Health officials announce 20 more cases of COVID-19; 66 total in state

Coronavirus
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CHICAGO — There are now 66 COVID-19 cases in the state after 20 were announced Saturday, including a downstate woman in critical condition.

On Saturday night, two more people tested positive in Sangamon County. A woman is currently in critical condition at an intensive care unit. She lives in Florida and traveled to Springfield to visit family on March 7. She didn’t have symptoms until the day she came to the hospital, officials said.

Another person tested positive after a visit to an outpatient facility. That person is currently at their home and the health department is investigating how and where the virus was contracted.

“As we expected, we are beginning to identify cases of COVID-19 outside of the Chicago area,” said Gov. J.B. Pritzker.  “Over the past several days, we have announced aggressive measures to reduce and slow the spread of the virus in Illinois.  These are not easy decisions to make and we are not taking them lightly, but we believe these actions will help limit the spread of the virus in our communities and keep our residents safe.”

Cases have extended downstate to Cumberland, St. Clair, and Woodford counties. There are seven new cases in Chicago, four in suburban Cook, one in Kane, and one in Lake counties. 

A DuPage County woman in her 60s residing in a long-term care facility has tested positive. At this time, it’s unknown what long-term care facility she resides at.

Public health officials are still investigating the travel history of these individuals and any potential contact with a known COVID-19 case. Public health officials will identify and contact people who are considered close contacts of these cases.

During the news conference, Gov. Pritzker voiced dismay at the amount of young people gathering for St. Patrick’s Day events.

“If you are young and healthy listen up,” Gov. Pritzker said. “We need you to follow social distancing guidelines too. You can have the unintended tragic effect of spreading COVID-19 to those who are more vulnerable.”

All Illinois schools are closed from Tuesday, March 17 through Tuesday, March 31.

You can find a full list of closures here.

For information about how you, your school, workplace, and community can prepare, please visit Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities.  For general questions about COVID-19, call the hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email dph.sick@illinois.gov.

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