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“The number of COVID-19 confirmed cases is not the whole story in our communities”

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Across central Illinois the total confirmed cases of COVID-19 is now at 22.

Tazewell County had their first confirmed case on Wednesday. A man in his 70's who is now hospitalized.

The health department said that the patient is not known to have had contact with someone else who tested positive or traveled to a high risk area. They said this emphasizes what they already suspected, that this novel virus is in our communities.

"The number of COVID-19 confirmed cases is not the whole story in our communities." said Sara Sparkman from the Tazewell County Health Department.

With their first confirmed case on Wednesday, she said they do not release information about specific towns to protect the persons privacy.

"This gentlemen is somebody's person so we need to be mindful of the people that love this person that are hurting right now and we want to make sure that person is protected and their medical rights are protected for sure." said Sparkman

Doctor Gregg Stoner with the Peoria County Health Department said testing is ramping up thanks to private labs, but there's still not enough to meet demand which is why they have tightened qualifications.

"It's now limited even further than that to people that are hospitalized with COVID like illness where they've also ruled out other respiratory infectious diseases." said Dr. Stoner

He emphasized that even if you tested positive, for most people it would not change their treatment plan.

"There is not a medicine for COVID-19. There is not an additional treatment other than the respiratory support that you would give that person, inhalation treatments things like that and ultimately if they get very ill being put on a ventilator." said Dr. Stoner

It can take multiple says for someone who is infected to show symptoms which is why Dr. Stoner said staying home and social distancing are crucial to slowing the spread.

"If you freed somebody up, 'oh im negative today' and you go out and do things and a bunch of people do that it's going to spread more in the community." said Dr. Stoner

He also said that a rapid testing site could soon be coming to the tri-county area but he did not have any specific information as to where that would be located or when that would take place.

Kaitlin Pearson

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