First confirmed case of COVID-19 announced in Lee County

Local News

The Lee County Unified Executive Leadership Team announced a presumptive positive case of COVID-19 in Lee County, Illinois on Thursday afternoon.

The case involves an adult resident in his or her 50s. The patient is isolated at home.

The Lee County Health Department says they understand that having a case in the county may cause people to be worried, but this is not unexpected news.

According to Lee County Health Department Administrator Cathy Ferguson-Allen, “We do not want residents to panic. We do want them to continue being vigilant and following all the recommendations we’ve been putting out the last many weeks. If residents have not been following recommendations, they are putting our community at risk. By staying home — except for absolute essential travel for supplies, food, medication or to provide essential services for the community —residents can help prevent further spread of this illness and help protect our vulnerable, high-risk populations.”

The Lee County Health Department says they are working collaboratively with many area organizations and partners to keep the community informed, provide the latest recommendations and provide resources.

“We remind residents to please check on your elderly or high-risk friends, family and neighbors to ensure they have what they need, as well as to give them a voice on the other end of the phone to provide a little human interaction,” said the health department in a press release Thursday. “This can be a scary, lonely time for them. We are also working closely with the Illinois Department of Public Health and the CDC to monitor this ongoing situation and quickly identify potential people that may have been exposed to COVID-19.

The Lee County Health Department is asking the public to take everyday preventative actions recommended to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses during what they call a “quickly evolving situation.” They say they expect to identify additional cases in the area due to increased testing that is occurring and will continue to keep the community informed as these are identified.

The health department advises the community to wash their hands often with soap and water, cover coughs, clean surfaces often, stay home (except for essential travel) and “most definitely stay home if sick.” They ask that anyone who believes they have been exposed to COVID-19 or are having symptoms to “please call your provider for instructions on how to proceed” and “do not go to your doctor’s office or the emergency room. Call first, use KSB Virtual Care accessed through their website or use KSB’S COVID-19 hotline.”

The KSB COVID-19 hotline can be reached at 815-285-7777.

The Lee County Health Department asks employers of essential services to “please excuse your employees if they are sick without a doctor’s note” and “consider allowing for paid sick time.”

The health department says it is important to be understanding of employees who may have young children home to care for due to school closures.

“We need our community to come together to weather this storm,” said the Lee County Health Department. “It takes all of us. Please be a responsible citizen.”

The Lee County Health Department provides regular updates on its Facebook page.

Additional information is available at the following links:

Katherine Shaw Bethea Hospital

Illinois Department of Public Health

State of Illinois Coronavirus Response Site

CDCD – How to protect yourself and what to do if you are sick

Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

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