March 5, 2020
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Cook County Department of Public Health today announced a fifth Illinois resident has tested positive at the IDPH laboratory for COVID-19 and are awaiting confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The fifth individual is a Cook County resident in his 20s who flew into Chicago O’Hare Airport earlier this month after traveling to Italy and is hospitalized at Rush University Medical Center. Public health officials are identifying and contacting all close contacts.
“While we expect to see additional cases, we are not seeing widespread transmission of the virus in Illinois and we believe the risk to the general public remains low,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “We understand people are concerned, but we want to reassure residents that we have been working with local health departments, hospitals, clinicians, the CDC, and other state agencies around the clock and are using every resource at our disposal to prepare.”
Currently IDPH reports that the state has three positive and two presumed positive cases of COVID-19.
Yesterday in a press release, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced several actions which it says are aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus. Specifically, CMS is issuing a call to action to healthcare providers across the country to ensure they are implementing their infection control procedures. Three CMS memos cover specific issues related to COVID-19, including the temporary focus of surveys on infection control and other issues, infection control in nursing homes and guidance on patient triage, placement and hospital discharge.
The latest WHO situation report announced four new countries reporting cases of COVID-19: Argentina, Chile, Poland and Ukraine. There are more than 93,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in 76 countries, with more than 80,000 cases in China.
Current CDC figures show a total of 99 confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. in 13 states, with an additional 49 cases among repatriated persons to the U.S. Ten deaths have been reported.
Additional COVID-19 resources are available on IHA’s website.