Sunday saw three big developments with coronavirus in the state, including an Amtrak passenger traveling between St. Louis and Chicago found to have the virus. We'll bring you up to speed on what happened ...
AMTRAK: Authorities on Sunday announced an Amtrak train carried a "presumptive positive" coronavirus passenger between Chicago and St. Louis.
The train, Lincoln Service 303, makes stops in Joliet, Dwight, Pontiac, Normal, Lincoln and Springfield. The rail carrier said it had taken the train out of service for cleaning and was disinfecting its stations in Chicago and St. Louis.
Authorities closed two schools after family members of the passenger attended a school function against medical advice.
Managers at the Normal train station referred questions to corporate headquarters, and Amtrak released a statement indicating the company is looking into the matter.
SEVENTH CASE IN ILLINOIS: Health officials said Sunday that a hospitalized man in his 60s is believed to be Illinois' first community transmission case of COVID-19. The man is in Chicago.
The man, in serious condition, had not traveled recently. His case marked the seventh overall in Illinois.
The first six cases involved people who'd traveled.
CRUISE SHIP: Bloomington residents Barbara May and her husband, Jordan, are among 3,553 people aboard the Grand Princess, on which 21 people tested positive for COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus.
“We woke Thursday to a letter informing us,” Barbara said. “That’s when everything started to change. We noticed they had removed the salt and pepper shakers from the tables. We couldn’t touch anything. The staff members were wearing masks and gloves and delivered and prepared everything.”
NUMBERS CLIMB: Nationally, the number of infections climbed above 500 as testing for the virus increased.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the National Institutes of Health's allergy and infectious diseases chief, said Sunday that widespread closure of a city or region, as Italy has done, is “possible.”
“You don’t want to alarm people, but given the spread we see, you know anything is possible and that’s the reason why we’ve got to be prepared to take whatever action is appropriate to contain and mitigate the outbreak,” Fauci said on “Fox News Sunday."
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said communities will need to start thinking about canceling large gatherings, closing schools and letting more employees work from home, as many companies have done in the Seattle, Washington, area amid an outbreak at a care home that has killed 18.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: Advice from Central Illinois health professionals is not to panic.
"The best thing that you can do for yourself and your community is to wash your hands, stay vigilant and don't panic," said Dr. James Nevin, chief medical officer for Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal and Advocate Eureka Hospital in Eureka.
Americans: if you are sick with fever/cough/ flu symptoms, please don’t go to work!— U.S. Surgeon General (@Surgeon_General) March 8, 2020
Employers: PLEASE understand giving your employees flexibility and (paid) sick leave will save you money in the long run- it’s much cheaper than shutting down because everyone else gets sick!
If you feel ill, stay home and call your doctor. The elderly, those with compromised immune systems and small children should be especially vigilant.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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