March 18, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Madison County announces first case of Cornavirus
EDWARDSVILLE — Officials announced this week that Madison County has its first positive case of coronavirus, or COVID-19.
Chairman Kurt Prenzler and Director of Madison County Health Department Toni Corona held a press conference Tuesday night to make the announcement.
“We were notified by the Illinois Department of Public Health Tuesday afternoon that a man in his 30s tested positive for coronavirus,” Prenzler said.
Prenzler said the man recently traveled to a high risk area and that he is at home in isolation, but doing well.
“Our hearts go out to him and his family as they go through this experience,” Prenzler said.
Illinois had its first coronavirus death on Tuesday and the count for positive cases in the state for Wednesday was 288, which includes Madison County, and the number tested, 2052.
Corona said the county is limited on the information it can share about a patient who tested positive.
“We felt it was important to share with the public that we did receive a positive test result,” Corona said.
Corona emphasized they expect to see more cases.
“Since testing occurrence has been increasing, we are likely to see an increase in positive cases in Madison County, and this is to be expected,” she said. “Do not be alarmed by rising numbers, because when you look for disease you often find it.”
She said everyone can be assured that the county’s health department is prepared and has been working for weeks to protect the public’s health during this pandemic.
Prenzler signed an emergency declaration Tuesday that will enable assistance from our state and federal partners.
“We understand the public’s concern and uncertainty surrounding this virus,” he said.
He said the Madison County Health Department would continue to follow the recommendations of the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help slow the spread of the virus.
“We know this is a hardship for many, but this is about protecting the health and well-being of everyone,” Prenzler said.
Corona said she wants the public to feel confident in Madison County knowing that they are partnering with local hospitals and key community agencies in the response effort. She said the public is being asked to make short-term sacrifices for the good of the entire community, especially those most vulnerable to this virus, which includes older people and those with severe chronic medical conditions.
She said she understands people are concerned and there are actions they can take to feel more in control when there is chaos. Those things include social distancing, good health hygiene, looking after the vulnerable populations, giving blood and enjoying this time with your family.
“It is crucial at this time for people to stay near home and in small numbers to help flatten the curve,” she said. “This effort will help decrease the spread and not to overwhelm public health, hospitals and other resources.”
Corona said COVID-19 is a respiratory virus and anyone experiencing the key symptoms including shortness of breath, such as respiratory distress, high fever over 100.3 degrees, and a cough, please call your health care provider.
Corona said the public should get information from credible public health sources, which include the county health department’s website, www.madisonchd.org, or on the IDPH or CDC websites. Also visit the health department’s Facebook and Twitter pages for links to information.
“Remember to stay calm, stay safe and stay home,” she said.