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Health officials say number of confirmed cases does not tell the whole story

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As of Thursday the Tri-County area (Peoria, Woodford, and Tazewell County) had two new confirmed cases of COVID-19, making the Tri-County total 11 positive cases.

The health department believes many more remain unconfirmed.

"For every one confirmed case you are easily looking at anywhere from two to five people that have been exposed and could have some type of symptomology." said Monica Hendrickson with the Peoria County Health Department

She said 80% of people who do test positive will recover at home.

But what about the population that is sent to the hospital?

Hendrickson said visitor restrictions are in place across our area. If you have a child admitted, one person is allowed to be with them, but they'll be screened.

"Hospitals are doing checks not only on patients that are coming in, but on themselves, having staff doing monitoring at home prior to coming to a shift and throughout the shift even monitoring for symptoms."

As hospitals in New York City and even Chicago begin to look at difficult decisions regarding changes to 'Do Not Resuscitate" policies, Hendrickson said locally that's not on the table right now, but they continue to track the number of ICU beds available.

"There is a lot of planning going on in terms of just understanding as a hospital system, what our capacities are, what our surge capacities are and what does that look like."

As essential workers continue to do their part

"On a per-capita basis we have one of the largest percentages of health care workers of any region in the country." said Peoria County administrator Scott Sorrel

He cited recent data showing that cell phone mobility has decreased in the county by nearly 40%, implying that those across the area are trying to do their part and stay at home.

Hendrickson stated that when people want to know where specifically these confirmed cases are she said it simply doesn't matter anymore, because it is in our communities and the best thing we can do is limit exposure to mitigate the spread.

In terms of when things could begin to return to a more normal routine, Hendrickson pointed out that it will most likely be a slow progression. Pointing to China when they started to relax restrictions they saw cases rise once again. So the short answer, they don't know.

Kaitlin Pearson

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