Patient, 2 ER doctors at Oak Park hospital test positive for COVID-19; shelter in place order issued


OAK PARK, Ill. — A patient and two emergency room physicians at Rush Oak Park Hospital tested positive for COVID-19 prompting a shelter in place order for the village starting early Friday morning.

All three individuals have been quarantined at home.

The hospital said one physician had not been seeing patients for several days prior, when he would have been contagious.

“The other may have had patient and peer contact and we are assessing the overall risk of exposure, working with the Illinois Department of Public Health and advising patients and peers as appropriate,” a statement from the hospital said.

The patient is an adult male in his 30s. He is not affiliated with the local school district.

The Village of Oak Park is urging residents to stay in their homes starting 12:01 a.m. Friday, March 20, to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The “shelter in place” declaration will extend through April 3.

Oak Park is the first Illinois municipality to enact this order.

“If Chicago doesn’t do it. If River Forest doesn’t do it. If it doesn’t expand nationwide, or at least statewide, it’s not going to work really well,” said Dr. Mike Brown. “If I get ill, that pulls me off for two weeks, which is problematic. That’s been some of our problem at Rush, rearranging staff and such. We’ve already had to pull in some people from other specialties and things to handle some of the calls.”

The village is asking residents to only leave their homes for essential travel to places like grocery stores, pharmacies, the bank and to health care providers’ offices.

Food stores, gas stations, hardware stores and other essential businesses in Oak Park will remain open.

People can go outside for walks, to exercise or walk their dogs, but the mayor is asking everyone to practice social distancing – stay six feet away from others and avoid gatherings of 10 people or more.

This order will be enforced by police. Anyone who violates it could be charged with a “Class A Misdemeanor.” Those are punishable by jail time and a fine.

More details at


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