The Macoupin County Public Health Department (MCPHD) announced on Thursday morning, April 2, the first positive COVID-19 test for a Macoupin County resident describing the individual as a female in her 50’s.
At this time, this individual has been educated to not leave her home and is complying with the quarantine order. Public health officials will not be releasing additional details about this individual due to protecting the privacy of this patient. Officials have also begun an investigation of the case by speaking with individuals who this person may have had contact with before this diagnosis.
During this investigation, public health officials may place other individuals on home quarantine if they are determined to have had exposure. Such individuals may not be symptomatic but could be quarantined for a period of time, which allows symptoms to develop and pass without posing risk to others. If you are contacted by your public health officials, please respond immediately.
As recently as Tuesday, March 31, MCPHD reported no confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 saying a total of 36 confirmed negative and four pending results have been reported through the Illinois State database although officials believed the coronavirus was in the county. These numbers include all tests completed through the State Laboratory and only the known results of private lab tests.
“Private labs have been asked to send all results to the State database but we do not have any confirmation that this is occurring,” said Christy Blank, Clinical Director. She further explained that there are also some hospitals that have rapid point of care tests and these are not being entered into the state database unless there is a positive case.
“It is everyone’s responsibility to do their part by staying home and taking precautions to prevent the spread of this infection,” stated Blank. “Please people, protect yourself and your loved ones.”
The health department urges anyone experiencing symptoms to first contact their primary care physician. If a person does not have a physician, they can call the Maple Street Clinic at 217-839-1526.
Due to the strict guidelines on testing patients through the Illinois Department of Public Health lab, the health department is only permitted to authorize for testing of inpatients and patients living in a congregate setting such as a long term care facility, jail, homeless shelter, etc. If a physician feels that it is necessary to test a patient, they can collect the nasal pharyngeal swab and send it to a private lab for testing, such as Lab Corp or Quest Diagnostics.
The health department continues to implement procedures regarding COVID-19. Reduction of overall hours of operation and the consolidation of the Morgan Street and Maple Street operations streamlines all medical, dental and behavioral staff to one location for safety and monitoring. At the Maple Street Clinic location, sick visits are being conducted car-side with full personal protective equipment (PPE) to reduce infection risk inside the building. Medical and behavioral health staff have begun the temporary transition to mostly telehealth appointments. Dental services continue to be limited in order to minimize exposure and preserve PPE. Direct Macoupin County Transportation Service questions to 217-839-4130.
“We are simply trying to keep the residents of Macoupin County informed and safe,” Blank added when asked about the health department’s efforts to communicate to the public.
False information is being shared on Facebook and other social media by individuals who are misinformed. The public is urged to seek and share reliable information from the Centers for Disease Control, the Illinois Department of Public Health and the World Health Organization.
Please refer to the Macoupin County Public Health Department Facebook page for daily COVID-19 updates, including statistics and live video feeds. The health department has established a hotline at 217-313-5078 for COVID-19 questions. You can also call the Illinois Department of Public Health Hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.