WITHERS BROADCASTING — According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), there are around 4,600 cases of confirmed COVID-19 in the state and 66 deaths across 47 counties. Gov. J.B. Pritzker and health officials are warning that the upward curve is likely to continue. On Sunday President Donald Trump extended the shutdown until April 30th as the novel coronavirus continues to spread in the U.S. The announcement came after Dr. Anthony Fauci gave a stark warning that millions of Americans may contract the virus in the coming days and between 100,000 and 200,000 may die.
Locally, Jefferson County reported its first positive case last week. Clinton County is reporting its sixth coronavirus case, while Jackson County has reported a third case. Marion County just announced two confirmed cases of the virus. Bond, Fayette, Williamson, Washington, and Saline Counties are each reporting their first cases of COVID-19. The Infection Control Nurse at Crossroads Community Hospital, Mike Bierman, says to only get updates and information from trusted news sources.
More than likely, there are undocumented cases in multiple area counties and as more tests become available, the number of positive cases will continue to rise.
However, the number of cases can be reduced by adhering to public health guidelines on social distancing, washing hands frequently, disinfecting commonly touched surfaces, and staying home when you are ill. COVID-19 shares many symptoms with more common respiratory diseases. If you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, call your health care provider for further guidance.
The CDC reports over 122,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases across the U.S. as of Sunday, with more than 2,500 deaths. As of last Sunday, there were only about 33,000 confirmed cases across the country.