Seven Additional Coronavirus Cases in Chicagoland Reported March 12, 2020; Followed Information About Guidance and Mandates from Officials

Governor JB Pritzker began a press conference on coronavirus on Thursday March 12, 2020 by announcing that all major sports teams have been asked to cancel games or play without spectators until May 1, 2020.

Event organizers involving 250 or more people are being asked to postpone events until after May 1, 2020.

The State of Illinois is mandating that all events over 1,000 be postponed until after May 1, 2020.

Group events smaller than 250, the governor advised that extra precautions be taken for people who may be vulnerable to coronavirus infections.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
in Illinois Test Results (3/12/2020)

Positive (Confirmed Cases) 32
Negative Results 294
Under Investigation 92

— SOURCE: IDPH

Governor Pritzker explained that schools at this time are not being closed, but said schools are being monitored on a day-to-day basis.

Regarding schools, Gov. Pritzker advised against sporting events involving large groups.

The State of Illinois is closing the James R. Thompson Center on Monday March 16, 2020, limited only to people that have business with the state.

The governor’s office is going to remain open and running.

Private businesses are being asked to promote telecommuting. If telecommuting is not possible, businesses are being asked to promote social distancing.

Pritzker’s appeal to press: Do not report or act on unconfirmed reports that grind the rumor mill.

Gov. Pritzker emphasized that we need to reduce social contact even with sacrifices in the immediate term.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot reported there is still a low level of transmission in the Chicago area.

Lightfoot declared that community events of more than 1000 people are banned in the City of Chicago for the next 30 days (e.g., conferences, banquets, concerts, etc.).

Community events of more than 250 people are recommended for postponement the next 30 days (e.g., conferences, banquets, concerts, etc.).

Status of schools: CPS schools at this time are remaining open.
CPS is releasing updated guidelines today.

Comcast will be doubling Internet speeds for low income housing. Comcast will also be providing 60 days free Internet to low income housing residents.

Working with organized labor, the City of Chicago will release new updated information tomorrow that will ease the burden on workers who may be struggling with illness.

Mayor Lightfoot recommended chicago.gov/coronavirus for information updates.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle introduced multiple executive orders …

Meetings of various boards will be canceled for March and April 2020.

All committee and sub-committee meetings, except the finance committee meetings will be canceled.

The March 26 Cook County Board meeting and agenda will be held, but will be abbreviated. The general public will be restricted from the meeting.

All Cook County work, travel will be restricted.

NEW CASES FOR MARCH 12 2020 REPORTED BY NGOZI EZIKE, DIRECTOR OF THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH

Dr. Ngozi Ezike reported 7 additional cases in Illinois.

— A woman in her 40s in Chicago

— A young male child in Chicago in good condition is being monitored at home (some info provided by ).

— One new case in Kane County, male 70s

— One new case in McHenry, male 60s

— Two women in Cook County, in their 70s

— One man in Cook County, male 50s

Dr Ezike said reports of suspected cases are inevitable. In Illinois, one-third of the Illinois cases are travel-related, about one-half of cases are related to close contact, and the remaining case sources are unclear, but could be connected to “community spread.”

Guidance for the coronavirus illness is changing hour by hour. All officials urged that people stay home when sick, stop social handshaking, and wash hands thoroughly.

Additional information from IDPH is available by calling
800-889-3931 or emailing [email protected]

Dr. Allison Arwadi, Commissioner Chicago Department of Public Health explained the range of presentations of the coronavirus illness: about 80 percents infected with coronavirus have had a relatively mild course with no hospital admission necessary. About 20 percent of the time patients with more serious conditions have required hospitalization. About 5 percent of patients have required care in an Intensive Care Unit. One to two percent die from the illness — usually immunocompromised patients, heart and lung disease patients, diabetes patients or elderly patients.

Dr. Arwadi said that local experts are looking at the local data. Dr. Arwadi emphasized that now is the time, when there are only dozens of patients, to advise on guidance and recommendations — not when thousands of people are infected with coronavirus.

Dr. Arwadi said it was notable this past weekend that community transmission was evident for the first time, and more community spread individuals were detected.

An increase in community spread type of infections, and an increase rise in the rate of infections. Across the United States and internationally a similar increase in rate has been detected.

The increase in rate of infections was detected, which is a trigger to provide recommendations and guidelines. Doubling of case numbers in a matter of a couple of days, even at low numbers, is another trigger that signals it is time for public health officials to provide stronger recommendations and guidance.

Community mitigation strategies help limit close contact. The coronavirus disease is primarily spread by close contact via droplets from coughing or sneezing. People who are sick must stay home. People should also take handwashing guidance very seriously.

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