Winnebago County teenager becomes 6th person to test positive for coronavirus

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Winnebago County officials said a teenager in has tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the county’s total to 6 positive cases.

Dr. Sandra Martell, of the Winnebago County Health Department, said 288 tests are being administered, and they are waiting for the results on 150 pending tests.

Winnebago County Board Chairman Frank Haney on March 12th, the county opened an Emergency Operations Center, which houses financial planning, a joint information center, and the Heath Department call center.

Haney said the County is also examining healthcare capacity on a regular basis.

“Work from our hospitals has not gone unnoticed,” Haney said. “Not every city is lucky to have 3 world-class hospitals working together on this issue.”

Haney also encouraged residents to give blood at the Rock River Valley Blood Center, which has reported a shortage of supply.

In an effort to curb the spread, Haney reiterated the need for physical distancing, even among younger residents. “Young people are continually affected by COVID-19,” Haney said. “We need to take is seriously, regardless of age. When we come out of this there will be a new normal.”

Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara added, “Being at home is very important right now. New cases are spreading slowly here, but we know the number will increase.”

The County has set up an email for residents to get direct information from the County, at covid19@wchd.org.

McNamara also said City government had been inundated by calls from business owners, asking if they are “essential” businesses and can remain open, as an exception to Governor JB Pritzker’s shelter-in-place order which went into effect on Saturday at 5 p.m.

McNamara said “Business owners have a responsibility to judge if they are essential or not. They must take responsibility to protect employees and customers.”

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