BY SHELBY NIEHAUS
On Friday, March 27, the Fayette County Health Department announced the first case of COVID-19 in Fayette county, confirmed by IDPH testing.
Melissa Storck, administrator, issued a comment to media on Saturday, March 28 noting that FCHD, acting as a team, had decided not to release any other information about the COVID-19 patient, citing protection of the patient’s safety and security of identity as a cause. “I prefer to leave it up to the patient to make anything public,” she noted.
Storck went on to say that “IDPH testing guidelines are strict. We currently have one confirmed case, which tells me there are more.” She asked that all persons comply with the Stay at Home order and to treat everyone, including themselves, as if they have the virus as a precaution.
Finally, Storck noted that all others who had been in contact with the patient had been contacted by a FCHD nurse as of Saturday.
The Altamont News and St. Elmo Banner will continue to track COVID-19 cases in the Effingham and Fayette area, should new cases arise. The public is reminded that the IDPH maintains a map of Illinois counties reporting COVID-19 cases at coronavirus.illinois.gov. Daily COVID-19 updates from the Pritzker administration are also available at 2:30 p.m. in video and audio formats; find links to these on the aforementioned page.
As of Monday, March 30, Fayette’s neighboring counties Montgomery and Bond have reported one case each, and Clinton had reported six cases.
Effingham county has not reported any cases. Aside from Fayette, one neighboring county, Cumberland, has reported a case, which is now about two weeks old.