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03-29-2020 Unified Leadership COVID-19 Press Release

March 29, 2020

Lee County Unified Executive Leadership Team COVID-19 Update:  March 29, 2020

IDPH Reports 1,105 New Cases in Illinois for a total of 4,596 in 47 Illinois Counties

The State Death Toll has Risen to 65

There are still no reported cases in Lee County

The United States now accounts for 136,880 of the worlds’ 713,171 cases of COVID-19 and the outlook is not good for our region.  Hospitals in New York have been overrun, and Chicago is bracing for impact.  Chicago is projected to become one of the new epicenters of the COVID-19 epidemic.  While there are no confirmed cases in Lee County, local leaders expect there are unknown or unconfirmed cases.  Our close proximity to Chicago increases the threat to our community. 

One positive test was produced by KSB Hospital; however, the person who tested positive was from Bureau County.  Tracking procedures put in place by KSB and the Lee County Health Department determined that the infected person traveled directly to KSB, only had contact with testing staff in the drive thru testing area and returned to Bureau County.  This person made no stops other than the KSB drive thru in Dixon and has not exposed any other members of our community. 

Chicago to Convert Portions of McCormick Place into COVID-19 Treatment Facility:

The City of Chicago has released this statement, “The City is working in partnership with the State of Illinois, the Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA and MPEA to develop capacity for a large quantity of hospital beds to serve residents in need of care as COVID-19-related hospitalizations are expected to surge in the coming weeks. The temporary health site at McCormick Place will function as a field hospital, providing a large quantity of beds. We remain focused on working in partnership to build up resources and staffing for this site and across the system so that we can combat COVID-19, alleviate added stress to our hospitals and healthcare workers, and ensure patients across Chicago receive the care they need."

This announcement comes on a day where Illinois released the highest spike in new COVID-19 cases.  Today, the director of the IDPH announced 1,105 new cases bringing the total number of lab confirmed cases in Illinois to 4,596.   The state death toll has climbed to 65.  There are now 28 reported cases in our IDPH region.

City of Dixon:

The City of Dixon is now working with twelve businesses who have contacted the City of Dixon with interest in the Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program.  City staff and Dixon Chamber of Commerce met via Zoom video conference earlier today and have put in place a plan to help Dixon businesses interested in this grant.  The city where the business is located must be the grant applicant.  There is significant work to be completed to apply for the city and the business.  The city has created a process to help streamline the work and make it easier for all involved. 

The city is expecting to have two rounds for this grant, but businesses are able to take action sooner than later.  Dixon businesses interested in this grant should email City Manager Danny Langloss at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

There are two specific grant programs offered through the State of Illinois:  one is the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program and the second is the Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program.  The Hospitality grant is due April 1st.  The Downstate Small Business grant just opened.  More detailed information will be available through a separate press release. A direct link to these State of Illinois resources can be found here:   https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/SmallBizAssistance/Pages/EmergencySBAIntiatives.aspx

President Donald Trump signed the $2.2 trillion stimulus bill that will put cash directly in the hands of many Americans and will also provide significant financial assistance to businesses through Small Business Association (SBA) loans.  It appears many of these will come with loan forgiveness if certain parameters are met. 

Local Numbers:

The lab does not provide test results after 12 p.m. on Saturday.  More test results for Lee County are expected tomorrow. 

Lee County State’s Attorney’s Office:

State’s Attorney Charley Boonstra would like to warn community members of scams related to COVID-19.  The Attorney General has reported robocalls and fraudulent emails are being transmitted to individuals hoping to get personal information like social security numbers, Medicare beneficiary information, credit card/ bank information, and other sensitive information. These individuals are also calling/emailing and offering products that are related to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as testing equipment, masks, and products that will sterilize or kill COVID-19.  Many of these scams are also related to stimulus checks that may be authorized by the federal government. S.A. Boonstra is urging our community to not give out personal information over the phone or email and to contact law enforcement if anyone suspects any of this activity occurring.

Feeding the Hungry:

“Feeding The Hungry” will be moving from The Living Well Church to the KSB Emergency Department Parking Lot on Tuesday and Thursday’s from 5:00 - 6:00 PM.  St. Anne Church hosts the program on Wednesday evenings from 6:00 - 7:00.  Meals are available to anyone in need with no questions asked.

“Essential” Business Questions:

If you are a business and not sure how you are affected by the "Stay at Home" Executive Order: The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) can help you decipher the Executive Order.

Please feel free to direct questions to 1-800-252-2923 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

The Governor’s Office is in the process of collecting and responding to questions regarding the state’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. To help facilitate that process, they have created an email address, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., where citizens may send questions, comments and recommendations. The Governor’s staff will then compile all inquiries and respond with answers.    

What to do if you think you have COVID-19: (UPDATED INFORMATION)

During the current Corona Virus outbreak, individuals with symptoms SHOULD NOT GO to health care facilities such as hospitals, clinics, and urgent care centers without CALLING FIRST.  Instead, they can seek care by using one of the following options:

  • • Use the “KSB Care Anywhere” virtual care app (https://ksbhospital.zipnosis.com/) for a free 5 question screening in order to help differentiate your symptoms between the virus and other seasonal maladies. While a credit card is required for a more involved assessment, no charges will be applied if a COVID-19 testing referral is made.
  • • KSB is offering a Coronavirus HOTLINE, by which symptoms can be evaluated against federal screening guidelines, and if appropriate, a referral is made to their Drive-Thru Screening site. The screening site is available ONLY through the hotline and between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm on weekdays by calling 815-285-7777.
  • • Residents with a Primary Care Practitioner can also CALL their office for advice. Again, CALL FIRST before going to the office.
Residents can go to the following websites for additional information:
Go to KSB, IDPH, or CDC websites.  Lee County Health Department provides regular updates on its Facebook page.

For general questions about COVID-19, call the IDPH hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or 211.

Authority:
Lee County Health Department
KSB Hospital
City of Dixon
Lee County Emergency Management
Lee County Sheriff
Last modified on May 05, 2020 - 2:25 pm