The first case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Illinois by Illinois Department of Public Health. (Read more.)

Here are some notes from the Winnebago County Health Department's (WCHD) Sunday afternoon press conference on March 15, 2020.

  • An individual in his 60's is Winnebago County's first confirmed case of COVID-91. He is a resident outside Rockford. He is home and doing well. It was a case of community transmission, meaning not travel-related. Prior to his diagnosis, a system for treatment was (is) well prepared.
  • We can significantly reduce the rate by being proactive, practice social distancing all the time, reach out to family and neighbors, discuss the necessary day-to-day changes to be proactive.
  • Do not go to the ER if you think you have COVID-19, contact proper medical services or virtual doctor visits.
  • Area hospitals are prepared to treat and direct COVID-19 patients.
  • OSF's digital catch box "Clare" is now able to diagnose COVID-19 remotely.
  • In order to proactively address COVID-19, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has ordered all restaurants and bars to close at of the close of business (5 p.m.) Monday, March 16, until March 30. Pritzker did welcome restaurants to continue business through drive-thru, curbside, and delivery services.
  • Here are some notes from the Winnebago County Health Department's Sunday afternoon press conference on March 15, 2020.
  • Rockford's Mayor Tom McNamara immediately addressed his thoughts on the effects these closures will have on local bars and restaurants. McNamara encourages all residents to be proactive, be smart, and stay home if you're sick. Practice social distancing, it's imperative.
  • Water services will not be disconnected for non-payment, as a temporary measure to allow proper handwashing.

Other Tips From WCHD:

  • Stay home.
  • Get factual information from reliable resources.
  • Take a break from the constant news cycle.
  • Stop panic shopping. The public needs to "ramp it down." with shopping and non-essential trips to businesses.
  • Bars, restaurants, events closing is to enforce social distancing.
  • Stay 6 ft from others, local governments are working to enforce it and by recent closure announcements.
  • Use alternative methods to shop. Stay connected in your social life. Communicate in a positive way with your kids.
  • Forget hand sanitizer... use soap and water for 20 seconds.
  • This is a time to stay home and power through your day and workload.

Latest On Testing: There are multiple ways to get testing.

  • Testing is based on symptoms, travel history, and forms of pneumonia - these tests are meant for the sick and not the healthy.
  • WCHD believes there are sufficient tests available for the sick.

If You're Panicking or Fearful:

  • Don't panic but understand the seriousness of this.
  • Stay calm, think it through, can you alter your business/personal work environment?
  • Take preventative measures and remember most people will recover, it's disruptive but you've got to do it.
  • WCHD will provide updates for new disruption possibilities or new COVID-19 cases.
  • The most important thing to do is to limit the spread of the disease.
  • Local hospitals believe they are prepared for the spread of the disease.

WATCH: Winnebago Health Department Provides COVID-19 Update

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