DCHD reports new COVID cases at large gatherings

By Kendra Hennis 
As of September 6, the Douglas County Health Department has confirmed 44 new cases of COVID-19 in the past two weeks, bringing a total of 242 cases in Douglas County since March. The department encourages residents to continue to use the three w’s to prevent the spread in Douglas County. Wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds regularly throughout the day, watch to keep a distance of six feet from yourself and others, and wear a face mask/face covering. “Perhaps more importantly,” they say, “If you are experiencing any symptoms of illness or running a fever, stay home so as to not accidentally infect others. It’s a labor of love your fellow Douglas County residents will surely appreciate.” 

Currently gatherings are limited to 50 under the Order in Illinois due to the highly contagious nature of COVID-19. If you have attended a large gathering/event recently please monitor your health by monitoring yourself for symptoms. This is imperative to protecting your family, friends, and others from COVID-19. If you have any of the symptoms below, or have had any contact with a known positive,  stay home and get tested three to five days after the date you attended the large gathering or event. 

   * Fever (100 of higher) or chills

   * New loss of smell or taste 

   * Sore throat

   * Congestion or runny nose 

   * Cough

   * Shortness of breath

   * Tightness in chest

   * Difficulty breathing

   * Muscle or body aches 

   * Headache 

   * Nausea/vomiting 

   * Tiredness/fatigue

This virus has a long incubation period (up to 14 days) giving a wide window of opportunity for people carrying the virus (whether they know they are carriers or not) to infect others within six feet, for 15 minutes or more, whether inside or out. About 40 percent of known carriers of the virus are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic, therefore, many do not have symptoms. Carriers may be most contagious in the 48 hours before they get symptoms, making transmission even more likely and more widespread.

With a resident who was advised to quarantine having been in attendance at a large gathering recently, the DCHD stresses the importance of avoiding large, crowded venues. They said, “The Douglas County Health Department is notifying the public of new cases of COVID-19 who have reported attendance at large events the weekend of August 28 in Tuscola, Illinois. One now COVID-positive person who had been directed to quarantine has since disclosed they ignored the directives and were in attendance as well. DCHD would like to remind the public that staying healthy is the best way to celebrate. Attending large, crowded gatherings in public venues (whether inside or outside) greatly increases your chance of being exposed to COVID-19. While you may be doing your best to follow the recommendations and guidelines, there is no guarantee the person next to you is doing the same.”

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