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First reported case in the Southern 7 Counties: Massac County Resident Tests Positive for COVID-19


Southern Seven Health Department was notified April 1st of a Massac County resident who tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19).  The individual, a female in her 60’s, has been notified.   This is the first laboratory confirmed positive of COVID-19 in the southern seven county region.  This individual is thought to have been exposed to the novel coronavirus through travel.  This individual is currently in isolation at home.


Public health officials are investigating this case, speaking with individuals who she may have come into contact with prior to diagnosis.  Through this investigation, public health may place other individuals on home quarantine if determined they have been exposed to the virus.  Those exposed to the virus, and are not symptomatic, will be quarantined for a period of time at home to allow any symptoms to pass without risking others.  If you are contacted by public health officials, please respond promptly.


The number of COVID-19 cases in Illinois has risen dramatically in the past week.  According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), there were 937 new individuals with COVID-19 identified on March 31, bringing the confirmed total in the State to 5,994 individuals.


Residents can expect the number of cases to increase as more tests become available.  Your chance of contracting this virus can be reduced by adhering to the following public health guidance:


  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. You can also use the bend of your elbow.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to more common respiratory illnesses.  If you have a fever, cough or shortness of breath, call your primary health provider first for further guidance.  Southern Seven Health Department is not offering a test for COVID-19.   The following hotlines are also available to answer your questions and advice you on your next steps for treatment in the Southern Seven region.


  • Massac Memorial Hospital 1-618-638-1344 (7am-7pm line)
  • Southern Illinois Healthcare 1-844-988-7800 (24 hour line)
  • Francis Medical Center 1-573-331-4200 (7am-5pm line)
  • Baptist Health 1-888-227-8478 (24 hour line)
  • 24-hour COVID-19 hotline
    • 1-844-988-7800
  • Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH)
    • 1-800-889-3931


Southern Seven is asking everyone to follow and share trusted sources of information on COVID-19.  The spread of incorrect information during disease outbreaks can lead people to take actions which may not be beneficial to their health or the health of others.  Follow the CDC, IDPH, and Southern Seven Health Department websites and social media accounts for trusted information.  Public health officials will not be releasing more specific details about this individual due to privacy issues.

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