The Lake County Health Department reported 11 new cases of the coronavirus in Lake County since March 19. This brings the total number of Lake County residents who have tested positive for the disease to 49 since March 11, 2020. Public health officials continue to urge all residents to take precautions to limit the spread of the virus.
“In light of the ‘stay-at-home’ order issued by the State that goes into effect (Saturday) evening, we ask that all residents help us reduce new infections in Lake County,” said Lisa Kritz, Director of Prevention for the Lake County Health Department. “If you can, stay home. If you work in a sector providing essential services such as healthcare, pharmacies, government, childcare, or grocery stores, we need you to stay healthy. Everyone should continue to practice social distancing, wash your hands often, clean commonly touched surfaces daily, and absolutely stay home if you are sick.”
The Lake County Health Department has been working closely with healthcare providers and the Illinois Department of Public Health to arrange COVID-19 testing for Lake County residents. Currently, the Health Department can arrange testing through the IDPH lab for hospitalized patients with acute respiratory illness and those living in congregate settings, such as nursing homes and shelters.
Commercial labs in the area are continually working to increase their testing capacity, and people who have worsening respiratory symptoms are advised to contact their physician to seek testing. Residents who do not have a primary care provider can contact the Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center at 847-377-8800 to schedule an appointment.
According to IDPH, the State is working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Walmart, and Walgreens to set up drive-thru testing sites in the hardest hit areas of the state. These facilities will focus on senior citizens, first responders, and healthcare workers.
At this time, there is sufficient capacity in Lake County to care for those with severe illness who require hospitalization.
It is critically important that the community follow prescribed preventative measures such as social distancing and the 3 C’s to avoid getting sick:
- Clean hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol;
- Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or your elbow; and
- Contain illness by staying home if you are sick.
Testing is being prioritized for people with symptoms who have high risk of complications. This includes older adults living in congregate settings and those with chronic health conditions like heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes, and those with weakened immune systems. People who do not show any symptoms do not need to get tested.
A number of healthcare providers in Lake County currently have tests available. The PHEOC is working to collect information on the availability of testing in Lake County and will provide updates at www.lakecountyil.gov/coronavirus as it becomes available.
What to do if you are sick
If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, stay home. Distance yourself from others in the household and if possible, stay in your own bedroom and use your own bathroom. If your symptoms worsen, call your healthcare provider.
Do not walk into a healthcare facility, urgent care clinic, or hospital before calling. Discuss your symptoms with your doctor. If your doctor believes that you need to be tested for COVID-19, your doctor should call the Lake County Health Department Communicable Disease program to determine if you should be tested.
In accordance with Illinois Department of Public Health guidance, recommendations for reducing the spread of COVID-19 include:
- Stay home as much as possible.
- If gatherings are necessary, limit the number of people to 10.
- Call to check on family, neighbors, and older adults instead of visiting.
- Check with your healthcare provider about telehealth options.
Nursing Home Facilities
- Restrict all visitation except for certain compassionate care situations, such as end of life residents.
- Restrict all volunteers and non-essential health care personnel (e.g., barbers).
- Cancel all group activities and communal dining.
- Implement active screening of residents and healthcare personnel for fever and respiratory symptoms.
- Additional guidance for long-term care facilities is on the Illinois Department of Public Health website.
- The Health Department will continue to provide updates as recommendations change.
Visit www.lakecountyil.gov/coronavirus for updates on COVID-19 in Lake County and to sign up for the Lake County Health Department’s COVID-19 email newsletter.
For a list of government closures, visit: www.lakecountyil.gov/closures.
If you need assistance finding food, shelter, rent or utility assistance, or other essential services, CALL 211 or TEXT your zip code to 898211 to speak with someone who can help 24/7. For more information, visit https://211lakecounty.org/.
For general state and national information, please call the Illinois State Hotline at 1-800-899-3931, or visit the Illinois Department of Public Health website at dph.illinois.gov, or the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at coronavirus.gov.