March 26, 2020
    Jackson County Health Department was notified this evening of a Jackson County resident who tested positive for Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).  The individual, a male in his late teens, is doing fair and is at home on isolation.  This is the second laboratory-confirmed positive of COVID-19 in Jackson County.  This individual is thought to have been exposed to the novel coronavirus through recent travel to the Chicago area.  This individual is not allowed to leave home until they are well and can no longer transmit the disease.    
    Public health officials have begun an investigation of this case, speaking with individuals who he may have come into contact with before this diagnosis.  Through this investigation, public health may place other individuals on home quarantine if they are determined to have had significant exposure.  Such individuals may not be symptomatic but are quarantined for a period of time which allows symptoms to develop and pass, without posing risk to others.  If you are contacted by public health officials, please respond promptly.
    The number of COVID-19 cases in Illinois has risen dramatically over the past week.  According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), there were 2,538 individuals confirmed with COVID-19 in Illinois today. 
    We can expect more cases to be confirmed locally, as the number of tests being conducted is increasing.  The number of cases can be reduced by adhering to the Governor’s stay at home order, washing hands frequently, disinfecting commonly touched surfaces, and maintaining space from others when in public.    
    COVID-19 shares many symptoms with more common respiratory diseases.  If you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, call your health care provider for further guidance.  In addition, Southern Illinois Healthcare (SIH) has established a 24-hour COVID-19 hotline at 1-844-988-7800.  Clinicians, there will answer questions, assess each caller and advise on the next steps for evaluation or potential testing.
    The public is asked to follow and share trusted sources of information on COVID-19.  The spread of incorrect information during disease outbreaks can lead people to take actions that may not be beneficial to their own health or the health of others.  Follow the CDC, IDPH and JCHD websites and social media accounts for such trusted information.  Public health officials will not be releasing more specific details about this individual due to privacy issues.
    Bart Hagston, Administrator