Health department

Iroquois County Public Health Department (ICPHD) would like to report that, at the time of this press release, there are no laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Iroquois County. All test results received thus far have been negative.

ICPHD will inform the public through a press release as soon as possible at the time of a confirmed case of COVID-19 in an Iroquois County resident.

The Iroquois County Public Health Department is working closely with Illinois Department of Public Health and numerous local organizations, including Iroquois County EMA, Iroquois Memorial Hospital, emergency responders (EMS, law enforcement, fire departments, 911 dispatch), and several long-term care facilities. Each morning these organizations are brought together virtually through the Iroquois County Emergency Operation Center (EOC) to conduct briefings, communicate needs, and coordinate efforts. This cooperation ensures Iroquois County’s joint preparedness for COVID-19.

Although testing is a priority in our COVID-19 response efforts, not all individuals need to be tested. Coronavirus testing is being prioritized for severely ill patients and at-risk congregate populations. Those that think they may have COVID-19 but are not severely ill, should consult with their physician, by telephone if available, and STAY HOME, unless it is an emergency. This minimizes possible exposures to healthcare workers, patients, and the public and reduces the demand for personal protective equipment (PPE).

ICPHD received a shipment of requested PPE from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) last week. Through the EOC, local agencies have been requesting and sharing resources, such as PPE, to ensure that all local

agencies have necessary supplies.

We strongly recommend to continue social distancing and other safety measures which include:

— Stay home as much as possible with adherence to the Governor’s Shelter at Home requirement.

— If gatherings are necessary, limit the number of people to 10 or less.

— Call to check on family, neighbors, and older adults instead of visiting.

— Check with your provider about telehealth options if you feel ill.

— Remember to continue using proper hand hygiene.

— Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when sneezing or coughing. Dispose of the tissue immediately.

If no tissue is available, sneeze or cough into your elbow.

— Do not shake hands. Instead, use another non-contact method to address others.

—Clean frequently touched surfaces often.

Most importantly stay home if you are sick! If you have a respiratory illness, stay home for 7 days after your symptoms started and for 3 days after your fever has stopped without the use of fever reducing medications, and your cough or sore throat symptoms have improved (whichever is longer). Avoid the emergency department and other places you seek healthcare if you are not severely ill, unless your doctor advises otherwise. Stay home and keep healthcare access available for others with more severe illness.

We recommend consulting with your doctor if you have the following:

— Fever, cough, shortness of breath or other cold or flu-like symptoms and do not feel better after three to four days. Use telephone, text, telemedicine or a patient portal to reach out rather than going to your doctor in person if possible.

— You are an older adult or have chronic health conditions of concern (heart disease, diabetes, lung disease) and are exhibiting mild symptoms.

Your provider will decide if you need medical care. You usually do not need to be tested unless you are admitted to the hospital.

ICPHD would like to thank our local partners for their diligent efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus within our community. We appreciate the cooperation and sacrifice of local businesses and community members at large in practicing social distancing. With no vaccine available, this is our best response to slow the spread of COVID-19.

This is a rapidly evolving situation and the Iroquois County Public Health Department will provide updated information and guidance as it becomes available on our Iroquois County Public Health Department Facebook page and website at http://www.co.iroquois.il.us/covid-19-corona-virus/ .

For general questions about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) call the Illinois Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Hotline at 1(800) 889-3931 or, send an email to: DPH.SICK@ILLINOIS.GOV anytime, 24 hours a day,

seven days a week.

For information on actions you, your school, workplace, and community can take, please visit Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities at: http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/coronavirus/preventing-spreadcommunities

For daily updates on COVID-19 in Illinois follow the IDPH Daily Updates page at: http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/coronavirus/mediapublications/ daily-press-briefings