As a public service, Shaw Media will provide open access to information related to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) emergency. Sign up for the newsletter here
The McHenry County Department of Health is reinforcing the extended shelter-in-place order in light of new evidence indicating that COVID-19 is contagious 48 hours before symptoms appear.
The recent evidence identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that symptoms can be passed along two days before they ever appear, according to an MCDH news release. The discovery drives home health officials’ warnings that that anyone in the community not keeping physical distance from others can be exposed to the virus, MCDH Medical Adviser Dr. Laura Buthod said in an official statement.
“You may be infected before you know it and spread the infection to people at high risk for severe illness,” Buthod said.
Since testing for COVID-19 remains limited, confirmed cases of the respiratory disease in McHenry County aren’t reflective of the number of people who have or have had COVID-19, according to the release. Accordingly, the MCDH expects the number of both confirmed and unconfirmed cases to rise.
Statewide, COVID-19 patients ranged in age from younger than 1 to older than 100 years old, according to the MCDH. Anyone feeling ill should remain symptom-free for at least 72 hours without taking any medications before returning to work or heading to the store, according to the release.
The MCDH recommends following the CDC’s guidelines regarding personal hygiene and social distancing, and emphasized that residents should avoid making unnecessary trips outside their homes.
As of Wednesday evening, McHenry County was home to 79 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and two deaths attributed to the disease.