois borders remain open.  Travel is restricted by the order for “essential” purposes.  Citizens are allowed to travel outside of their home to work, if they work for an essential business that is allowed to remain open. Citizens can also travel to essential businesses for personal reasons, such as to get gas, groceries, pharmacies, doctor’s visits, and other purposes deemed essential and outlined in the order.

Citizens are also allowed to leave their house for outdoor activity, such as taking your dog for a walk, going for a run, cycling, or hiking, provided that they follow the order related to social distancing.  The Governor’s order requires people to stay 6 feet away from each other while engaging in outdoor activities.

Citizens are also allowed to leave their residence to take care of a family member, friend, or pet in another household, and to transport family members, friends, or pets as needed for medical care or to obtain essential goods.     

Governor Pritzker’s “Stay at Home” order can be found at this link:  https://www.iml.org/file.cfm?key=18394

The Governor’s office also released a FAQ document related to the “Stay at Home” order.  The order can be found at this link:  https://www.iml.org/file.cfm?key=18395

Today, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced 163 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total cases in Illinois to 585 across 22 counties.  Today, IDPH announced one more death in Illinois bringing the death toll to five.

Today, KSB Hospital received two additional COVID-19 test results, and both were negative.  More test results are expected in the coming days and the leadership team will notify the community immediately if any of these tests are positive.

While there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County, since it opened, the KSB Hospital drive thru COVID-19 testing site has tested a total of 136 people for COVID-19 who met clinical criteria for testing.  It takes approximately four days to get the results.  As of yesterday afternoon, there are 6 people quarantined and 78 people in isolation in Lee County, meaning an additional 17 people have been placed in isolation since yesterday’s press release.  These individuals are in isolation pending test results.

“Quarantine” versus “Isolation”

Quarantineis used to separate and restrict the movement of well persons who may have been exposed to a communicable disease to see if they become ill.  These people may have been exposed to a disease and do not know it, or they may have the disease but do not show symptoms.  Quarantine can also help limit the spread of communicable diseases.

Isolationis used to separate ill persons who have a communicable disease from those who are healthy.  Isolation restricts movement of ill persons to help stop the spread of certain diseases. People with symptoms of a disease may also be put in isolation pending test results.    

 Lee County Unified Executive Leadership Team Next Steps:

The next step for this team is to obtain further support related to areas that are not clear in the Governor’s order.  We will work with state officials to get these answers.  This team will be working through the weekend and will provide updates to the community on Saturday and Sunday, and as it becomes available. 

What to do if you think you have COVID-19:

If you think you have COVID-19, do not go to the hospital.  Residents should:

  • Call their doctor,
  • Use the “KSB Care Anywhere” app by going to the KSB web site www.ksbhospital.com and clicking on “virtual care”.  The app offers a free 5 question screening for the virus, and then additional assessment questions if it appears that the individual is “at risk”.   While a credit card is required for the more involved assessment section,  no charges will be applied if a Covid19 testing referral is made.
  • Contact the KSB Hospital COVID-19 hotline at 815/285-7777. The hotline is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

Residents can go to the following websites for additional information: 

Go to KSB, IDPH, or CDC websites.  Lee County Health Department provides regular updates on its Facebook page.

  • https://www.ksbhospital.com/coronavirus-outbreak-covid-19/
  • http://dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/coronavirus
  • https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
  • For businesses: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html
  • Facebook: Lee County IL Health Department

 

For general questions about COVID-19, call the IDPH hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or 211.

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