Rockford's Independent Newspaper

Winnebago County reports more positive cases of COVID-19, no new deaths

By Jim Hagerty

ROCKFORD – There are now 144 positive cases of COVID-19 in Winnebago County, officials reported Thursday.

A total of 1,960 people have been tested locally. Of those, 1,144 have been negative while 672 tests are pending. Eight people have died.

Although Winnebago County has not seen a surge in new cases of coronavirus disease, officials say Alden Alma Nelson Manor, Anam Care and the Rockford Rescue Mission are being watched closely. There have been confirmed infections at all three locations. An Anam resident has died.

State officials say outbreaks at nursing homes and other congregate facilities are commonly sparked by staff, prompting facilities across Illinois to monitor workers carefully and quickly isolate residents when they show symptoms.

President Donald Trump, onThursday, announced his plan to allow states to open in three phases, some immediately, others on May 1. Each phase includes elements of social distancing, virus mitigation and virus containment, something local leaders say citizens should get used to for months to come.

“Social distancing is going to be a way of life, I believe, for the rest of 2020,” Winnebago County Board Chairman Frank Haney said. “The science of social distancing will work in a small business if we are vigilant and committed.”

Statewide, 25,733 people have tested positive for COVID-10. There have been 1,072 deaths, most of which have occurred in Cook County, where 92 fatalities were reported Thursday.

The elderly, those with preexisting health conditions and compromised immune systems continue to be the hardest by COVID-19. People older than 60 comprise approximately 85% of the state’s fatalities.

Positive cases have now been reported in 90 of Illinois’ 102 counties.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s statewide stay-at-home order runs through April 30. Although he’s not expected to lift the order May 1, the governor said earlier this week that it would likely be modified, which could allow some businesses to reopen. He added that the Illinois economy may not be fully up and running again until there is widespread COVID-19 testing and treatment. As of this report, about 120,000 people have been tested statewide.

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