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Saline County resident tests positive for COVID-19


 
By Travis DeNeal tdeneal@dailyregister.com
updated: 3/29/2020 2:09 PM

SALINE COUNTY -- The Egyptian Health Department announced Sunday that a Saline County resident has tested positive for coronavirus.

It is the first known confirmed case in the county.

Angie Hampton, the CEO of the health department, said in a news release that the department received notification Sunday that a 49-year-old man had tested positive. The man is at home and doing well, according to the news release.

In addition, that man already was self-quarantined and followed appropriate guidelines prior to notification of the confirmed test results.

The man is believed to have been exposed to coronavirus through recent travel to another country for work.

Besides Egyptian Health Department and the individual, the Illinois Department of Public Health and the man's local health care provider have been notified of the confirmed case and are all monitoring the situation, according to the news release.

According to Hampton, health officials are conducting an investigation of the Saline County case. That includes speaking with people with whom the man may have been in contact with prior to diagnosis. Other individuals may be placed on home quarantine by health officials if those people had significant exposure.

Hampton reminds the public that individuals exposed to COVID-19 currently may not show symptoms. The quarantine period allows time for symptoms to develop and pass without posing risk of transmission to others. Hampton asked those contacted by a public health official to respond promptly.

The case is the most recently announced in very far southern Illinois counties. Currently, there are three cases in Jackson County, and one each in Williamson and Franklin counties.

Hampton said the number of confirmed cases in the area likely will increase.

"We can expect more cases to be confirmed locally, as the number of tests being conducted is increasing. The number of cases can be reduced by adhering to public health guidance on social distancing, washing hands frequently, disinfecting commonly touched surfaces, and staying home when you are ill," Hampton said.

She noted that 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," Hampton said.

In addition, several COVID-19 hotlines have been established.

• Illinois Department of Public Health: (800) 889-3931 or online dph.sick.illinois.gov

• Southern Illinois Healthcare: (844) 988-7800

• Ferrell Hospital (triage nurse): (618) 273-2275

Clinicians are there to answer questions, assess each caller and advise on next steps.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Illinois has risen significantly during the past week. According to IDPH, on Saturday, March 28, the confirmed total of COVID-19 in Illinois is 3,491 individuals.

The public is asked to follow and share trusted sources of information on COVID-19. The spread of incorrect information during disease outbreaks can lead people to take actions which may not be beneficial to their health or the health of others. Follow the CDC, IDPH, Illinois coronavirus website, EHD websites and social media accounts for such trusted information. Public health officials will not be releasing more specific details about this individual due to privacy issues.