Coronavirus UpdateMarch 2, 2020
With an increasing number of people in the U.S. diagnosed with the virus that causes COVID-19, we’re working closely with local, state and federal health partners to keep you informed. Teams throughout our nation are taking preventative steps to limit the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) causing worldwide concern.
As of March 2, Illinois has two confirmed cases. Health officials in Cook County announced Saturday a new “presumptive positive” case for COVID-19. A presumptive positive is a test that comes back positive at the Public Health Laboratory and is pending confirmation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lab. The person remains in isolation.
Illinois has established a COVID-19 hotline, which can be reached at (800) 889-3931 or by email at email@example.com. Illinois was the first state to provide COVID-19 testing and Gov. Pritzker announced two more IDPH labs in central and southern Illinois that will be able to test specimens this week.
As of March 2, Washington has 13 confirmed cases, including two deaths. Health officials classify the two new cases of COVID-19 identified this weekend as presumptive positives. Both people remain at home under isolation. This is a rapidly evolving situation. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington and what to do if you have symptoms, call the Washington State Department of Health at 1-800-525-0127 and press #.
The immediate health risk remains low for the general public. These easy actions can protect you and your family from illness:
- Wash your hands often
- Avoid touching your face
- Avoid close contact with people who appear sick
- Stay home if you or a family member is sick
- Clean frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs and handrails
Additional precautions include avoiding or postponing international travel plans. The CDC and the U.S. State Department currently recommend travelers reconsider cruise ship voyages into or within Asia at this time.
At this time, the CDC does not recommend the routine use of surgical masks in public. Individuals with symptoms such as fever and cough should wear a mask to help reduce the spread of germs to others. Be sure the mask properly covers your nose and mouth.
The goal of the ongoing U.S. public health response is to minimize introductions of this virus, detect new cases quickly, and reduce community spread of this new coronavirus in the U.S. While it is unclear how this situation will evolve in the U.S., the CDC is preparing as if it were the next pandemic, while hoping it is not.
For more information about how to prepare for the spread of viruses and steps to take to stay healthy, visit cdc.gov/nonpharmaceutical-interventions/. While these materials reference the flu, the information and actions still apply to COVID-19 and other illnesses. Additional, state-specific information can be found at:
- Illinois Department of Public Health
- Indiana State Department of Public Health
- Iowa Department of Public Health
- Washington State Health Department
If you have any questions, please contact Member Services by calling the number on the back of your member card.