Closures and changes continue in Southern Illinois in the effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.
As of Sunday, no cases have been reported in deep Southern Illinois. In Illinois, there are a total of 93 cases statewide. According to reporting by Capitol News Illinois, locations with cases include Champaign, Clinton, Sangamon, Whiteside, Winnebago, Cook, Cumberland, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, St. Clair and Woodford counties, and the city of Chicago.
Southern Illinois Healthcare on Saturday announced it is altering its policies for visitors to Memorial Hospital of Carbondale, Herrin Hospital and St. Joseph Memorial Hospital in Murphysboro.
Entry will be limited to the main entrance and emergency room entrance, according to a statement from SIH. Upon entry, all patients and visitors will undergo a brief illness screening, the statement reads. Visitors will receive a badge, which will include the date of the visit, department and patient room location. "If visitors have symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, SIH respectfully asks those individuals to refrain from coming to the hospital at this time," the statement reads.
SIH is also allowing only two visitors per patient. Children younger than 18 are asked not to visit. Exceptions will be made for end-of-life circumstances, according to the statement.
SIH also established a 24-hour coronavirus hotline for people who believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms consistent with the virus, including fever, cough and/or shortness of breath. The number is 1-844-988-7800. Clinicians will answer questions, assess each caller and advise on next steps for evaluation or potential testing in accordance with current Illinois Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, according to the statement.
The public is urged to call the hotline or their doctor before visiting a clinic, doctor's office or ER. The hotline is designed to protect the community, health care providers and patients from potential spread of the disease, the statement reads.
The city of Marion announced Sunday that as a precaution, it is canceling all events and activities at the HUB, Marion Cultural and Civic Center, the Pavilion, Marion Carnegie Library, Marion Senior Citizen’s Center (meal pickup will still be available) and the Boyton Street Community Center for at least two weeks starting Monday.
According to a statement from Mayor Mike Absher and city commissioners, organizers are trying to reschedule shows and events. Each facility will provide information when it is available. While the facilities are closed, teams will be conducting thorough cleanings, the statement reads.
City of Marion employees are asked to report to work. City Hall will remain open, but residents are asked to pay their water bills in the drop boxes near the front doors of City Hall or behind City Hall at the corner of East Main and Madison streets.
The mayor also reminded residents to stay home if sick and contact a medical service provider.
Absher's statement said there are no positive cases of COVID-19 in Marion or Williamson County.
"We are not panicking but being cautious," the statement reads. "We encourage you to act the same."
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