Fifth Illinois resident tests positive for coronavirus

An Illinois man in his 20s has tested positive for COVID-19, the novel coronavirus at the center of a global outbreak.

The Cook County resident had recently been on a cruise to Italy. State officials in Springfield announced that their own tests indicated he had the virus. The man remains under quarantine at Rush University Medical Center.

The test results have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation.

“We have identified the flight and, per CDC guidelines, we will be contacting the requisite people,” Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said Thursday. “That usually involves two rows to the front and two rows to the sides.”

Ezike said the state had been monitoring 286 people who could have COVID-19, as of Monday.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the danger remains low for Illinois residents.

“The state of Illinois is working around the clock to contain COVID-19 and educate the public,” the governor said. “Public health officials anticipated there would be additional cases and we will continue to implement robust measures to contain the virus while also preparing for further transmission.”

The first two Illinois people with confirmed cases of COVID-19 have recovered, according to state officials. Investigators have yet to identify where the third and fourth Illinois residents with confirmed cases, an elderly couple, contracted COVID-19. That means “it is possible these cases may be due to community transmission in Illinois,” Ezike said.

As of Thursday morning, the CDC reported 99 people in thirteen states had tested positive for the virus.

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus. The disease has caused 11 deaths in the U.S. – 10 in Washington state and the most-recent in California.

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