Coronavirus Case Each in Kane and McHenry Counties Mark First Illinois Cases Outside Cook County; 6 New Cases in Cook County

Arlington Heights Mariano's Pharmacy Barrier set up during operating hours on Tuesday, March 10, 2020
Arlington Heights Mariano's Pharmacy Barrier set up during operating hours on Tuesday, March 10, 2020.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), Kane County Health Department (KCHD), and the McHenry County Department of Health (MCDH) today announced the first Illinois residents outside of Chicago and Cook County to test positive at the IDPH laboratory for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The case in Kane County is a woman in her 60s.

The case in McHenry County is a 19 year-old male undergoing treatment in isolation in a negative pressure room at Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington in Lake County.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), early available evidence indicated the COVID-19 virus is transmitted to people via close contact and droplets, not by relatively long distant airborne transmission.

Negative Pressure Isolation Rooms (Hospital Protection) — negative pressure ventilation is used when hospital systems are desired that won’t contaminate the rest of the hospital (e.g. keeping a virus from spreading to adjacent rooms and other patients).

Positive Pressure Isolation Rooms (Patient Protection) positive pressure ventilation is used when hospital systems are desired that will prevent the exterior areas from contaminating the room where positive pressure is utilized, such as an operating room where infectious agents need to be prevented from entering open body cavities during surgery.

Forensic Laboratories also are usually recommended to use negative pressure rooms to send room air to exhaust hoods to avoid contaminating adjacent rooms in a police station with hazardous lab chemicals and vapors. However, some small areas of lab investigations may require positive pressure to prevent contamination of evidence from air and airborne contaminants from adjacent rooms.

In both cases in Kane and McHenry counties, neither patient had a history of travel to an affected area, and no connection to a known case of COVID-19. Public health officials are identifying and contacting all close contacts of these two patients, who are two of eight new patients announced with COVID-19 on Tuesday March 10, 2020. The other six patients were all in Cook County, and two of them were in the City of Chicago.

“As we anticipated, the number of cases in Illinois is increasing and now includes the first cases outside of Chicago and Cook County. The State of Illinois continues to take action to reduce spread of COVID-19 in Illinois and we again want to encourage people to start thinking and preparing now in the event they are not able to go to work, if schools are closed, if public transportation is not available, and how else their lives will be disrupted by this outbreak.”

— IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike

Currently, there are 19 individuals in Illinois who have tested positive for COVID-19. At least one case acquired the virus in the community, but probably more. As IDPH continues to conduct surveillance testing, additional cases will be identified, and we will have a better understanding about the amount of virus circulating in Illinois communities.

The MCDH is working in partnership with the IDPH.

“We don’t have much information to share at this time, but we want the public to know that we are taking all necessary precautions with this case. We encourage all residents to continue using preventative measures to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19, and to begin planning for events that could disrupt their lives, such as school closures or if they become ill.”

— MCDH Public Health Administrator Melissa Adamson

The Kane County Health Department referred coronavirus information to sources from the IDPH.

In addition to the cases in Kane and McHenry counties, new cases on Tuesday, March 10, 2020 include individuals in:

Cook County (6):
male in 70s
female in 60s
female in 40s
male in 40s

Chicago (2):
male in 40s
male in 40s

Public health officials are still investigating the travel history of all of these individuals and any potential contact with a known COVID-19 case. These most recent cases are in isolation and are doing well.

United States 2020 statistics mark 971 cases with 31 total deaths on Tuesday night, March 10, 2020.

Steps to help minimize the risk of spread of coronavirus:

Everyone: Use the same daily health precautions you would for flu including washing your hands frequently using soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering your cough and sneeze, and staying home when sick.

Health care: Screen patients and visitors for symptoms of respiratory illness such as fever, cough, and difficulty breathing; wear proper personal protective gear such as gowns and masks when needed, and have employees stay home when sick.

Day cares, schools, universities: Review emergency plans, absenteeism policies, and cleaning procedures; identify strategies for alternative learning mechanisms such as on-line programs; and consider postponing or cancelling student exchange programs.

Businesses: Review emergency and continuity of operation plans, revisit sick leave policies, and assess schedule flexibility.

Community and faith organizations: Review emergency plans and communicate with community members if events and services are changed, postponed, or cancelled.

For information about how you, your school, your workplace, and your community can prepare, please visit Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities. For general questions about COVID-19, call the hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email [email protected]

Arlington Heights Mariano's Pharmacy Barrier set up during operating hours on Tuesday, March 10, 2020
Arlington Heights Mariano’s Pharmacy Barrier set up during operating hours where packages are prepared on Tuesday, March 10, 2020.

During operating hours, the Mariano’s pharmacy in Arlington Heights set up the transparent barrier that they usually use for security after hours. The World Health organization recommends physical barriers, such as glass or plastic windows are used in triage areas, registration desks at the emergency department, or at pharmacy windows to minimize coronavirus exposure of individuals.

See also …

World Health Organization | Rational use of personal protective equipment for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) [PDF]

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