WAUKEGAN – The Lake County Health Department is reporting 23 new cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Lake County since Monday afternoon.
This brings the total number of Lake County residents testing positive for the disease to 115 since the first Lake County case was identified March 11 (these numbers are as of 2 p.m. March 24).
The Lake County Health Department again urges the community to stay home unless leaving is absolutely necessary. If you must leave the house, it is very important to practice social distancing and keep 6 feet between yourself and others.
“It is really imperative the community take the stay-at-home order seriously,” said Mark Pfister, executive director of the Lake County Health Department. “The novel coronavirus is easily spread human to human, and we all need to take it upon ourselves to protect one another by keeping our distance.”
The Health Department’s Community Health Centers continue to provide care for patients during this time, and modifications have been made to protect the health and safety of all patients and staff:
• Services are being provided over the phone when possible
• Social distancing measures have been put in place in the clinics
• Non-urgent in-person visits are being rescheduled for 4-6 weeks in the future
• Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) services are provided over the phone, and WIC coupons are provided curb-side
For a full list of changes to health center services, locations, and hours, visit www.lakecountyil.gov/healthclosures. For appointments, contact the Patient Access Center at 847-377-8800. For WIC appointments, call 847-377-8420.
On March 20, Gov. JB Pritzker issued Executive Order 2020-10 requiring all Illinoisans to stay in their homes to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. For information, visit: https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/coronavirus/FAQ/Pages/Stay-At-Home-FAQS.aspx
It is critically important that the community follow prescribed preventive measures such as social distancing and the 3 C’s to avoid getting sick:
• Clean hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol;
• Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or your elbow; and
• Contain illness by staying home if you are sick.
• Stay home as much as possible.
• Call to check on family, neighbors, and older adults instead of visiting.
• Check with your health care provider about telehealth options.
What to do if you are sick
If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, stay home and call your doctor. Distance yourself from others in the household and if possible, stay in your own bedroom and use your own bathroom. Seek medical care right away if your illness is worsening (for example, you have difficulty breathing).
Do not walk into a health care facility, urgent care clinic, or hospital before calling. Discuss your symptoms with your doctor. If your doctor believes that you need to be tested for COVID-19, your doctor should refer you to a COVID-19 testing site. The Lake County Health Department should be contacted only to facilitate testing through the state lab for patients who are hospitalized or those who live or work in congregate settings (e.g., schools, long term care facilities, and group homes).
Residents who do not have a primary care provider can contact the Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center at 847-377-8800 to schedule an appointment.
Testing is being prioritized for people with symptoms who have high risk of complications. This includes older adults living in congregate settings and those with chronic health conditions like heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes, and those with weakened immune systems. People who do not show any symptoms do not need to get tested.
A number of health care providers in Lake County currently have tests available. The Public Health Emergency Operations Center is working to collect information on the availability of testing in Lake County and will provide updates at www.lakecountyil.gov/coronavirus as it becomes available.
Visit www.lakecountyil.gov/coronavirus for updates on COVID-19 in Lake County, guidance on preventing the spread of COVID-19, and to sign up for the Lake County Health Department’s COVID-19 email newsletter.
The Health Department has established an email address: COVID19@lakecountyil.gov, to answer general questions from the community. Residents can submit an email with general COVID-19 questions, and public health officials will answer the top questions weekly. The Health Department will not use this service to offer medical advice or answer questions related to people who test positive for COVID-19. If you have personal medical questions, contact your healthcare provider.
For a list of government closures, visit: www.lakecountyil.gov/closures
Additional resource if you need assistance: https://www.lakecountyil.gov/GetHelp
If you need assistance finding food, shelter, rent or utility assistance, or other essential services, CALL 211 or TEXT your ZIP code to 898211 to speak with someone who can help 24/7. For more information, visit https://211lakecounty.org/.
For general state and national information, call the Illinois State Hotline at 1-800-899-3931, or visit the Illinois Department of Public Health website at dph.illinois.gov, or the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at coronavirus.gov.