During a Press Briefing on Thursday, March 19, 2020 at about 2:50 p.m., Gov. JB Pritzker reported three more deaths in Illinois, and added that the case count continues to grow exponentially. Part of the increase is due to increase testing available. Yesterday more than 1,000 tests were conducted.
The Illinois Department of Public Health today announced the death of three people in Illinois with coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The individuals include a Will County resident in his 50s and a Cook County resident in her 80s, and an out-of-state resident in her 70s, who was in Sangamon County.
“I am saddened to announce three more people in Illinois with coronavirus disease have passed away. We ask everyone to please, stay home as much as possible so we can reduce the number of people who are infected and potentially suffer serious illness, including death.”
— IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike
The IDPH reported that there are 136 new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) across Illinois. Five additional counties are now reporting cases; Jackson, Kankakee, LaSalle, Washington, and Williamson counties.
Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 422 cases in 22 counties in Illinois. Cases have occurred in ages 9 to 99. Cases by county can be found on the IDPH website, as well as a list of local health departments who will have the most up-to-date information.
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
in Illinois Test Results (3/19/2020)
Positive (Confirmed Cases) 422
Negative Results XX
Under Investigation 3151
According to authorities, the number of COVID-19 cases being reported is rising quickly, partly because of the increase in testing by commercial and hospital laboratories. Because testing is becoming more available in these labs, IDPH will prioritize testing for our most vulnerable populations, such as those who work or live in nursing homes and other congregate facilities. Once a case in these locations is confirmed, per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, testing of all residents and staff without symptoms is not recommended. However, all precautions to prevent additional spread should be taken and staff and residents should be closely monitored for respiratory illness.
But the growing number of cases also reflects a rapid spread of disease across communities. While these numbers are concerning, it’s not unexpected and the more robust information will allow us to better understand and track the size and scope of the outbreak and strengthen prevention and response efforts.
Gov. JB Pritzker announced expanded telemedicine with an Executive Order.
Gov JB Pritzker also urged physicians to sign up for the Illinois emergency notification tool “SIREN” at siren.illinois.gov for physicians.
SIREN originally implemented as the core alerting service for the Department of Public Health’s Health Alert Network, has been broadened in scope and utility making it a robust tool for all state agencies and partners with alerting, notification and collaboration needs, and is available to all agencies and partners via Statewide Master Contract.
SIREN is used for targeted alerting based on members professional roles or functions. It is not intended for use as a public warning system at this time. During your registration you will need to enter contact information and select your specific organization and function. For assistance please contact us. For IDPH, all public health partners and other members,[email protected]; and for IEMA and emergency management partners, [email protected],and provide a detailed message including information about where you work and your role or title.
For information on actions every day citizens, you, your school, workplace, and community can take, please visit Steps to Stay Safe from COVID-19. For general questions about COVID-19, call the hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email [email protected].
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