Lee County Unified Executive Leadership Team COVID-19 Update: March 16, 2020
As of today, there are 105 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 15 counties across Illinois. Yesterday, Whiteside County announced their first confirmed case. While there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lee County, it is safe to assume that there are unknown cases in our community. The Unified Executive Leadership Team continues to work closely together to provide timely, accurate, and reliable information to our community.
Today, Governor Pritzker issued an executive order prohibiting gatherings of more than 50 people. Tonight at 9:00 p.m., Governor’s Pritzker’s order to close all restaurants and bars will go into effect. Restaurants will be allowed to continue drive thru, curb side, and delivery operations.
Earlier this afternoon, KSB Hospital began testing for COVID-19. Residents may only be tested if they meet specific Center for Disease Control criteria. If you believe you meet this criteria, go to the KSB Hospital website at https://www.ksbhospital.com/locations/ksb-hospital/ and click on the “Virtual Care” Section.
If you think you have COVID-19, do not go to the hospital. Residents should call their doctor, use the KSB Hospital “Virtual Care”, or contact the KSB Hospital COVID-19 hotline at 815/285-7777. The hotline is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The Lee County Court’s Services Building and Old Lee County Court House are being limited to “essential business” only. The Lee County Sheriff is issuing a separate news release which contains more detail.
Earlier today we became aware of a “Hoax” which stated the entire country would be quarantined within the next 48 to 72 hours. Federal authorities have said that this is not true. This was just an internet “Hoax.”
Leaders continue to offer the following recommendations:
- Residents limit all non-essential movement outside of their homes.
- Suspension of operations of daycares/after school programs/childcare centers and preschools who serve more than 25 children.
- Conduct rigorous disinfecting and sanitizing of facilities that are open to the public. It is thought that this new strain of Coronavirus can live on surfaces for several days.
- Implementation of business policies that allow for flexibility for employees who are parents including limited hours, paid time off, teleworking and/or closure as feasible.
- Businesses should take aggressive steps to clean facilities several times a day. Steps should be taken to clean door knobs, areas on a door where people touch, countertops accessible to customers and any other area open to the public.
- Management should screen all employees for fever, cough and shortness of breath before beginning each shift.
- For restaurants choosing to offer the allowable services-As always, sick employees must be excluded from working. Employees should adhere to 6 feet social distancing and wash hands after every exchange of food or money with customers. The number of staff on each shift should be limited as much as possible.
The following are tips to help stop and prevent the spreading of COVID-19:
- Wash hands regularly, but definitely after every contact with another person.
- Hand sanitizer must have an alcohol content of at least 60% to be effective.
- Do not shake hands or make contact with another person.
- Allow six feet of personal space between you and another person.
- Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough.
- Regularly clean hard surfaces or objects. COVID-19 can live for an extended period of time on hard surface or object.
- Avoid non-essential travel.
The Unified Executive Leadership Team will continue to release information as it becomes available.
- For businesses: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html
- Facebook: Lee County IL Health Department
For general questions about COVID-19, call the IDPH hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or 211.