Health Officials Announce Third Case of Coronavirus in Illinois

March 1, 2020 Updated: March 1, 2020

A third person in Illinois has tested positive for COVID-19, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced on Feb. 29.

Officials said that tests from the individual resulted in “presumptive positives,” and the sample is now being tested for confirmation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The patient is currently hospitalized in isolation and health officials are also working to identify and actively monitor anyone who may have come into contact with the person in an effort to reduce the risk of additional transmission.

The state plans to request that the CDC deploy a team to Illinois to support these efforts and Governor JB Pritzker has requested that hospitals across the state implement additional testing to improve surveillance for the disease, the department said in a statement.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle confirmed that the case was identified in suburban Cook County.

“A presumptive case of novel coronavirus (2019-CoV) has been identified in suburban Cook County. Final confirmation results from the CDC are pending,” Preckwinkle wrote on Twitter.

“I want to assure residents that the Cook County Department of Public Health is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the state public health department as we monitor the situation closely. I will continue to provide you with the most up-to-date information as it becomes available.”

Illinois has had two previously confirmed cases of COVID-19, when a husband and wife were diagnosed with the disease in January. The woman had returned to Illinois on Jan. 13 after traveling to Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak, to care for a relative.

About a week later, her husband also tested positive for the virus in the first instance of person-to-person transmission of the virus in the United States, according to Illinois health officials. However, the couple, both in their 60s, were later discharged from hospital and have since made a full recovery, officials said.

Public health officials in Illinois are advising the general public to continue with their daily routines but remain vigilant about preventing germs from spreading by covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands with warm water and soap, and staying home when sick.

The news release added that the virus has not been found to be spreading widely in the United States and the risk to the general public remains low.

It comes after Washington state health officials confirmed that one person, who had no history of travel to other affected countries and no known contacts with infected individuals, had died from the coronavirus, making the person the first to die from the COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, in the United States.

The individual was a man in his 50s with underlying health conditions, making him a medically high-risk patient, officials said.

“It is a sad day in our state as we learn that a Washingtonian has died from COVID-19. Our hearts go out to his family and friends. We will continue to work toward a day where no one dies from this virus,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement.