Monday, March 16, 2020

Coronavirus Updates In Springfield And Central Illinois

Illinois reported its first case of the novel coronavirus, which causes the COVID-19 disease, in January. On Sunday afternoon, Illinois officials said the total number of cases in the state stands at 93.

There are cases in 13 counties, including in central Illinois. Saturday, Sangamon County health officials announced there are two cases in Springfield. One patient is a 71-year-old woman who is in the intensive care unit at Memorial Medical Center. The other is a Sangamon County resident who is at home.

Cases have appeared in all age ranges and the number with no connection to travel or a known COVID-19 case are increasing. “We are seeing the number of COVID-19 cases increase exponentially and in more locations across Illinois,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike in a written statement. “At this point, it is best to assume that the coronavirus is circulating in your community and you should take the same precautions when interacting with other people that you would when interacting with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

The University of Illinois Springfield is advising staff and supervisors to begin working on plans to have employees work remotely, if possible. Chancellor Susan Koch sent a message to the campus community Sunday. “I am directing all deans, directors and division heads to begin working with employees to create alternative work arrangements to allow the option to work from a remote location, if appropriate; adopt a flexible or compressed work schedule; and/or establish rotation among staff for on-site work,” Koch wrote.

UIS has extended spring break an extra week and is planning online classes to replace classroom instruction.

This article appeared on NPR Illinois on March 15, 2020..

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