Central Illinois prepares for potential spread of COVID-19

Peoria health officials are taking a proactive approach in dealing with the global spread of COVID-19, a novel coronavirus.

The Peoria Health City-County Department opened an emergency operations center in response to COVID-19.

Public Health Administrator Monica Hendrickson said the center is the first step in preparing and coordinating a Peoria County response to the possible appearance of the virus in the area.

“We want to make sure that we have a common operating picture as well as mechanisms to share reliable public information,” Hendrickson said.

Several cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the Chicago area, but Hendrickson said it was only a matter of time before it appears in Peoria County.

“I think in what we saw in China and other countries, I think it is safe to say there is an eventuality that we will see COVID-19 in our community,” she said.

The state has set up a 24-hour hotline to answer questions about COVID-19. The number is 1-800-889-3931. Questions can also be emailed to [email protected]

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus from China. COVID-19 has caused 11 deaths in the U.S. – 10 in Washington state and the most-recent in California. Globally, it is responsible for more than 3,200 deaths.

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