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First confirmed case of COVID-19 reported in Adams County

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ADAMS COUNTY, Ill. (WGEM) — Illinois Department of Public Health and Governor J.B. Pritzker announced Thursday that a resident of Adams County has tested positive at the IDPH Laboratory for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The resident is a male in his 30-40s recovering at home after travel exposure. State and local public health officials have started a contact investigation to understand what contacts the individual had prior to the diagnosis.

“Our staff is working to quickly identify, interview and learn the risk for people who may have been in close contact with the first COVID-19 case in Adams County,” said Adams county Health Department Public Health Administrator Jerrod Welch. “Our highest priority is the health and safety of all who live, work and recreate in Adams County, and we will continue to use every available resource to prepare our communities for additional cases of COVID-19.”

Blessing Hospital’s CEO Maureen Kahn told WGEM News on Wednesday night that 20 people had been tested in the region, four of which tested negative. At that time, she said they were still waiting on the other 16 test results and expected those Thursday or Friday.

Kahn added that it takes about six days to get the tests back from a private lab.

Kahn says all tests go to a private lab, unless the patient had traveled from a flagged country, in which case the test would go to the state lab for faster results.

As the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 as a pandemic on March 11, more cases of COVID-19 are expected in the United States and in Adams County, IL.

County officials state, it is important to follow simple daily steps to stop the spread of illness. The CDC advises the public to follow these tips to help prevent respiratory illnesses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick with respiratory symptoms.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow or a tissue and immediately discard.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you have not already, get a flu shot and if you are eligible, pneumonia shot. Make sure all of your vaccinations are up to date.

Measures are being developed to slow the spread of illness in Illinois. IDPH and local health departments have implemented heightened surveillance to identify and test patients most likely to have COVID-19. Public health experts are communicating with and educating health care providers and other public health partners about the current situation.

Adams County residents with questions or concerns are encouraged to call the COVID-19 Hotline (217-277-3504). For general questions about COVID-19, call the Illinois Department of Public Health COVID-19 Hotline 1-800-889-3931 or email: DPH.SICK@ILLINOIS.GOV.

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Jim Roberts

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