STEPHENSON COUNTY, ILLINOIS – As a precaution, and in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the risk of exposure, the Stephenson County Health Department is recommending that businesses, institutions, and organizations suspend all public gatherings and events of 250 people or more in accordance with the CDC until further notice. This recommendation includes the large sporting events, fundraisers, concerts and performances. It does not include, churches, schools and childcare programs; government including polling places; healthcare and regular commerce that would occur at restaurants, grocery stores and other businesses. Social distancing in any situation is recommended.
This recommendation is being given in collaboration with Stephenson County EMA, FHN, and the City of Freeport.
Due to the vulnerability of the population in long-term care facilities, the Health Department is also restricting visitors to long term care facilities except in certain circumstances, such as end of life.
Additionally, the Health Department recommends that you consider community spread in areas you may visit before you go and adjust your plans accordingly.
As of right now, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Stephenson County. The health and safety of our residents is our highest priority. This virus is highly contagious and because it’s a new virus the general population doesn’t have immunity to it. There is no vaccine for the COVID-19 virus at this time. The best way to control the spread of the illness is to avoid exposure to it. While a majority of the people won’t become seriously ill from the virus, the most at risk include the older adults and those with underlying health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and lung disease. As the situation evolves, Stephenson County continues to work with the Illinois Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to take every effort possible to prevent illness from spreading.
The Stephenson County Health Department follows guidance and information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the Illinois Department of Public Health. The number of confirmed cases in Illinois continues to increase, and current information suggests that person-to-person spread will continue to occur and more cases will be identified in Illinois. Our goal is to reduce the impact of COVID-19, by minimizing transmission and developing guidance to protect the community.
The public can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by:
- Staying home and isolating yourself from others in your home if you’re sick
- Practicing good handwashing
- Covering your sneeze and/or cough
- Cleaning frequently touched services
If you have symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath), call your healthcare provider, Urgent Care Clinic or the Emergency Department before you visit. The most important response our residents should take is to stay home if ill and call your primary care provider. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911.
Additional information regarding COVID-19 will be shared with the public as soon as it becomes available. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Resource links:
- IDPH – Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- IDPH – Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Frequently Asked Questions
- Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins CSSE
- CDC Homepage for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- CDC Travel Guidance
- CDC Guidance for Healthcare Professionals
- CDC Guidance for Laboratories