The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread person-to-person. The virus was first identified in Wuhan, China.
COVID-19 has spread throughout the world, including the United States, since it was detected and was declared a public health emergency for the U.S. on January 31, 2020 to aid the nation’s healthcare community in responding to the threat. The World Health Organization announced March 11, 2020 that the spread of coronavirus qualifies as a global pandemic.
In addition, Gov. JB Pritzker issued a disaster proclamation March 9, 2020 regarding COVID-19 that gives the state access to federal and state resources to combat the spread of this newly emerged virus.
On Friday, March 13, Gov. Pritzker announced all schools will close from Tuesday, March 17 through Monday, March 30 to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
View the Governor’s news release here.
View the Governor’s Executive Order here.
While this new virus is a serious public health concern, currently, the risk to the general public remains low.
The LaSalle County Health Department (LCHD), along with our local healthcare partners, local health departments in the region, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are monitoring the situation and working to protect the public’s health.
What are the symptoms?
Patients who get sick with COVID-19 develop mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:
- difficulty breathing
CDC believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure.
How does it spread?
Although the virus that causes COVID-19 probably emerged from an animal source, it is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
How is it treated?
There is no specific medicine to treat COVID-19 infection at this time, though studies are underway. People sick with COVID-19 should receive supportive care from a health care professional. Supportive care means care to help relieve symptoms; for example, medicine to bring down fevers, or oxygen if a patient’s oxygen level is low.
How is COVID-19 diagnosed?
Diagnosis occurs through laboratory testing of respiratory specimens and serum (blood). Some coronavirus strains cause the common cold and patients tested by their health care provider may test positive for these types. At this time, the COVID-19 strain can only be detected at a public health laboratory.
What are testing guidelines?
Testing at the State Lab is limited and protocols are in place to prioritize those tested.
Currently, the State Public Health laboratories are only testing hospitalized patients and clusters in a congregate setting that serves more vulnerable populations such as a supportive care facility, assisted living facility, group home, homeless shelter, or correctional setting.
Testing guidelines have changed frequently throughout this situation. There could be pending results tested under previous guidelines.
Testing is requested by healthcare providers at hospitals and then authorized by IDPH and/or the local health department.
If the individual is not approved for testing, the healthcare providers can request testing through a commercial lab.
There is limited commercial testing available locally. Negative testing conducted through commercial labs is not required to be reported to local health departments, however, we will still be notified of any positive cases from IDPH State Lab or commercial labs.
How can I protect myself and my family?
As with any respiratory virus, you can protect yourself and others by taking everyday common sense actions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Remember that it is also flu season and LCHD recommends getting vaccinated, taking everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs, and taking flu antivirals if prescribed.
Do I need to wear a mask?
CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19
What can travelers do to protect themselves and others?
LCHD strongly recommends avoiding travel to countries with level 3 travel notices, including layovers at airports, because there is widespread sustained transmission of COVID-19 in these countries and the risk of acquiring the virus is high. Because COVID-19 can be more serious in older adults and those with chronic medical conditions, people in these groups should also consider postponing travel to destinations with level 2 travel notices. LCHD does not recommend canceling or postponing travel to destinations with level 1 travel notices because the risk of COVID-19 is thought to be low. If you travel, take the following routine precautions:
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
- It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
The latest travel updates are available on CDC’s COVID-19 web page for travelers.
What if I recently traveled to a country or area affected by COVID-19 and got sick?
If you were in a country with a COVID-19 outbreak and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, within 14 days after you left, you should
- Seek medical advice – Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
- Avoid contact with others.
- Not travel on public transportation while sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to avoid spreading the virus to others.
- Wash your hands with soap and water immediately after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
- If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- What you need to know about COVID-19 (English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese)
- What to do if you are sick with COVID-19 (English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese)
- Stop the Spread of Germs Poster (English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese)
- Symptoms of Coronavirus Disease 2019 Poster (English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese)
Information for Specific Groups:
Guidelines for Response Partners
The LaSalle County Health Department is working closely with our partner agencies to monitor for and prepare for COVID-19 to ensure the health and safety of our community. This page contains resources for our partners agencies in preparing, coordinating, and responding to the spread of COVID-19.
Guidance for Healthcare Providers, click here
Guidance for First Responders
- CDC Guidance for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems and 911 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) for COVID-19
- What Fire Service and Emergency Medical Services Personnel Need to Know about Coronavirus Disease 2019
- Recommended Guidance for Preventing Spread of COVID-19 in High-risk Populations During Transport
Guidance for Law Enforcement
Guidance for Schools
- CDC Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools
- Get Your School Ready
- Checklist for Teachers, Parents, and Administrators
- FAQs for K-12 Schools and Childcare Program Administrators Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19)
- Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations
- IDPH School Guidance
- IDPH COVID-19 Checklist (K-12 Administrators)
- Schools and Institutions of Higher Education
Guidance for Communities
Guidance for Children/Daycare Centers
- Apply for emergency day care license under emergency rules that DCFS posted on Friday March 20, 2020
- Additional resources related to providing emergency day care services
- Interim Recommended Guidance for Preventing Spread of COVID-19 in Childcare/Daycare Centers
- Childcare for Essential Workers during COVID-19 Pandemic
Guidance for Medically Fragile Child
Guidance for Pregnant Women
Grocery Store Guidance
Blood Drive Guidance
Guidance for Correctional and Detention Facilities
Guidance for the Oral Health Community
Guidance for Faith-Based
Guidance for Funeral Homes
Guidance for Homeless Shelters
Guidance for Preventing Spread of COVID-19 in Hotels
Food Service Guidelines for COVID-19
Guidance for Businesses
Guidance for Pets and Animals
The Illinois Department of Public Health has established a COVID-19 hotline and email address to answer questions from the public:
- 1(800) 889-3931
For additional information, go to the IDPH and CDC webpages on 2019 novel coronavirus:
LaSalle County COVID-19 Test Results
Information will be updated daily by 3:30 pm
Testing through commercial labs is not required to be reported to LCHD, however, we will still be notified of any positive cases from IDPH State Lab or commercial labs.
COVID-19 Illinois Positive Cases
Click map below: