Champaign County is among the 13 Illinois counties now reporting cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
The patient is a Champaign County woman in her fifties. In announcing the case Sunday afternoon, the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District said she was tested for COVID-19 at Carle Hospital in Urbana, based on her symptoms and because she reported having contact with people who had traveled to Italy, where the number of cases is in the tens of thousands.
At a news conference, CUPHD administrator Julie Pryde predicted more Champaign County COVID-19 cases will follow.
“We are expecting more next week because we have currently over fifty cases that have been submitted and are pending test results,” said Pryde.
Earlier that afternoon, Govenor JB Pritkzer announced an order that all bars and restaurants in Illinois must shut down indoor service for two weeks, although delivery, drive-through and curbside pickup service could continue.
Pryde called the governor’s order a “wise choice” to slow down the spread of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, healthcare providers in Champaign County are taking extra steps to screen patients, due to coronavirus concerns. That was the case with the county’s first diagnosed COVID-19 patient. Carle Hospital’s Chief Quality Officer, Dr. Robert Healy, says calling ahead if you fear you may be infected is the best first step.
“Please call us first,” said Healy, who says patients are being screened even before they enter Carle’s buildings. “Call us if you have symptoms. We’ll find out what your symptoms are and tell you what we think is the best course of action. For the great majority of people, that will be to stay at home and remain isolated.”
Healy and officials with OSF Healthcare Heart of Mary Medical Center, as well as Christie Clinic, say they have all added new procedures to screen patients before entering their facilities. That’s to keep some from possibly spreading COVID-19, and protect other high-risk patients who could be infected.