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COVID-19 Press Release: March 27, 2020

Published Date:

COVID-19 Update: March 27, 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 one new positive case in Sangamon County. The total number of confirmed cases between our five organizations is nine, including one death. Currently, two of the active cases are hospitalized at Memorial Medical Center.

Memorial Medical Center has fifteen inpatients currently under investigation HSHS St. John’s Hospital has seventeen inpatients currently under investigation.

What can you do?

The impact of COVID-19 has been severe globally and locally. This is a fast pandemic with a potential to spread very quickly. This is different from influenza or ‘the flu’ in that it does not take medications to treat this illness. It does not have an effective vaccine for prevention and people do not have immunity for COVID-19 as this is a novel virus that is unique in not sharing it’s immune features with other respiratory viruses. It is critical that we slow the spread of the virus. At this point, the measures we have in place for controlling the spread are social distancing and the stay-at-home order. These measures work and are very effective in “ flattening the curve” and slowing the virus, as we have seen from other countries where they have been able to keep the infection and mortality to a minimum with strict adherence to these public health measures. Although these measures seem inconvenient, they are absolutely critical at this point. The viral infection course is not yet well known. We will have more information about the extent of this infection in our community.

Until then it is critical to take these measure seriously to do what we can to help with this pandemic.

Dr. Vidya Sundareshan, MD, MPH, FACP, FIDSA

Seeking non-COVID-19 care

People may feel anxious about seeking medical care for issues that are not COVID-19 related. We want to assure the public that you can feel safe in calling 911 or visiting a hospital or medical office for necessary care. Our facilities and first responders are following all infection control guidelines. We are taking steps, such as the outdoor triage at Emergency Departments and Respiratory Clinics, to ensure that those who have COVID-19 symptoms are kept isolated from other patients. While postponable visits and procedures are being delayed to conserve resources, the public should continue to seek other needed treatment. Please continue to consult your health care provider regarding any concerns. (If you are experiencing symptoms such as a fever or respiratory issues, please call ahead before visiting or advise 911 dispatch.)

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