With 15 individuals diagnosed with the coronavirus in the United States, of which two are from Illinois, State Representative Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur) is encouraging the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to consider latest advances in technology to help protect Illinois residents.
Rep. Caulkins suggests IDPH consider the use of mobile carrier technology applications to help pinpoint areas of possible infection and outbreak of the disease by allowing individuals affected by the coronavirus to opt-in to receive real-time alerts. Caulkins also referred a useful interactive website provided by John Hopkins University which illustrates the location and number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide.
“With the potential risk of the coronavirus spreading throughout Illinois, I think it’s critical for the Department of Public Health to consider utilizing additional methods to help track the potential outbreak,” said Rep. Caulkins. “If Illinois were to utilize mobile carrier technology, individuals could opt-in to receive notifications on their phone if they have been in contact with a person infected with the coronavirus. This type of technology if used properly could help track and prevent the spread of this disease.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of February 26th, 15 coronavirus (COVID-19) cases had been diagnosed in the following six states: Arizona (one case), California (nine), Illinois (two), Massachusetts (one), Washington (one), and Wisconsin (one). Twelve of these 15 cases were related to travel to China, and two cases occurred through person-to-person transmission to close household contacts of a person with confirmed COVID-19. No deaths have been reported in the United States.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is working with local, state, and federal health partners to take all preventative steps available to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). While COVID-19 is not spreading in communities in Illinois or the U.S., there is evidence of community spread in several countries around the world and IDPH is committed to working across local, state, and federal agencies to ensure Illinois is prepared.
Rep. Caulkins added, “I want to thank IDPH for keeping us informed of their preventative measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus and becoming the first state to implement testing of the coronavirus. It’s comforting to know the state is taking this threat very seriously.”
For more information about how you can prepare for the spread of the virus and steps you can take to stay healthy, visit https://www.cdc.gov/nonpharmaceutical-interventions/.