In a open letter to citizens issued late tonight, Mayor Mayor Wells-Armstrong asked citizens to stop spreading rumors, offered condolences and reinforced how vulnerable the elderly are at this time, including those in nursing homes.
The full statement is below:
“We would first like to express our condolences as Illinois reported its first Coronavirus (COVID-19) death, a Chicago woman in her sixties with an underlying health condition. The woman had contact with an individual who tested positive COVID-19.
Illinois health officials reported 55 new cases of COVID-19 in the state. In total, there are now 160 cases of COVID-19 in 15 counties. There are none reported in Kankakee County at this time. Among the new cases recently reported, there has been a Coronavirus outbreak among the residents and staff of a long-term facility in DuPage County which affected 18 residents and four staff members who have tested positive.
Health officials have stressed the importance of our nursing homes and the elderly as being the most vulnerable for COVID-19. Please be compliant with policies put in place to protect them, including outside visitors.
There have been rumors circulating that the Kankakee County Health Department is a testing site. This is FALSE. Only the hospitals are testing for COVID-19 at this time for people with high priority indicators. Health officials state to call your primary care provider first. They also encourage those to call ahead of time if you believe you have flu-like symptoms, have an underlying health condition or may have been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
Please refer to the Kankakee County Health Department hotline number at (815) 802-9311 for more information or call the COVID-19 state hotline number at 1(800) 889-3931. The City of Kankakee is in the process of implementing an operations plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Be sure to follow all updates on the City of Kankakee’s social media platforms and website. I appreciate everyone’s corporation and we will get through this evolving situation together.”