Morris Hospital has confirmed its first positive COVID-19 test result on a patient who was tested at the hospital on March 16. The patient is at home in isolation. The patient was not admitted to the hospital.

Upon notification of the test results, hospital officials immediately consulted the Infectious Disease physician on the hospital medical staff and the health department. All of the recommended guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Illinois Department of Public Health are being followed, along with all of the necessary precautions.

Any potential community exposures pertaining to this patient are being investigated and managed by the LaSalle County Health Department.

Due to patient privacy, no additional information from the hospital or health department is available.

“While we knew this day would come, we understand that the first case in our community causes heightened concern,” said Mark Steadham, President & CEO of Morris Hospital. “We continue to work diligently to maintain a safe environment for our patients, visitors, and staff and encourage everyone to take preventive actions to prevent the spread of the virus in our community.”

Hospital officials encourage the community to continue to follow the CDC and Illinois Department of Public Health’s advice: Those with mild illness should not go to a hospital or other care centers but instead should stay home and rest until they’re well. Testing for COVID-19 is only done for patients who meet very specific criteria.  If symptoms progress, it is advisable to call your healthcare provider who will advise if you need medical treatment. Anyone with respiratory symptoms who is planning to seek care at a walk-in clinic should call in advance for instruction. Based on the CDC guidelines, the healthcare provider will evaluate the symptoms by phone and provide instruction. 

As always, anyone experiencing a medical emergency should call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room. If you are seeking emergency medical care and think you could have coronavirus, please tell the medical workers in advance so they can prepare for your arrival.

Questions about COVID-19 can be directed to the Illinois Coronavirus Disease Hotline at 1-800-889-3931.