Regional Health Departments announce first cases of Covid-19 in community


This is a joint news release issued by the Northern Illinois Rockford Region Public Information Officers (NIR-PIO). NIR-PIO serves Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside, and Winnebago Counties.

Northern Illinois Rockford Region – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today confirmed two cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Northern Illinois Rockford Region. 

  • A Winnebago County reports a resident in their 60s tested positive for COVID-19. The individual had no known exposure through travel or contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19. This suggests community transmission, but the disease investigation is ongoing.
  • Whiteside County reports a resident in their 40s tested positive for COVID-19. The individual has had no known exposure through travel or contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19. The disease investigation is ongoing.

Both cases were tested based on IDPH’s COVID-19 criteria. The individuals are both isolated at home and recovering. Public health officials are identifying individuals who were in contact with these cases to determine risk of exposure for monitoring.

As we anticipated, these cases confirm the presence of COVID-19 in our region. These cases reinforce the importance of actions the public can take to protect themselves and prevent the spread in the community.

What The Local Health Departments Are Doing:

The local health departments in the region (NIR-HDs), with healthcare partners, are working closely with IDPH and the CDC to monitor and respond.  To help limit the spread of COVID-19, social distancing steps have been taken by our community that include the closure of schools and the suspension of large public events. This is a quickly evolving situation. The public will be informed as additional steps are necessary.

What The Public Can Do:

  • STAY CALM: You are not alone in this, your community is here to support you. Talk to your friends and family and let them know if you are having concerns.
  • STAY APART: Keep at least 6 feet away from others including while shopping. Avoid the lines by taking advantage of pick-up and delivery services for groceries and other goods.
  • STAY PUT: Keep non-essential trips to a minimum and reconsider your travel plans. Consider staying home.

Be mindful of those who are at greater risk for contracting this virus, including older adults and those with underlying health conditions.

Call your healthcare provider:

If you experience fever, cough, and shortness of breath (flu like symptoms), stay home and call your healthcare provider before going to a healthcare facility. Inform them of your symptoms.

For more information:

Go to IDPH and CDC websites.


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