Note: this is an evolving story and will be updated continuously.
The first case of coronavirus in Champaign County has been confirmed.
A patient, who was seen in the Carle Emergency Department last week, has tested positive for COVID-19.
The resident is a female in her 50s and is in home isolation and recovering. Public health officials are identifying and contacting all close contacts, Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (CUPHD) said.
“We are asking for the community’s assistance and we need people to take action now to reduce the number of cases at any one time so that our health care system is not overwhelmed. Continue to practice good preventive measures, stay home when you are sick, and avoid crowded places,” said Julie Pryde, Public Health Administrator.
It’s very possible that more cases will be announced soon.
“We were anticipating this case and others and we are expecting more next week,” Pryde said during the press conference. “Currently we have over 50 cases that have been submitted and are pending test results. We know cases are out there and we all have to do what we can.”
The patient had been in contact with someone who recently traveled to Italy, Pryde said.
Pryde mentioned that investigators will be figuring out who might have been exposed, and will make as many notifications as possible. The notifications will go to people who were within six feet of the patient for 10 minutes or longer, and those people will be told to self-quarantine and check for symptoms.
“Investigators go out and basically they go out 14 days from the onset of systems and figure out where she had been and who she had been contact with,” Pryde said.
While there is a recommended self-quarantine of 14 days if knowingly exposed to coronavirus, the standard for releasing a patient who had tested positive is more stringent.
“We still require two negative tests until we release from isolation,” Pryde said.
Carle employees received an email on Sunday afternoon confirming that a patient seen in the Carle Emergency Department tested positive for COVID-19.
“This patient was also seen in two ambulatory locations and is currently being self-isolated at home,” the email reads. Carle was working to identify the healthcare providers who came in contact with the patient.
Carle has now implemented new plans for triaging patients, it posted on Twitter on Saturday afternoon. The goal: to quickly identify and isolate any potentially infected patients and protect others.
Carle has begun forward triage at its Emergency Department in Urbana, and is working to implement this process at Convenient Care locations and regional Emergency Departments. You may see temporary structures positioned outside these entrance doors to better assess patient needs and to curtail potential spread of illness.
Effective immediately, Carle is also restricting visitors to the hospital. For those coming to the Emergency Department, the medical staff is asking people to come alone whenever possible; if not possible, Carle is limiting each patient to one support person.
OSF has implemented an online chatbot named Claire to limit those who suspect they have the coronavirus from going to its facilities.
The chatbot will listen for symptoms of COVID-19 and ask relevant follow-up questions, such as travel history, and whether a person is aware if they’ve been exposed to others with the illness.If necessary, Clare will direct patients to a newly established triage line.
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Other patients have been identified in Central Illinois, including Peoria, Springfield, and Mattoon-Charleston areas in the last 48 hours.
On Saturday, the first diagnosed Central Illinois cases of coronavirus were announced, from Peoria to Springfield to Coles County (Mattoon-Charleston).
- A patient who was admitted at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield tested positive for COVID-1. The patient is critically ill and in intensive care, the Sangamon County Department of Public Health said in a statement Saturday.
- In the Peoria metro area, a man in his 70s, was said to be isolated at home and recovering. The Peoria Journal Star reported that the man lives in Woodford County.
- A patient at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center tested positive, the Journal Gazette & Times-Courier reported. The patient was treated in the SBLHC emergency room and the Illinois Department of Public Health notified the hospital late Friday. The hospital said the patient resides in its 10-county service area but didn’t provide any other information due to patient confidentiality laws.