The number of COVID-19 cases in Illinois was reported at 25 on Wednesday March 11, 2020, including the first Lake County resident, and two additional people in Arlington Heights, according to a briefing by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
The new cases include a Lake County man in his 50s; and five people in Chicago or suburban Cook County — a woman in her 50s, a man in his 40s, two men in their 70s and a man in his 80s. Two of the suburban patients are under medical supervision by Northwest Community Hospital physicians — one patient is in isolation at Northwest Community Hospital, and the other is quarantined at home. Neither of the new patients being supervised at Northwest Community Hospital (Northwest Community Healthcare) are related to two previous coronavirus patients cared for by the Northwest Community Hospital, and they are not connected to each other, officials said. It was initially not confirmed whether the latest two were connected to each other.
The most recent patient at Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH) is stable and doing well. Both of the latest infections appear to be travel-related, but additional information could not be released due to privacy reasons.
— Northwest Community Healthcare
The new cases in Arlington Heights, as in all new cases, are “Presumptive Positive” and require confirmation by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. If all of the latest “Presumptive Positives” are confirmed, 4 of 25 patients in Illinois (16%) would be located in Arlington Heights, Illinois.
Yesterday the number of cases was reported at six with the first two cases outside Cook County reported in Kane County and McHenry County.
“We’re not getting enough test kits.”
— Gov. J. B. Pritzker
Today (Wednesday) Gov. J.B. Pritzker reported a shortage of test kits for the coronavirus disease. In a previous press conference on Wednesday, March 4, 2020, Dr. Allison Arwady, MD, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health emphasized she was confident in the number of testing kits available in the Chicago area. Pritzker said the White House promised last week that at least one commercial lab would begin production of millions of tests by Friday. “It’s now Wednesday and as far as I can tell — in the state of Illinois — we have none of that,” Pritzker said.
Pritzker advised people to consider voting by mail. Thursday is the last day to request a vote-by-mail ballot; residents should contact their local election authorities, some of which offer online applications, and more information is available at elections.il.gov.
Gov. Pritzker also praised Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot for canceling Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day parade and Sunday’s South Side Irish parade. “Going into the weekend, make smart choices and maintain good health practices,” Pritzker said. “It’s on all of us to minimize the spread” of COVID-19.
Pritzker said he is reaching out to sports leagues, including Major League Baseball, regarding coronavirus-prevention policies for games. MLB Opening Day is on March 26, 2020. The Chicago Cubs are scheduled to play the Milwaukee Brewers in Milwaukee on March 26, 2020 at 1:10 p.m.; and the Chicago White Sox are scheduled to play the Kansas City Royals at home at Guaranteed Rate Field on March 26, 2020 at 1:10 p.m.
“We are actively investigating the travel histories, the exposures, trying to identify any close contacts. All are in isolation whether it’s at home or in the hospital.”
— Illinois Department of Public Health Director Ngozi Ezike
The CDC this week recommended communities experiencing minimal to moderate impact from COVID-19 should cancel gatherings of more than 250 people or “move to smaller groupings.” Pritzker said local governments should work with their health officials and emergency personnel to make decisions with this guideline in mind.
The Illinois General Assembly has postponed its legislative session until March 24, 2020 in an effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease.
Pritzker said he would file emergency rules this week to ensure that people that are unemployed because of the coronavirus qualify for unemployment benefits.
Illinois Department of Public Health Director Ngozi Ezike urgently advised that people, who are concerned that they might have symptoms of coronavirus, should call their doctor first; but if they feel it’s necessary to go to an emergency room, call the hospital and alert the hospital staff in advance.
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