Winnebago County's First COVID-19 Case Confirmed

Winnebago County’s public health director Sandra Martell says a man in his 60s is in good condition, recovering in home isolation — he was the county’s first confirmed case of COVID-19. Martell says he had no known contact with anyone else with COVID-19, so his is assumed to have been transmitted through community contact.

The following is a news release from Mercyhealth, where the man was treated:

On March 10, Mercyhealth’s Javon Bea Hospital-Riverside treated a patient with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Lab results were sent to the Illinois Department of Public Health and returned with a positive result for COVID-19. The Centers of Disease Control will confirm the result. The patient is currently on home isolation in good condition.

Mercyhealth doctors, nurses and support staff are specially trained to respond in the event a patient presents, and tests positive for COVID-19 or any other infectious disease. All Mercyhealth hospitals are equipped with negative pressure rooms for isolation. These rooms prevent airborne particles from circulating to other rooms and protect other patients within the hospital. The patient has remained in full isolation, and our team is working closely with local resources and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention to scrupulously follow protocol and provide the best care to this patient, while protecting staff and the community.

The safety of all our patients, employees and community is a top priority. If you are experiencing respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing we suggest that you call your physician before you visit, or use Mercyhealth Virtual Visit Now for a safe, convenient way to get expert medical advice from the comfort of your home. Mercyhealth cannot diagnose COVID-19 through Virtual Visit Now, but your remote care provider can screen you, answer your questions, and recommend what you should do next, while helping you reduce the risk of spreading infections.

The public can help prevent the spread of COVID-19, influenza and other respiratory illnesses by:

· Washing hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.

· Covering your cough and sneezing into your upper sleeve or a tissue that you throw away.

· Cleaning frequently used surfaces often and increase the cleaning of frequently touched surfaces such as keyboards.

· Avoid touching eyes and mouth. Use a clean tissue paper if you do so.

· Stay home if you are not feeling well.

For questions about COVID-19, call the Illinois Department of Public Health hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email DPH.SICK@Illinois.gov.