Cook County Officials Announce Positive Coronavirus Test | WBEZ
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Illinois And Cook County Health Officials Announce Positive Test For Coronavirus

CHICAGO (AP) — Health officials say a person in Illinois has tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the third suspected case in the state after two confirmed patients. According to a joint release issued by the Illinois and Cook County Departments of Public Health Saturday night, the unidentified patient is hospitalized in isolation as the test results await confirmation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Northwest Community Healthcare in suburban Arlington Heights revealed Monday that the patient is in isolation at their hospital. Officials say they're working to determine who the patient has been in contact with.

Gov. JB Pritzker said Friday that two Chicago-area patients with confirmed cases of COVID-19 had made a full recovery. On Saturday, officials say the governor requested that all Illinois hospitals “implement additional testing” for the virus.

The announcement of another potential case comes as Chicago-area institutions are adjusting to newly-implemented travel restrictions announced by the Trump administration earlier Saturday. The federal government has banned U.S. travel to Iran, and it is urging Americans not to travel to regions of Italy and South Korea where the virus has been prevalent.

Some local universities are pulling students studying abroad in Italy out of the country.

Loyola University Chicago announced that its students studying at the John Felice Rome Center return home by March 4. About 230 students are studying there.

“We are saddened and share your disappointment around this decision,” said Michael Andrews, director of the Loyola Rome Center. “While we realize that there will be a disruption in our students' academic semester, we are making plans to create a positive alternative learning experience.”

The university is planning online and alternative learning opportunities that it expects to begin March 16.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is also repatriating students from Italy. About 135 students are currently based there. Two students at Northwestern University had their programs cancelled in Italy and are also returning home.

Loyola and UIUC officials said they will help reimburse travel costs for students. Students returning will be required to self-isolate for 14 days after their arrival back to the country.

More than 60 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the United States. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced Saturday that a man there died of the virus, the first such reported death in the country.

About 83,000 people have been sickened by the virus worldwide.

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