Health Department Coronavirus Updates

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For Immediate Release
Date: March 19, 2020
Media Email:
Media Phone: 847-377-2001

Health Department Coronavirus Updates

Lake County, Ill. — The Lake County Health Department is reporting 16 new cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Lake County since yesterday.  Since March 11, 2020, a total of 38 Lake County residents have tested positive for the disease. Public health officials continue to urge all residents to take precautions to stay healthy and stop the spread of the virus.

“As more providers in Lake County offer testing for COVID-19, we will continue to see a significant increase in cases,” said Lisa Kritz, Director of Prevention for the Lake County Health Department. “It is essential that we do not panic, but continue to do everything we can to reduce the spread of this virus—stay home whenever possible, limit social gatherings to 10 people or less, and be vigilant with handwashing often and sanitizing commonly touched surfaces daily.”

The Lake County Health Department has been working closely with countywide medical providers.  Daily increases for those testing positive are expected to continue. At this time there is ample medical facility space for those experiencing significant symptoms requiring hospitalization.  A majority of those who contract COVID-19 will experience mild symptoms and can recover at home. Those at higher risk for severe illness are older adults and those with underlying health conditions.

The Lake County Health Department has established an email address:, to answer general questions from the community. Residents can submit an email with general COVID-19 questions, and public health officials will answer the top questions weekly. The Health Department will not use this service to offer medical advice or answer questions related to people who test positive for COVID-19. If you have personal medical questions, contact your healthcare provider.


It is critically important that the community follow prescribed preventative measures such as social distancing and the 3 C’s to avoid getting sick:

  • Clean hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol;
  • Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or your elbow; and
  • Contain illness by staying home if you are sick.

Testing availability

Testing is being prioritized for people with symptoms who have high risk of complications. This includes older adults living in congregate settings and those with chronic health conditions like heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes, and those with weakened immune systems. People who do not show any symptoms do not need to get tested.

A number of healthcare providers in Lake County currently have tests available. The PHEOC is working to collect information on the availability of testing in Lake County and will provide updates at as it becomes available.

What to do if you are sick

If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, stay home. Distance yourself from others in the household and if possible, stay in your own bedroom and use your own bathroom. If your symptoms worsen, call your healthcare provider.

Do not walk into a healthcare facility, urgent care clinic, or hospital before calling. Discuss your symptoms with your doctor. If your doctor believes that you need to be tested for COVID-19, your doctor should call the Lake County Health Department Communicable Disease program to determine if you should be tested.

In accordance with Illinois Department of Public Health guidance, recommendations for reducing the spread of COVID-19 include:

Social Distancing

  • Stay home as much as possible.
  • If gatherings are necessary, limit the number of people to 10.
  • Call to check on family, neighbors, and older adults instead of visiting.
  • Check with your healthcare provider about telehealth options.

Nursing Home Facilities

  • Restrict all visitation except for certain compassionate care situations, such as end of life residents.
  • Restrict all volunteers and non-essential health care personnel (e.g., barbers).
  • Cancel all group activities and communal dining.
  • Implement active screening of residents and healthcare personnel for fever and respiratory symptoms.
  • Additional guidance for long-term care facilities is on the Illinois Department of Public Health website.
  • The Health Department will continue to provide updates as recommendations change.

Additional resources

Visit for updates on COVID-19 in Lake County and to sign up for the Lake County Health Department’s COVID-19 email newsletter.

For a list of government closures, visit:

If you need assistance finding food, shelter, rent or utility assistance, or other essential services, CALL 211 or TEXT your zip code to 898211 to speak with someone who can help 24/7. For more information, visit

For general state and national information, please call the Illinois State Hotline at 1-800-899-3931, or visit the Illinois Department of Public Health website at, or the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at

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Lake County Health Department
3010 Grand Avenue
Waukegan, Illinois 60085
(847) 377-8000