TUSCOLA —The Douglas County man who was identified Wednesday as having contracted coronavirus, had recently traveled to neighboring counties, a health official said.
Amanda Minor, the administrator of the Douglas County Health Department, said that immediately after being notified Wednesday morning of the diagnosis of a man in his 50s, members of her staff immediately went to work tracing the person’s steps and alerting people and businesses he may come into contact with. During those conversations, department staffers reiterated the importance and proper procedures for sanitizing and keeping social distance.
Minor said some of those on the list are in neighboring counties, but didn’t identify which ones. Douglas county is surrounded by Champaign, Piatt, Vermilion, Edgar, Coles and Moultrie counties.
“Everyone needs to know that it is everywhere,” Minor said of virus. State health officials announced 330 new cases of COVID-19 statewide in the daily press briefing Wednesday. Currently, the state is reporting a total of 1,865 cases in 35 of its 102 counties. There have been 19 deaths.
“I think this should be a wake-up call to everyone,” she said and hopefully entice people to take precautions and adhere to the recommendations to stay home and avoid contact.
As of Wednesday, the Douglas County Health Department was aware of 21 people in the county having been tested for coronavirus. In addition to the one positive test, there have been eight negative tests. There are 12 pending tests, and those individuals are self-quarantined, Minor said.
The county board adopted a seven-day disaster declaration March 18, which was extended another 45 days Wednesday, she said.
Minor said an emergency committee has been meeting for the past three weeks, and that she feels “very confident” in the agencies and the plan they have in place to address the challenges associated with the local battle against coronavirus.
“Douglas County Health Department, Douglas County (Emergency Management Agency), and all community partners are working tirelessly on our community-level response to COVID-19. Your adherence to public health guidance is imperative to keeping you, your family and our healthcare providers, first responders and other essential staff safe,” Minor said.
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