CHICAGO (CBS)– State health officials confirm the wife of a patient at a hospital in Arlington Heights has tested positive for the coronavirus according to the Northwest Community Healthcare.
That brings the number of confirmed cases in Illinois to four.
The Illinois Department of Public Health said the couple are in their 70s. She is being quarantined at home and complying with health officials. In both cases, the patients are reported to be in good condition.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) are today announcing that a fourth Illinois patient has tested positive for COVID-19. Read more: https://t.co/TZGbyLe9Bv
— IDPH (@IDPH) March 2, 2020
“The tests conducted in Illinois resulted in presumptive positives for COVID-19,” hospital officials said in a written statement. “The positive test results will have to be confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lab later Monday.
The patient is hospitalized in isolation and CDC protocols have been implemented.”
According to the IDPH, symptoms reported among patients have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Right now, the virus has not been found to be spreading widely in the U.S., and the risk to the general public remains low.
Public health officials are encouraging the public to remain vigilant about keeping germs from spreading, by covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands with warm soap and water, and staying home when sick.
The two other cases were a couple who tested negative for the virus in February. The couple has been released from the hospital.
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker went to shop and eat in Chinatown Monday afternoon to quell fears of the neighborhood being dangerous to visit. Several restaurants and shops have reported a drop in business since news of coronavirus and its origins from China.
Pritzker was joined by Illinois Representative Theresa Mah (D-2nd) and Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th) for a lunch and shopping excursion and encouraged everyone to visit the neighborhood.
I’m glad to be in one of Chicago’s greatest neighborhoods today with Rep. Mah, Sen. Munoz and other local leaders to support the family-owned businesses that are the lifeblood of this community.
We’re here to send a message loud and clear: Chinatown is open for business. pic.twitter.com/ZCixA2uCJ9
— Governor JB Pritzker (@GovPritzker) March 2, 2020
Pritzker said that while the coronavirus situation continues to change by the hour with more cases being reported,d he said the risk to the general public remains low.
He said he was on a conference call Monday with Vice President Mike Pence, who was tapped by President Trump to tackle coronavirus outbreak and monitoring information.
Pritzker added that he will be talking to the CEOS of the largest healthcare companies to ensure that price gouging does not take place in the event that more people are confirmed to have coronavirus and the medical care they will need.
The governor said a letter will also go out to companies about the potential for price gouging and there is an established hotline for people to report questionable practices in regards to coronavirus care.
That number is 1-877-527-9431.
Pritzker added that the Illinois Department of Public Health is also drafting guidelines for nursing homes and other facilities that serve “vulnerable populations.” But he added that people should take the same precautions they would during flu season.
“Wash hands. Stay home if sick. Clean often touched surfaces and please visit a doctor, especially if you’ve traveled abroad,” Pritzker said.
The governor was joined by Dr. Ngozi Ezike of the Illinois Department of Public Health. She confirmed the two new cases of the husband and wife who are both in their 70s. She said the state is in the process of investigating where the couple traveled and who they’ve had recent contact with.
She also added that currently there are 286 people being monitored in Illinois for coronavirus.
There is a COVID-19 hotline for people for people to ask questions and report suspected cases. It’s 1-800-889-3931. The IDPH website also has detailed information on coronavirus and is available with questions.
People can also email DPH.SICK@ILLINOIS.GOV to have COVID-19 questions answered.