Officials release more details on Schuyler Co. COVID-19 case

RUSHVILLE, Ill. (NEWS3) — Local health officials are releasing more information about the first positive coronavirus case reported in Schuyler County Wednesday.

Schuyler County Health Department announced Thursday the resident is a female in her 30s.

Officials said she does not report any significant travel. She is currently isolating at home and has been cooperative.

“With community spread of COVID-19 occurring across Illinois, it should be assumed that it is already in every county,” Schuyler County Health Department staff said.

Hancock County Health Department also reported Wednesday its first positive case was a resident in their 20s to 30s. Officials will not release any more information. They are conducting all possible contact tracing to investigate all possible exposures. Officials do not believe this case has any connection to a case reported April 1, when a resident from another county visited Hancock County.

Both counties said the patients are recovering at home and officials are conducting all possible contact tracing to investigate exposures.

“Anyone of us could be walking around not knowing that we have it,” Hancock County Community Health Director Melita Finney said. “Just like other illnesses, sometimes we don’t show symptoms, but the next person that gets it might be really sick. That’s why we all have to be on top of this and take it very seriously and make sure we’re doing everything we can individually to stop and reduce the spread.”

In the NEWS3 viewing area, here are the latest COVID-19 test results:

  • McDonough County: 0 positive, 44 negative, 7 pending
  • Schuyler County: 1 positive, unknown negative and pending
  • Hancock County: 1 positive, 22 negative, 5 pending
  • Warren County: 0 positive, 14 negative, 0 pending
  • Knox County: 1 positive, 73 negative, 17 pending

The county with the most coronavirus cases in west-central Illinois is in Adams County with 24 positive cases, 242 negative and 48 pending results.

“Some people will start having symptoms and are able to deal with it because they’re not really having trouble with shortness of breath for instance, but they may have a couple of the other symptoms,” Finney said. “Those people should just stay at home and get better instead of going and getting tested because it’s possible you can treat it at home.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,344 more COVID-19 cases Thursday and a total of 16,422 cases overall, including 528 deaths, in 81 counties in Illinois.

Health officials continue to urge everyone to take all safety precautions seriously by obeying the stay-at-home order, with the exception of essential needs. They stress for people to stay home if you are sick, wash your hands, cover your cough and sneezes, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, and practice social distancing.

“Now that two surrounding counties (Hancock and Schuyler) have announced a positive test, it reemphasizes the importance of social distancing, following the stay at home guidelines, and wearing a mask when possible if you are out in the public,” McDonough District Hospital Medical Staff President Jeff Sparks said in a MDH COVID-19 update. “Cloth masks may not stop someone from getting COVID-19, but they help contain your own secretions. If we follow these guidelines, we can help slow the spread of the virus.”

If you have any signs or symptoms such as fever, coughing or shortness of breath, you are urged to call your primary care provider for instructions on what to do.