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State of emergency declared for McHenry County due to coronavirus

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention laboratory test kit for coronavirus | Photo: CDC.

McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks has declared a state of emergency on Wednesday for McHenry County in response to the county’s first case of coronavirus.

The declaration activates the emergency operations plans of the McHenry County Department of Health and the McHenry County Emergency Management Agency, and requests state and federal funding and resources to combat a potential outbreak, officials said.

Franks made the declaration upon the joint recommendation of county Public Health Administrator Melissa Adamson and EMA Director David Christensen, according to a statement released Wednesday.

“Declaring a state of emergency is not a decision to be made lightly. However, with a McHenry County resident now presumptively diagnosed with coronavirus, I have the responsibility to ensure that we can bring all available local, state and federal resources to bear to blunt the impact and bring this to as quick of a conclusion as possible,” Franks said.

“This declaration should not be taken as a cause for panic or alarm, and I echo Governor JB Pritzker’s call for level-headedness and calm while staying abreast of new developments and taking common-sense precautions,” Franks added.

On Tuesday, the McHenry County Health Department confirmed a McHenry County man tested positive for COVID-19. Officials said the man is doing well and in good condition.

They are attempting to identify and investigate who the man has been in contact with but officials did not release what town in McHenry County he resides.

“We don’t have much information to share at this time, but we want the public to know that we are taking all necessary precautions with this case,” said MCDH Public Health Administrator Melissa Adamson.

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“We encourage all residents to continue using preventative measures to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19, and to begin planning for events that could disrupt their lives, such as school closures or if they become ill,” Adamson added.

Sources told Lake and McHenry County Scanner the man is a 19-year-old who is being treated at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington.

The man initially arrived at Northwestern Medicine Hospital in McHenry last Thursday and tested positive for coronavirus, sources said.

The man was then transferred to Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington to be kept in isolation in one of their negative pressure rooms.

On Tuesday, Governor J.B. Pritzker and other officials announced eight new cases of coronavirus in Illinois, including the McHenry County case. The total number of COVID-19 cases in Illinois is at 19.

Officials said at the press conference that 17 of the 19 cases are residents of Cook County.

The two cases outside of Cook County are the 19-year-old McHenry County man and a Kane County woman in her 60s, neither of whom had a history of travel to an affected area and have no connection to a known case of COVID-19.

During the press conference, Pritzker blasted the federal government and said he is “very frustrated” by their lack of response to the coronavirus.

A statewide disaster proclamation was issued Monday in order to obtain additional state and federal resources relating to the outbreak.


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