MCPHD works to assure patients’ safety

MCPHD works to assure patients’ safety

The Macoupin County Public Health Department continues to work to assure the safety of patients and employees and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

As of 3:30 p.m. on March 31, Macoupin County had no confirmed positive cases of COVID-19.

A total of 36 confirmed negative and four pending results have been reported through the Illinois state database for Macoupin County.

These numbers include all tests completed through the state laboratory and only the known results of private lab tests.

“Private labs have been asked to send all results to the State database, but we do

not have any confirmation that this is occurring,” said Christy Blank, Clinical Director. She further explained that there are also a few hospitals that have rapid point of care tests and these are not being entered into the state database, unless there is a positive case. The number of tests performed on Macoupin County residents is not easily measured.

The Macoupin County Public Health Department urges all residents to not get a false sense of security.

Although Macoupin County has no confirmed positive cases, health department staff believe that COVID-19 is present in the county. “It is everyone’s responsibility to do their part by staying home and taking precautions to prevent the spread of this infection,” stated Blank. “Please people, protect yourself and your loved ones.”

The health department urges anyone experiencing symptoms to first contact their primary care physician. If a person does not have a physician, they can call the Maple Street Clinic at 217-839-1526.

Due to the strict guidelines on testing patients through the Illinois Department of Public Health lab, the health department is only permitted to authorize for testing of inpatients and patients living in a congregate setting, such as a long term care facility, jail, homeless shelter, etc. If a physician feels that it is necessary to test a patient, they can collect the nasal pharyngeal swab and send it to a private lab for testing, such as Lab Corp or Quest Diagnostics.

The health department continues to implement procedures regarding COVID-19. Reduction of overall hours of operation and the consolidation of the Morgan Street and Maple Street operations streamlines all medical, dental and behavioral staff to one location for safety and monitoring. At the Maple Street Clinic location, sick visits are being conducted car-side (with full personal protective equipment) to reduce infection risk inside the building.

Medical and behavioral health staff have begun the temporary transition to mostly telehealth appointments.

Dental services continue to be limited in order to minimize exposure and preserve PPE. Direct Macoupin

County Transportation Service questions to 217-839-4130.

False information is being shared on Facebook and other social media by individuals who are misinformed, according to the health department. The public is urged to seek and share reliable information from the Centers for Disease Control, the Illinois Department of Public Health and the World Health Organization.

Refer to the Macoupin County Public Health Department Facebook page for daily COVID-19 updates, including statistics and live video feeds. The health department has established a hotline at 217-313-5078 for COVID-19 questions.

The Illinois Department of Public Health hotline can be reached at 1-800-889-3931 or via e-mail at dph.sick@illinois.gov.