As of the time of release, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Washington County. We are seeing rapid changes in our state as a response to an increase in positive cases, and information is being sent out to local officials often.
As cases have increased, IDPH Director, Dr. Ngozi Ezeki, advises that it is best to assume that coronavirus is in the community, and people should take precautions to prevent the spread. These precautions include:
- Frequent handwashing for 20 seconds with soap and water is critical to stopping the spread of disease. When soap and water are not available, 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizers are an acceptable substitute. Don’t forget to scrub and wash in between fingers, under fingernails, and the backs of your hands.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue. Dispose of the tissue properly and wash your hands after doing so.
- Limit contact with others as much as possible. Infections can be spread even when others don’t seem sick.
- Limiting travel that is not necessary.
- Most importantly, if you are not feeling well, please stay home until your symptoms are gone.
Additionally, take care of yourself. Eat healthy foods, exercise, rest, and reduce stress as much as possible. Please refrain from hoarding supplies such as hygiene and cleaning supplies. Also, please refrain from hoarding medical supplies, such as masks, that are intended for ill persons who need medical care and healthcare workers.
Governor Pritzker announced on March 16, 2020, that gathering of more than 50 people are to be cancelled. This follows announcements last week that schools would be closed and dine-in services in bars and restaurants are restricted.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include: Fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath.
It is important to remember that not everyone with these symptoms has COVID-19 or requires testing and medical treatment. We ask that you stay home while ill, treat your symptoms if you can, and seek medical attention responsibly.
When should I seek care?:
You should seek care if you are not able to manage symptoms at home, your symptoms become worse, or if you are notified that you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive. When seeking medical care, we ask that you call your healthcare provider before you show up for care. They will be able to assess you over the phone to better determine your medical needs.
What can I expect?
If you are not suspected to have COVID-19 and are not tested, or have tested negative, you will be advised to return home until you are well, treat your symptoms, and seek medical care if your condition worsens.
If you test positive, you will be notified and placed on a 14-day self-quarantine and monitored by your local health department. You will also be interviewed to determine who you were in close contact with for the previous 14 days so that they may be contacted for followup and monitoring.
Will we know if there is a positive case in Washington County?
The health department will be notified if there is a positive case of COVID-19 in the county. Legal counsel for the Illinois Department of Public Health has given us authorization to release a positive result in the county with gender and age range and other limited information about the case. WE WILL NOT RELEASE THE CITY THAT THE PERSON RESIDES IN.
For reliable, updated information about COVID-19 visit:
- IDPH website: http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/coronavirus or on the
- CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2Findex.html
- State of Illinois also has a HelpLine 1-800-889-3931 or by email email@example.com
- You may also contact the Washington County Health Department at 618-327-3644.