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March 19, 2020 Melaney Arnold – 217-558-0500
Public Health Officials Announce the Deaths of Three More Individuals in Illinois with Coronavirus Disease
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health today announced the death of three people in Illinois with coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The individuals include a Will County resident in his 50s and a Cook County resident in her 80s, and an out-of-state resident in her 70s who was in Sangamon County.
“I am saddened to announce three more people in Illinois with coronavirus disease have passed away,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “We ask everyone to please, stay home as much as possible so we can reduce the number of people who are infected and potentially suffer serious illness, including death.”
There are 136 new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) across Illinois. Five additional counties are now reporting cases; Jackson, Kankakee, LaSalle, Washington, and Williamson counties.
Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 422 cases in 22 counties in Illinois. Cases have occurred in ages 9 to 99. Cases by county can be found on the IDPH website, as well as a list of local health departments who will have the most up-to-date information.
The number of COVID-19 cases being reported is rising quickly, partly because of the increase in testing by commercial and hospital laboratories. Because testing is becoming more available in these labs, IDPH will prioritize testing for our most vulnerable populations, such as those who work or live in nursing homes and other congregate facilities. Once a case in these locations is confirmed, per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, testing of all residents and staff without symptoms is not recommended. However, all precautions to prevent additional spread should be taken and staff and residents should be closely monitored for respiratory illness.
But the growing number of cases also reflects a rapid spread of disease across communities. While these numbers are concerning, it’s not unexpected and the more robust information will allow us to better understand and track the size and scope of the outbreak and strengthen prevention and response efforts.
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For information on actions you and community can take, please visit Steps to Stay Safe from COVID-19. For general questions about COVID-19, call the hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email [email protected].