Madison - St. Clair Record

Thursday, April 2, 2020

First confirmed COVID-19 case reported in Madison County; Prenzler makes emergency declaration

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By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Mar 18, 2020

Corona announced the first confirmed Madison County COVID-19 case at a press conference Tuesday.

Director of Madison County Health Department Toni Corona announced at a press conference Tuesday evening that a male in his 30s is the first confirmed case of COVID-19 coronavirus in Madison County.

Corona said the patient is currently isolated at home and is doing well.

She would not say in what town or city the patient lives, but said his case is associated with recent travel.

“Everything was done right in this particular case,” she said.

Corona said that upon returning from his travels, the patient self-quarantined himself and monitored his temperature.

“He was doing exactly what he was supposed to do,” she said.

He then determined it was time to seek medical attention, and the coronavirus diagnosis was confirmed.

Corona said the County Health Department was notified of the positive case Tuesday afternoon from the Illinois Department of Public Health, which has been following the location of coronavirus cases throughout the state. She added that Madison County is the sixteenth county to report a positive test.

Corona said the County Health Department is prepared for this situation and has been working hard to protect Madison County citizens.

“We manage communicable diseases and disease outbreaks day in and day out,” she said. That’s what we do.”

Madison County Board Chairman Kurt Prenzler also said the county has made a formal emergency disaster declaration, allowing the county to receive federal and state funds. 

"We understand the public's concern and uncertainties surrounding this virus," he said. "We know this isn't easy and change can be uncomfortable, but we are asking the public to do its part for the greater community good."

Corona reassured the public that the Madison County Health Department expects to see cases associated with travel and expects to see more cases reported, especially now that more tests are being done.  

“Don’t be alarmed if you see an increase in cases,” she said.

“The virus is actually doing everything that we’ve been told that it’s going to do,” she added.

What they want to get ahead of is preventing community transmission of the virus, she continued.

“We’re going to need to get through this together,” Corona said.

Corona reminded people to practice social distancing, good basic health hygiene such as washing hands and using hand sanitizer, give blood, and look after the vulnerable in the community. Corona urged people to use this situation as a chance to stay home and enjoy spending time with their families.

She said it is important for everyone to practice these steps even if they are not feeling ill, as everyone’s cooperation will affect transmission and the county’s response to the pandemic.

“We do not want to overwhelm our healthcare system,” she said. “We do not want to overwhelm our communities.”

Corona said the coronavirus is a respiratory virus with symptoms including respiratory distress, cough, and a high fever of 103 degrees or higher.

Corona also urged the public to get their information from credible sources.

“This is a very fluid situation, and information changes daily, by the hour,” she said.

Corona said a press conference was held because this is the first confirmed case, but any additional cases will be reported during Gov. JB Pritzker’s daily press conferences on the coronavirus numbers.

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