Illinois expands coronavirus testing, starts voluntary screening

A sentinel surveillance program lets people get screened for coronavirus if they want.

Alex Degman
March 02, 2020 - 10:27 pm

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KMOX) -- The State of Illinois now confirms four cases of COVID-19 -- all in the northern part of the state.

State officials are adding two new testing sites in Springfield and Carbondale in addition to the Illinois Department of Public Health lab in Chicago. Illinois Department of Public Health Director, Dr. Ngozie Ezike, says if patients want -- they can participate in a sentinel surveillance program.

"If they present to a hospital or emergency department and have flu-like (symptoms) but test negative for the flu or test negative for other common respiratory viruses, they can be tested for coronavirus," Ezike told reporters at a press briefing in Chicago Monday afternoon. "It is with that kind of surveillance that we will be able to see if we have circulating virus within our communities."

The woman who contracted the state's fourth case, confirmed Monday, is married to the person who has the state's third case, confirmed Friday. The man with the third confirmed case is in the hospital, his wife is quarantined at home. Both are in their 70s and are said to be in good condition.

The people who contracted the first two cases, confirmed in January, have made full recoveries and have gone home.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is updating Missouri's efforts to contain the virus at a Jefferson City news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Cover photo: Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker and others prepare to eat lunch and go shopping in Chinatown in Chicago, which has seen a severe drop in business since the Coronavirus outbreak. Photo credit: Governor JB Pritzker / Facebook

© 2020 KMOX (Entercom). All rights reserved.