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Woodford, LaSalle counties each report third case of coronavirus
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Woodford, LaSalle counties each report third case of coronavirus

BLOOMINGTON — A third person in Woodford County and a third person in LaSalle County have been diagnosed with the novel strain of coronavirus as the number of people diagnosed with COVID-19 statewide grew to 1,535 on Tuesday.

No new cases were reported for McLean County. The McLean County Health Department reported Monday that an eighth person in the county had tested positive for COVID-19.

The third Woodford County confirmed case is a woman in her 50s who is recovering at home in isolation, said Hillary Aggertt, Woodford County Health Department administrator.

"She is someone we have been monitoring as a contact of a positive confirmed case" of COVID-19, Aggertt said.

Meanwhile, The LaSalle County Health Department reported Tuesday that a woman in her 30s, who had traveled to an area of high exposure and of confirmed cases of COVID-19, was recovering at home in isolation.

The agency is working to identify and investigate all individuals in close contact with the woman.

In addition, a Catholic friar from the Minonk area who had been living in Washington D.C. died of COVID-19, the Peoria Journal-Star reported.

John-Sebastian Laird-Hammond, 59, who graduated from Minonk-Dana-Rutland High School in 1979, died Friday in Washington D.C. He had been under treatment for leukemia.

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced on Tuesday 250 new cases of the new strain of coronavirus and four additional deaths. The deaths were among Chicago-area residents.

So far statewide, 1,535 cases of the virus have been reported in 32 counties, including McLean, LaSalle, Woodford, Livingston (one case), Champaign (two), Peoria (three), Sangamon (five) and Christian (one).

While most people with COVID-19 experience mild or moderate symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath) for two weeks, the virus can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, among older adults and people with existing health problems.

Anyone who develops symptoms should stay home and contact their health care provider if their symptoms worsen.

While there is no treatment for COVID-19, most people recover at home in isolation.

But 16 people died in Illinois of the virus as of Tuesday, including a McLean County woman. That woman, in her 70s, died late last week after testing positive for COVID-19 and being admitted to a hospital intensive care unit. Her death was announced by the health department on Sunday.

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, the McLean County Health Department is asking people to stay home as much as possible, maintain a 6-foot distance from other people, wash hands frequently, cover coughs and sneezes and sterilize frequently used surfaces.

Contact Paul Swiech at 309-820-3275. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_swiech.

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