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GENEVA – A male teenager from McHenry County, and a woman in her 60s from Kane County were confirmed as the first two cases of coronavirus outside of Cook County in Illinois.
Gov. JB Pritzker said during a news conference on Tuesday that neither case has any known contact with the previous 11 cases of COVID-19.
The total coronavirus cases in Illinois now stands at 19.
Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen announced today at the County Board meeting that Kane County has its first case of coronavirus.
Pritzker has issued a disaster proclamation for Illinois, enabling it to receive federal funding and resources to fight the respiratory disease.
Lauzen said he got a phone call from Gov. Pritzker last night when he was in a grocery store to inform him of the county’s first case, which brings the state's total to 11.
Lauzen said Kane County Health Department Executive Director Barb Jeffers is handling the situation.
“This morning, I have good news and bad news,” Lauzen said during his opening speech to the board members. “First the bad news. The wake of this virus is going to go across the entire country. We already know that is what is actually going to happen. Tragically, people who are already impaired in their immune system – some people will die.”
The good news, Lauzen said, is, “We have been tested before.”
“The second good thing about this virus is, in its current state, its symptoms seem to be mild,” Lauzen said.
Quoting Franklin Delano Roosevelt from his 1933 inaugural address, Lauzen said, “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”
Roosevelt was referring to “nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance,” Lauzen said, continuing the quote.
“In every dark hour of our national life, a leadership of frankness and of vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people which is essential to victory. And I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days,” Lauzen said, continuing Roosevelt’s speech.
Lauzen also quoted Friedrich Nietzsche, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”
The vaccine for the virus will not be available for months yet, so Lauzen advised people to take proper precautions – and that is hand-washing and not shaking hands.
“Our plan in Kane County is PDCCC: Prevent. Diagnose. Contain. Communicate. Calm!” Lauzen said.
Prevention is common sense precautions, such as hand-washing, not shaking hands and travel restrictions.
Diagnose is quick testing for the virus.
“Last night, I was able to thank the governor and compliment Gov. Pritzker for his team’s early decision on our behalf to maximize the testing effort,” Lauzen said. “It was very smart strategically.”
Contain is to quarantine or isolate those who have tested positive. But Lauzen said it was not appropriate to quarantine people on cruise ships.
He was referring to the Grand Princess cruise ship, which is quarantined off the coast of California.
Communicate through Kane County Connects.
And he urged people to remain calm, as the message, “Keep calm and carry on” was shown on an overhead screen.
“I think that this teaches the necessity that we should return to a culture that values cleanliness – physical and spiritual cleanliness,” Lauzen said.
“Government is not the only answer. It is a big part of the solution. … We all do our share. We’ll all be OK. … We are being tested right now to do our very best,” Lauzen said. “We have to be strong, do our part, and pray for those people who are suffering.”
We will be updating the story as more details emerge. More information is expected to be released soon by Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital.