LEE COUNTY — On March 19, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced 134 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total cases in Illinois to 422 across 22 counties. Researchers and doctors are saying that it is likely that 10 times this amount of people have the virus and just have not been tested. Today, IDPH announced three more deaths in Illinois bringing the death toll to four.
Today, KSB Hospital received the results of four tests, two were administered last weekend and two were done on Monday. All four tests 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, the KSB Hospital drive thru COVID-19 testing site has tested a total of 117 people for COVID-19 who meet clinical criteria for testing. It takes up to four days to get the results. As of yesterday afternoon, there are 5 people quarantined and 61 people in isolation in Lee County, meaning an additional 28 people have been placed in isolation since yesterday’s press release. These individuals are in isolation pending test results.
Today, Oak Park became the first community in Illinois to issue a 12 a.m. curfew for their residents. Local leaders are closely monitoring the responses of other communities and the factors leading to their decisions. There are no plans or discussion of implementing a curfew in Lee County at this time. However, we strongly encourage people to stay home as much as possible and avoid non-essential travel.
“Quarantine” versus “Isolation”
Quarantine is 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.
Isolation is 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.
“Meals on Wheels” will continue delivering meals to local residents. A new procedure has been implemented which includes dropping food off without contact with the citizen.
New Lee County Unified Leadership Team Recommendations:
The leadership team continues to ask citizens to check on friends, family, and neighbors living alone. While we want to practice social distancing, we do not want to create social isolation. Leaders suggest calling people who fall into this category or Facetiming them. Human interaction is important to everyone, especially during times like these.
Lee County Health Department:
Temporarily, effective Friday March 20, the Lee County Health Department (LCHD) will be open to provide limited essential services on Tuesday & Thursdays from 8-4:30. Phone calls will continue to be handled Monday through Friday. The LCHD staff continues to work incredibly hard on the community’s behalf; as they try to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Staff will be available Monday-Friday to assist residents or partner agencies; this will not change. Please call 815/284-3371. Most staff will be working remotely on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays, but again-will be available for questions and assistance as always.
Today, on behalf of its members, Illinois Hospital Association (IHA) President and CEO A.J. Wilhelmi issued a plea to the leaders of associations for the construction industry, dentists, veterinarians, and other groups to donate face masks or N95s to their local hospitals as they care for COVID-19 patients. KSB President and CEO Dave Schreiner is asking for these items to be brought to KSB Hospital.
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:
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.
For general questions about COVID-19, call the IDPH hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or 211.