Another coronavirus death and a new positive case with the possibility of cross-county spread were reported in the area late last week, and a hospital in Coles County is offering drive-thru testing for the virus to essential workers, starting this week.


Jasper County Health Department reported the death of a man in his 90s from COVID-19 on Thursday, May 7. This is the sixth death from the disease in that county, which has had up to 46 people infected at Newton Care Center. Both residents and some employees at the nursing home have tested positive and 30 have recovered as of last week, based on statistics released by the Health Department. One individual is still hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment.


There have been 244 COVID-19 tests conducted in Jasper County over the past month with 196 negative test results. Two tests results were pending as of May 7.


Effingham Health Department on May 8 reported its six confirmed case of COVID-19. It has infected a woman in her 70s, had no previous known contact with the virus. During the investigation, the woman said she had visited two garden centers in Flora on the morning of May 4. Anyone who visited either of these locations during that timeframe should contact the Effingham County Health Department by calling (217) 342-9237.


While the number of COVID-19 positive cases in Effingham County has not been high, increased activity in the community increases exposure. Minimize the risk by continuing these precautions:


@ Follow the stay at home order.


@ When leaving home for essential needs, follow the social distancing guideline of 6 fee and wear a mask.


@ Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.


@ Disinfect frequently touched surfaces.


@ Sneeze or cough into a tissue, throw it away and wash your hands as soon as possible. If you do not have a tissue or cloth, cough or sneeze into your arm.


COVID-19 testing availability has increased in the community and is now available at several locations. Consult a medical adviser for the best course of action.


Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center in Coles County will offer drive-thru COVID-19 testing, starting this week for non-symptomatic essential workers. Call (217) 258-7490 for more details on the testing. For more information on testing options check the Illinois Department of Public Health website.