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Update: person in their 50s tests positive for coronavirus in DeKalb County

One additional person has tested positive for the coronavirus, reports the DeKalb County Health Department Thursday.

A person in their 50s brings the total of reported COVID-19 cases in DeKalb County to 17 as of Thursday afternoon.

Kishwaukee College also announced Thursday one of their students has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to an email sent to the campus community from the office of the president shortly after noon Thursday.

That student is included in the reported number of cases already, confirmed Lisa Gonzalez, public health administrator for the county health department.

“The college is working with the DeKalb County Health Department regarding the appropriate next steps,” the message reads. “Privacy laws present the college from sharing details. However, we can tell you the student has not been on campus since March 13, which is the last day students were on campus.”

DeKalb County Public Health Administrator Lisa Gonzalez confirmed Thursday the Kishwaukee student, who self-identified themselves as a positive COVID-19 case, is included in the 16 cases thus far reported in DeKalb County, which include one person under 19, two in their 20s (including a student at Northern Illinois University), three in their 30s, five in their 40s, two in their 50s and three in their 70s.

One other NIU student was confirmed to test positive but does not live in DeKalb County.

The statewide death toll rose by 16 Thursday, now totalling 157 who have died because of the viral respiratory disease. The Illinois Department of Public Health also announced 715 new cases Thursday, bringing the total to 7,695. A total of 43,656 people have been tested for COVID-19 in Illinois.

Little is known about the 17 positive cases in the county, as public health officials and representatives of Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital have declined to provide any, citing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which prohibits any information be released which could identify the patient.

Gonzalez on Wednesday said she could not put a number on how many in DeKalb County have been tested, namely because the county health department is unable to track those numbers because the department itself does not do the testing.

Limited testing is being conducted at Northwestern Medicine health system hospitals, which are prioritizing high-risk patients or those experiencing severe symptoms. Tents which were being used for drive-thru testing near the Kish hospital entrance were removed earlier this week.

Kishwaukee campus buildings and facilities remain closed to the public, the message states, and students have not been on campus for almost three weeks.

The message states college leaders wanted to personally inform the campus community since this is is the first confirmed case of COVID-19 affiliated with Kishwaukee College.

On Tuesday, students began the college’s remote-learning program dubbed the ‘Alternative Instructional Delivery Plan,’ according to the website. Students had been on an extended spring break prior, which began March 13.

In order to accommodate technology needs as students continue the spring semester remotely, the college held a special drive-thru March 30 and 31 to provide Chromebooks for students to check out as needed, according to a news release.

The Chromebook drive-thru pickup allowed students to borrow the device while maintaining social distancing, the release reads.

The Kishwaukee College Foundation is also assisting students with internet accessibility and other financial needs, according to the message.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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