Winnebago County declares emergency in coronavirus pandemic

By Jim Hagerty
Reporter

ROCKFORD – A day after officials confirmed Winnebago County’s first case of COVID-19, Board Chairman Frank Haney declared the situation a countywide emergency.

Haney made it official Monday afternoon by signing an emergency proclamation under Section 11 of the Illinois Emergency Management Act.

“The county’s top priority is the safety of our residents,” Haney said in a release.”I want to urge our residents to follow the guidance provided by the Winnebago County Health Department, the Illinois Departments of Public Heath and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

Haney said the proclamation will give the county better access to resources to address COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, locally.

Winnebago County’s first confirmed case of COVID-19 is a man in his 60s who was tested at Javon Bea Hospital. He’s now at home recovering.

The majority of people who come down with the virus will recover within several days. However, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems and underlying conditions could become extremely ill. About 6% of all cases are critical.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include cough, sore throat, runny nose, fever and breathing difficulties, which can be severe in some cases.