I wanted to make sure you had this information that was shared with me late Monday afternoon (see below). Please, wash your hands, cover your coughs, and seek medical attention if you are sick and stay home from work. Stay safe!
• The Lake County Health Department is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to monitor an expanding global outbreak of respiratory illness named Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by a novel (new) coronavirus.
• To date, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lake County, Illinois.
• In late January, there were two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, and both individuals fully recovered. In Cook County, a third presumptive case was reported on February 29, 2020, and a fourth presumptive case was reported on March 2, 2020. Presumptive means the state test results have yet to be confirmed by the CDC.
• Lake County continues to post updates and resources to www.lakecountyil.gov/coronavirus. The website includes information for individuals and families, businesses, communities, healthcare providers, schools and childcare programs, and travelers. Information is also being shared on social media.
• On Wednesday, March 4, the Health Department will present a COVID-19 update in collaboration with the Lake County Municipal League. The event is for emergency management coordinators, first responders, municipal and township leaders, and select Lake County officials and staff.
• The outbreak began in China but is spreading worldwide, including in the United States.
• Last week, several instances of infection with the virus that causes COVID-19 occurred in people with no travel history and no known source of exposure. These possible instances of community spread occurred in California, Oregon, and in Washington state, where the first U.S. death related to COVID-19 was reported.
• The U.S. expects to detect more introductions of COVID-19 through travel, person-to-person spread, and community transmission of the virus. Aggressive containment efforts will continue.
• For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low.
• Healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19, close contacts of people with COVID-19, and travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring are at elevated risk of exposure.
Key Action Items
Practice “everyday preventive actions” to limit the spread of illness – remember the 3 C’s:
- CLEAN hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth;
- COVER your cough and sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash; and
- CONTAIN germs by staying home if you are sick, except to receive medical care, and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Influenza (flu) activity continues to be high in the United States and in Illinois, and residents are urged to get their annual flu vaccine if they have not yet done so. The flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from the flu and reduces the chances of complications which could result in hospitalization.
Direct anyone with questions on COVID-19 to IDPH’s COVID-19 hotline, available via phone: 1-800-889-3931 or email: DPH.SICK@ILLINOIS.GOV.