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In the past week, the La Salle County Health Department reported the number of residents tested to see if they have the coronavirus has more than doubled within the county.
In its latest testing report Friday afternoon, 93 people have been tested. Of those tests, three have resulted in confirmed cases of COVID-19, 66 have come back negative, 20 are pending and four were not received by the state lab.
The previous Friday, the health department had reported 42 people had been tested, with one resulting in a positive case. At that time, 28 of the tests were negative, while 10 had been pending.
A little more than 4% of the tests recorded by the health department Friday have come back with a confirmed case. Testing through commercial labs is not required to be reported to the county agency, however, the department is notified of any positive cases from IDPH State Lab or commercial labs. This means there are more negative testing results that will not be recorded.
The department expects to see additional cases and residents should assume they have been exposed to COVID-19. Residents can help by staying home, limiting the number of people they come into contact with, maintaining a six-foot distance from others and washing their hands.
If someone develops symptoms of cough and fever, they should stay home and isolate themselves from others. Should symptoms worsen, they should contact their healthcare providers immediately.
Testing for coronavirus disease at the state lab is limited and protocols are in place to prioritize those tested. Currently, the state public health laboratories are testing only hospitalized patients and clusters in a congregate setting that serves more vulnerable populations, such as a supportive care facility, assisted living facility, group home, homeless shelter or correctional setting.
The La Salle County Health Department said testing guidelines have frequently changed throughout the situation. Testing is requested by healthcare providers at hospitals and then authorized by the Illinois Department of Public Health and/or the local health department. If the individual is not approved for testing, healthcare providers can request testing through a commercial lab. There is limited commercial testing locally.