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Thursday, April 2, 2020

Two St. Clair County residents test positive for coronavirus, health department says

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By Ann Maher | Mar 15, 2020

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Two St. Clair County residents have tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) - the first two presumptive positive cases in the county. 

According to the St. Clair County Health Department (SCCHD) and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), which made the announcement on Saturday, one female in her 60’s and one female in her 70’s have been quarantined since being tested. Both have a history of recent international travel. All contacts to these two cases are being interviewed and quarantined as indicated. 

In a press release announcing the test results, county public health officials urge people to continue good personal hygiene habits for personal protection and for others' protection. 

The St. Clair County Health Department recommends following the Centers for Disease Control and the Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines: 

- Avoid close contact. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too. 

- Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others. 

- Cover your mouth and nose. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Flu and other serious respiratory illnesses, like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), are spread by cough, sneezing, or unclean hands. 

- Clean your hands. Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. 

- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth. 

- Practice other good health habits. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food. 

St. Clair County Health Department officials continue to investigate all possible exposures to COVID19 in accordance with IDPH and CDC guidelines. The total number of cases in Illinois now stands at 64. In addition to cases in Cumberland, DuPage, St. Clair, and Woodford counties, there are seven new cases in Chicago, four in suburban Cook, one in Kane, and one in Lake Counties. For information about how you, your school, workplace, and community can prepare, visit CDC.gov. 

Further testing will be conducted by the CDC. 

For general questions about COVID-19, call the hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email dph.sick@illinois.gov.

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St. Clair County Health Department