Experts Urge Those Who Have Traveled, Been Exposed To COVID-19 Areas To Watch Symptoms
By Elizabeth Lehde
Cases of COVID-19 are increasing exponentially nationwide and within our state. Following the “shelter-in-place” order is critical for controlling the spread of this virus and flattening the curve.
By sheltering at home, people can reduce their exposures to others who may be carrying the virus and protect you from passing the virus on to others.
Cases in Illinois have increased from 4 confirmed cases on March 2, 2020 to 4,596 cases in 45 counties on March 29, 2020. Illinois Department of Public Health advises residents to be cautious in thinking that COVID-19 is not in their communities and everyone should assume that coronavirus is present and poses a risk, no matter where you are. There has been an increase in people showing “COVID-like symptoms” in our area.
Some areas, such as New York City, Chicago, New Orleans, and Florida, are seeing larger increases in cases. Travel to and from areas with high prevalence of COVID-19 increases your risk of being infected and bringing it back to our community.
Some from these highly impacted areas are also relocating to lesser impacted areas, increasing our risk even more.
Washington County Health Department is asking for your cooperation with the shelter in place order, as well as other social distancing recommendations, to protect our community. Please follow the guidance of no gatherings larger than 10 people. Limit errands to one person and those who are essential. Limit close contact to only those in your household. Continue frequent handwashing, stay home and isolated from others when you are not well, and stay away from others who are not well.
We are asking that anyone who has traveled to, or relocated from, an area with known COVID cases to self-quarantine for 14 days and watch for signs of respiratory infection.
If you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID or has “COVID-like symptoms”, follow the self-quarantine guidance for 14 days.
Follow the following on Facebook for reliable information and updates: Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), CDC and the Washington County Health Department.