McDonough Co. releases first COVID-19 results

MCDONOUGH CO., Ill. (NEWS3) — The community is finding out for the first time how many people have been tested for the coronavirus in McDonough County.

County health officials released a chart on Facebook showing 37 people have tested negative for the virus as of Monday afternoon. Eight tests were still pending. The county still has no positive cases. Authorities said these numbers may include residents of other counties and should be considered an estimate.

This is the first-ever report officials have released to the public in the weeks surrounding the outbreak. Two weeks ago, NEWS3 asked the McDonough County Health Department for the latest numbers of people tested and how well-equipped McDonough District Hospital is to handle patients who may contract the virus.

NEWS3 reached out to MDH officials as well for information on how well-suited they are to combat the disease, but hospital officials did not respond. Days after NEWS3 reached out to MDH, the hospital rolled out its first-known testing site for the coronavirus in the area.

Health officials across the NEWS3 viewing area continue to stress not everyone needs to be tested for COVID-19. Local agencies remind residents, individuals will not be tested unless they meet certain criteria. Healthcare providers are expected to refer patients to a testing site if they have determined symptoms of the virus. Patients are urged to not show up to a facility without calling their primary healthcare provider first.

The only confirmed case in the NEWS3 viewing area is in Knox County where one person tested positive. Warren County last reported eight people tested negative overall. Schuyler County Health Department, which is overseen by the McDonough County Health Department, has not released its latest number of tests conducted.

Monday, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,006 new cases of the coronavirus and 33 new deaths. This brings the total of cases to 12,262 and 307 deaths in Illinois. MDH Board of Directors member Dr. Curtis Farr said based on federal data, Illinois is to peak over the next two weeks.

For tips on how to protect yourself and prevent the spread of COVID-19 or to learn about the symptoms, you can go to the CDC’s website by clicking here.