FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
With the number of COVID-19 cases increasing in DuPage County, the DuPage County Health Department wants you to know, the virus is still here and continues to be a serious threat.
As DuPage County crossed the sobering milestone of 10,000 reported COVID-19 cases on July 17, health officials are emphasizing the importance of individual-level measures to reduce COVID-19 spread.
“We have news for you: If you’ve been outside your home with groups of people, especially indoors or without a mask, you may have been exposed to a person infected with COVID-19,” said Karen Ayala, DuPage County Health Department Executive Director. “We all need to behave as if we’ve been exposed and possibly infected.”
The best way to prevent illness and infection is to avoid exposure to this virus. To slow the spread of COVID-19, you should stay home when possible, hold activities outdoors and in small groups, and remember the 3Ws:
- Wear a mask or face covering when you are in public and around people who don’t live in your household;
- Watch your distance in order to maintain at least 6 feet from others as much as possible; and
- Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer often.
In addition, anyone with suspected or known COVID-19 infection needs to self-isolate and stay at home (except for medical care) for at least 10 days from their symptom onset date (or first positive lab test date for persons without symptoms). Anyone with close contact to a case, such as being within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more, needs to self-quarantine by staying home for 14 days from their last exposure to the case, and monitor their symptoms.
In case symptoms develop, contact your healthcare provider. Close contacts who test negative for COVID-19 during their quarantine period must still complete their quarantine period with symptom monitoring through 14 days from their last exposure to a COVID-19 case, since infection may still develop after a negative test at day 7 after exposure, for example. In other words, a close contact cannot “test out of” their full 14-day quarantine period after exposure. If a close contact tests positive, then they are considered a COVID-19 case and need to self-isolate accordingly. For more information, visit: www.dupagehealth.org/covid19_IsolationQuarantine.
“We all want to celebrate holidays and summer, and go out with family and friends, but COVID-19 is still here and it’s important to continue following public health guidance to slow the spread of this virus,” Ayala said.
The number of reported COVID-19 cases has risen for several days following the beginning of Restore Illinois Phase 4 on June 26 as well as the 4th of July weekend. Since June 23, the 7-day rolling average of new COVID-19 cases reported daily in DuPage County has risen from a low of 33.3 cases per day to 65.4 cases per day as of July 17 (an increase of 96% in less than 4 weeks).
Another concern is the recent rise of reported cases among youth and young adults. Although case numbers have been historically low in children, the rise in cases as plans are underway to open schools and educational opportunities is of particular concern. DuPage County COVID-19 cases aged 10-19 years have increased from comprising 5% of our total cases before July 1 to 18% of our cases as of July 19, a proportionate increase of 260%. DuPage County COVID-19 cases aged 20-29 years have increased from comprising 16% of our total cases before July 1 to 25% of our cases as of July 19, a proportionate increase of 56%.
“Following the 3Ws as well as self-isolation and self-quarantine for cases and close contacts, respectively, are critical to reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission,” said Ayala.
The DuPage County COVID-19 Testing Site, which is on the County Campus off County Farm Road, is open Tuesday through Saturday, 7 a.m. until 400 tests are completed each day, or 2 p.m. (whichever occurs sooner).
To learn more, visit the DuPage County COVID-19 Community-based Testing Site page at www.dupagehealth.org/covid19testing.
For more information on COVID-19 activity in DuPage County, review the COVID-19 Dashboard: www.dupagehealth.org/covid19data.