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COVID-19 Press Release: March 23, 2020

Published Date:

COVID-19 Update: March 23, 2020
This is a daily joint communication from the Sangamon County Department of Public Health along with Memorial Health System, HSHS St. John’s Hospital, Springfield Clinic and SIU Medicine updating you on the status of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Sangamon County. This communication will come at approximately 6 p.m. each day as necessary.

At the time of this press release, we are announcing one new positive case in Sangamon County. The total number of confirmed cases between our five organizations is five, including one death. Currently, all of the active cases are no longer hospitalized. *These numbers indicate current inpatient numbers at hospitals in Sangamon County. They do not include the status of testing conducted in private labs.



March 23, 2020 as of 3 pm      
  COVID-19 Positive new today COVID-19 person(s) under investigation (PUI) COVID-19 Deaths
Memorial Medical Center 0 11 1
HSHS St. John's Hospital 0 6 0



Personal Protective Equipment Supply
We have received many media inquiries about our supplies and equipment. Please understand that the amount of any commodity on hand, such as an N95 mask, is constantly changing, as supplies are used and new deliveries arrive. All of our healthcare organizations have been carefully monitoring our supply needs for several months now, as the potential impact of COVID-19 became clear. We have taken steps to analyze our processes, and to implement appropriate conservation measures to make sure that personal protective equipment and supplies are being used for the instances in which they are required. In addition, please respect that the experts regarding supplies are deeply involved in operational efforts and may not be readily available for interviews.

We have worked to provide vinyl clings for our community’s healthcare workers to put on their vehicles. Each cling features a pink heart with the words “Hearts for Healthcare”. The clings have been made available to Memorial Health System, Hospital Sisters Health System, Springfield Clinic and SIU Medicine healthcare and to various County Departments of Public Health workers and first responders in the communities we serve.

Donations from the Community
At the request of the Springfield medical community, Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach will start accepting donations from the community related to COVID-19 supply shortages on Wednesday, March 25 from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. The donations can
include clean masks (including N95 masks), handmade, sewn masks, gowns, gloves, hand sanitizer, bleach wipes and alcohol wipes to help with the national shortage during the COVID-19 outbreak.Individuals can drop off their donations at Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach located at 4930 Laverna Road in Springfield, Ill. starting on Wednesday, March 25 from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. Collection will continue on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. until Friday, April 3rd. Please call (217) 525-8843 if you have any questions. Community members should only drop off donations at this designated location in Sangamon County, do not bring them to the hospitals or clinics.

COVID-19 Hotline
The Sangamon County Department of Public Health has a phone line dedicated to answering questions about COVID-19. Beginning Monday, March 23rd, County Health personnel will answer calls between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.,7 days a week. County Health will look into expanding hotline hours if necessary. After 4:30 p.m. a test through County Health can only be authorized under extreme circumstances. After hours if you do not have a medical emergency, and you suspect you could have been exposed and/or infected by the COVID-19 virus, call the IDPH 24-hour hotline at 1-800-889-3931 for further guidance.

If you have a medical emergency and you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are being evaluated for the virus, dial 911. Notify the dispatcher of your medical emergency first, and tell them that you have COVID-19 or are being evaluated for the virus. If possible, put on a face mask before medical personnel arrive.

*The discrepancy between total number and County Health number is created because the hospitals are caring for patients from outside counties and at multiple locations, and because some of the tests are being done by independent labs, rather than by IDPH/County Health.

Private/Independent Testing
As these updates continue and private/independent testing becomes more common, anticipate testing from private labs to be included in the daily totals. County Health will be working with private labs to develop a tracking system with the most up to date numbers. In the coming days when we can provide an exact count and details of private lab test results we will update our reporting charts to include all tests issued within Sangamon County.

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