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COVID-19 Press Release: March 26, 2020

Published Date:

COVID-19 Update: March 26, 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 each day as necessary.

At the time of this press release, we are announcing two new positive cases in Sangamon County, one is a Sangamon County resident. The total number of confirmed cases between our five organizations is eight, including one death. Currently, two of the active cases are hospitalized at Memorial Medical Center.

Memorial Medical Center has twelve inpatients currently under investigation HSHS St. John’s Hospital has six inpatients currently under investigation.

Essential Businesses-Employee and Public Safety Tips

  • Promote frequent and thorough hand washing by employees and customers. If soap and running water are not immediately available, provide alcohol-based hand sanitizes containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • Ensure a clean and sanitary environment, disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, tables, desks, handrails, shopping carts, and card readers.
  • For groceries, banks, and other essential establishments, consider implementing dedicated times exclusively available for highly vulnerable populations.
  • Ensure that the business is organized in such way to avoid close contact between people.
  • Have a plan to screen employees every day to identify the key symptoms to watch for such as fever, cough and shortness of breath.
  • Encourage employees to stay home if they are sick.
  • Encourage respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes.
  • Discourage employees from using other employees’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible.



The FDA has not approved therapies for the treatment of COVID-19 other than supportive care. Treatment utilizing the combination of Hydroxychloroquine/Zithromax/Zinc is the current hot topic and is not approved by the FDA at this time. A study would be warranted to test the efficacy and safety of any purported therapies/new therapies/home therapies before the FDA would make the recommendations.

Chloroquine is usually used for treatment of malaria or that of a certain connective tissue diseases such as lupus erythematosus or lupus arthritis and now that medication is becoming in short supply.

There must be a balance between making something with the potential beneficial effect, but also need to see if it is safe. Hydroxychloroquine, as well as, Zithromax have the potential significant side effects of headache, nausea, vomiting, rash, hair loss, retinal damage, as well as, cardiac rhythm abnormalities, especially when used in other combinations of medications. Side effects would especially be prominent in those with liver disease and other types of problems that would be associated with liver disease. We would strongly advise not using an unproven cocktail of medications or therapies with the belief that maybe "it might help" when, in fact, it has not been proven to be beneficial.

This is not to discount the possibility that it might. However, rapidly progressing evaluations of various therapies are ongoing and, if necessary, there would need to be ramp up of the production of these medications. The medications currently being stockpiled by individuals could actually be detrimental to the health of others who actually may need it. Anecdotal "successes" cannot be used as reliable source to state that the therapy is beneficial; as it is unknown who the receiver of the therapies actually are or what their disease processes are.


Dr. Brian D. Miller, M.D., F.A.C.C.
President of Sangamon County Board of Health


  Public Testing Private Testing
Authorized by: County Health/IDPH Hospitals/Clinics
Results Wait Time 1-2 days on average 4-6 days on average
Testing Priority Symptomatic hospital patients, symptomatic person in congregate settings. Symptomatic hospital patients, symptomatic person in congregate settings, symptomatic person that has been in contact with a confirmed positive case, symptomatic senior citizens, symptomatic healthcare workers, symptomatic immune suppressed people, and symptomatic pregnant women.
Receiving Results County Health County Health and Hospitals/Clinic
Contact Tracing County Health County Health




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