OTTAWA – LaSalle County Health Department (LCDH) has confirmed three cases of COVID-19 in LaSalle County. The two most recent cases are a female in her 30s who had traveled to a known area of high exposure and confirmed cases, and a male in his 40s with no history of travel or contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19. Both individuals are recovering at home in isolation. Federal privacy restrictions prohibit the release of any additional information regarding these cases.
Public health officials are in the beginning stages of the investigations and are working diligently to identify and investigate all individuals who were in contact with the most recent cases. No further information regarding the investigations is available at this time.
In addition, no further information has been released on the first LaSalle County case, a female in her teens without a history of travel to an affected area and no connection to a known case of COVID-19, which was announced on March 19. That individual is also reportedly recovering at home in isolation.
LaSalle County Health Department Administrator, Julie Kerestes said, “We want to remind LaSalle County residents that both confirmed cases are considered to be community acquired, which makes it clear that community spread of the virus is present throughout the county. We continue to work with our local and state partners in a collaborative response effort to COVID-19. The LaSalle County Health Department remains dedicated to protecting the health and safety of our residents and doing what we can to prevent further spread of the virus.”
The Health Department expects to see additional cases and residents need to assume that they have been exposed to COVID-19. Every single LaSalle County resident can help by staying home, limiting the number of people they are in contact with, maintaining a 6-foot distance from others, and washing their hands. If someone develops symptoms of cough and fever, they should stay home and isolate themselves from others. Should symptoms worsen, they should contact their healthcare providers immediately.
On March 21, Governor Pritzker’s “Stay at Home Executive Order” went into effect and will remain in place at least until April 7. The order prohibits activities such as visiting the homes of friends and holding gatherings of any size. The order closes all non-essential establishments, including most retail, recreation and entertainment businesses. It does not prohibit essential activities such as going to the grocery store, taking your pet for a walk, or receiving medical care. Be mindful of those who are at a greater risk for contracting this virus, including older adults and those with certain health conditions. All of these measures will help reduce the number of people who become sick at any given time and the possibility of exhausting our health care resources. Stay home and stay healthy.
The LaSalle County Health Department encourages residents to stay informed on the evolving situation. Get the latest guidance for school, employers and community preparedness by visiting Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities on the CDC website [https://www.cdc. gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/ community/index.html] or by visiting the LaSalle County Health Department’s website at www.lasallecounty.org.
For general questions about COVID-19, call the IDPH hotline at 1-800-889- 3931 or e-mail [email protected] illinois.gov.