BY HERB MEEKER,
Effingham County Public Information Officer
As of Monday, March 30, no confirmed cases of COVID-19 had been reported in Effingham county. However, 5,057 people had tested positive for the virus in 52 Illinois counties, including Cumberland and Fayette counties that border Effingham county, based on figures released by the Illinois Department of Public Health. In five days, the number of cases in Illinois have doubled, including the latest single-day increase of 461.
An individual accused of ignoring a doctor’s order to stay at home is facing a Reckless Conduct charge for traveling to a business in Jasper county on March 22. Jasper County State’s Attorney Chad Miller declined to identify the subject’s name or county of residence, but stated the criminal count claims the visit to the business, reported to not involve work duties or delivery of supplies, was “a willful and wanton disregard for the safety of others.” The individual has not tested positive for COVID-19, but did suffer from flu-like symptoms prompting a doctor’s recommendation to stay at home.
Effingham county officials recommend local residents practice social distancing of six feet, cleaning their hands with soap and water, and avoiding people who are sick with coughs or fever. The risk of infection coming from elsewhere is very real, as the case in Jasper county demonstrates.
“We need to have patience during this time and be polite to each other in this county. But we have to be careful as well,” Jim Niemann, president of the Effingham County Board, said.