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McLean County reports 3 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, including one linked to Illinois Wesleyan University

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MCLEAN COUNTY (WEEK) - The McLean County Health Department announced the county now has four confirmed COVID-19 cases.

That is three more since Thursday. In a news release, Communicable Disease Supervisor, Melissa Graven, said “The addition of these cases continues to confirm what we as a community has suspected, which is COVID-19 is present in McLean County and likely has been for some time."

Two of the people are hospitalized. One of them is in an intensive care unit in critical condition, while the other two are isolated at home. Graven confirmed that one of the cases is associated with Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington.

"We do know one of them was associated with the university, their exposure was minimal, and I do believe that individual has already reached out to those they were in contact with, and asked if any of them lived in McLean County to reach out to us," Graven said.

The university said the person is not a student, faculty, or staff member, and has not been on campus recently.

"Because the majority of our students are no longer on campus, and most of our employees are now working remotely, we have significantly reduced the risk for transmission of COVID-19 on campus," said IWU President Georgia Nugent in a letter to the campus community."

"However, it is imperative that all members of our University community continue to practice social distancing, monitor their health, and follow CDC guidance pertaining to COVID-19," Nugent also said.

People should assume every interaction you have is someone who has COVID-19, and practice social distancing and good hand-washing, all in an effort to slow down transmission of the disease," said Graven.

The health department is investigating who all came into contact with the patients who have COVID-19; they will be advised on the "appropriate precautions."

They expect cases to increase as testing becomes more available. If you feel like you have any symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, cough, sore throat, or shortness of breath, stay home. They're asking only to call your healthcare provider if symptoms worsen or don't improve.

The news release also provided this information:

You generally need to be in close contact with a person with COVID-19 to get infected. Close contact includes:

· Living in the same household as a sick person with COVID-19

· Caring for a sick person with COVID-19

· Being within 6 feet of a sick person with COVID-19 for about 10 minutes OR

· Being in direct contact with secretions from a sick person with COVID-19 i.e. being coughed on, kissing, sharing utensils

Molly Jirasek

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