Franklin County Reports First Case of Coronavirus

BENTON – Franklin-Williamson Bi-County Health Department has been notified that a Franklin County resident tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). The individual, a woman in her 50’s, is recovering and is at home on isolation.

This is the first laboratory confirmed positive of COVID-19 in Franklin County. The individual is thought to have been exposed to the novel coronavirus through community spread.

Public health officials have begun an investigation of this case, speaking with individuals who she may have been in contact with before being diagnosed. As is protocol, public health officials may place other individuals on home quarantine if they are determined to have had significant exposure. Such individuals may not by symptomatic, but are quarantined for a period of time which allows symptoms to develop and pass, without posing risk to others. If you are contacted by public health officials, please respond promptly.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Illinois has risen dramatically over the past week. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), there are 250 new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including four deaths. We can expect more cases to be  confirmed locally, as the number of tests being conducted is inicreasing. The number of cases can be reduced by adhering to public health guidance on social distancing, washing hands frequently, disinfecting commonly touched surfaces, and staying home when you are ill.

COVID-19 shares many symptoms with more common respiratory diseases. If you have a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, call your healthcar provider for further guidance. In addition, several COVID-19 hotlines have been established:

Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) – 1-800-889-3931 / DPH.ILLINOIS.GOV

Southern Illinois Healthcare (SIH) – 1-844-988-7800

Franklin Hospital – (618) 435-9700

Heartland Regional Medical Center – 1-888-543-2786

Clinicians are there to answer questions, assess each caller and advise on next steps.

The public is asked to follow and share trusted sources of information on COVID-19. The spread of incorrect information during disease outbreaks can lead people to take actions which may not be beneficial to their health or the health of others. 

Follow the CDC, IDPH, FWBCHD websites and social media accounts for such trusted information. Public health officials will not be releasing more specific details about this individual due to privacy issues.