As a public service, St. Margaret's Health & Shaw Media have partnered to provide open access to information related to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) emergency.
A woman in her 30s with history having traveled to a known area with high exposure and confirmed cases is the latest to have a confirmed case of COVID-19 in LaSalle County.
She is currently recovering at home in isolation, according to a press release.
LaSalle County's previous cases included a man in his 40s and a high school student. Both are recovering at home with no history of travel to an affected area and no connection to a known case of COVID-19.
Like the other cases, the LaSalle County Health Department is working to identify and investigate individuals who were in contact with the woman.
The department expects to see additional cases and residents should assume that have been exposed to COVID-19. Residents can help by staying home, limiting the number of people you come into contact with, maintaining a six-foot distance from others and washing your hands.
If someone develops symptoms of cough and fever, they should stay home and isolate themselves from others. Should symptoms worsen, they should contact their healthcare providers immediately.
Testing for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the State Lab is limited and protocols are in place to prioritize those tested. Currently, the State Public Health laboratories are only testing hospitalized patients and clusters in a congregate setting that serves more vulnerable populations such as a supportive care facility, assisted living facility, group home, homeless shelter, or correctional setting.
The LaSalle County Health Department said testing guidelines have frequently changed throughout the situation. Testing is requested by healthcare providers at hospitals and then authorized by the Illinois Department of Public Health and/or the local health department. If the individual is not approved for testing, healthcare providers can request testing through a commercial lab.
There is limited commercial testing locally. Negative testing conducted through commercial labs is not required to be reported to local health departments, however, they will still be notified of any positive cases from IDPH State Lab or commercial labs.
If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, a fever, cough or shortness of breath:
Those with mild illness should not go to a hospital or other care centers but instead should stay home and rest until they’re well. If symptoms progress, it is advisable to call your healthcare provider who will advise if you need medical treatment. Anyone with respiratory symptoms who is planning to seek care at a walk-in clinic should call in advance for instruction. Based on the CDC guidelines, the healthcare provider will evaluate the symptoms by phone and provide instruction.
Anyone experiencing a medical emergency should call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room. If you are seeking emergency medical care and think you could have coronavirus, tell the medical workers in advance so they can prepare for your arrival.
Shaw Media Illinois has information posted on how to protect yourself or what to do if you are sick.
The Illinois Department of Public Health has a COVID-19 hotline: 800-889-3931 and an email: DPH.SICK@ILLINOIS.GOV.
The CDC has a list for prevention and treatment.