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Coronavirus Disease Confirmed In Central Illinois

In this image from a scanning electron microscope, the new coronavirus is in orange.
In this image from a scanning electron microscope, the new coronavirus is in orange.

COLES COUNTY – A patient has tested positive for COVID-19 in central Illinois, with at least one other case reported but not yet confirmed by state officials.

Sarah Bush Lincoln Health System in Mattoon is confirming a positive test of an individual who came to the emergency room.

“We knew in advance this person was coming in,” hospital spokeswoman Patty Peterson said Saturday in a telephone interview. “The patient was met in the parking lot and given protective equipment — masks and so forth — to put on.”

Peterson says the patient was brought in through an ambulance bay, “so that other patients weren’t exposed during the testing.”

After the test, the patient was sent home to self-quarantine. The Illinois Department of Public Health notified the patient of the positive result on Friday.

Citing patient confidentiality, Peterson would only say the individual resides in Sarah Bush Lincoln’s service area, which includes Clark, Coles, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Jasper, Moultrie and Shelby counties.

Peterson said she expected more information would be released by the Illinois Department of Public Health at the state’s daily coronavirus briefing, set for 2:30 p.m. in Chicago. (This story will be updated after that briefing.)

Media Reports: COVID-19 Case In Peoria

Meanwhile, WHOI-TV and the Peoria Journal Star are reporting another positive case of coronavirus disease at UnityPoint Health in Peoria, though that has not been independently confirmed by public radio.

Contacted by NPR member station WCBU-FM in Peoria, a spokeswoman at UnityPoint Methodist Hospital referred inquiries to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

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