Southern IL Prepares for First Cases of COVID-19
By West Kentucky Star Staff
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS - On Friday, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced 163 new cases of COVID-19 in Illinois.

This brings the number of reported cases in Illinois to a total of 585 in 25 counties.

The Southern Seven Health Department says that there have been no positive cases of COVID-19 in the Southern 7 Region comprised of Alexander, Hardin, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, and Union counties, although they anticipate that this will change in the coming weeks.

The department has implemented several plans in order to preserve public health and safety.

Public health and WIC clinics are seeing patients via a new "pull-up" policy. Individuals are asked to call upon arrival instead of entering the building.  If they are asymptomatic, they will be called into the office when the nurse is available. 

Head Start sites are now closed. Meals are being prepared a week at a time and handed out to the Head Start children and any child that wants them.

There have been two COVID-19 hotlines established for the Southern 7 region:

•Massac Memorial Hospital (7am-7pm) 1-618-638-1344

•Southern Illinois Healthcare (24 hour hotline) 1-844-988-7800

As the number of cases in the state continues to rise, the state of Illinois is working to increase testing capacity by working with Illinois hospitals to implement testing within their facilities. Additionally, the state is working with the US 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 health care workers.

The state has also been assessing recently closed hospitals to determine the possibility of reopening these facilities in order to provide medical care for individuals with the virus.

For more information, you can visit the links below.

On the Net:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Southern 7 Health Department
Illinois Department of Public Health

Published 02:00 AM, Saturday Mar. 21, 2020
Updated 08:27 AM, Saturday Mar. 21, 2020



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