Wife of suburban coronavirus patient also tests positive, becoming state's 4th case

State health officials have confirmed a fourth person has tested positive for coronavirus in Illinois.

She is a woman in her 70s, and is the spouse of the third case — a man in his 70s — who is currently hospitalized in isolation, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced Monday.

The man is being treated at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, the hospital said Monday.

His wife is quarantined at home and complying with health officials, IDPH said in a statement. She and her husband are reported to be in good condition, health officials said.

The man’s condition was announced Saturday in a joint statement from the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Cook County Department of Public Health.

Health officials are tracking down people who may have come into contact with the husband, though they did not say where he is from.

During a Monday news conference, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the risk to the general public remains low.

“The best thing the general public can do at this time is to continue taking the same precautions you take during the flu season with renewed vigilance,” Pritzker said.

Meanwhile, Arlington Heights School District 25 said two staff members and their children are isolating themselves at home after learning their babysitter’s relative, a hospital employee, was exposed to a patient with coronavirus.

“This evening I was notified that two staff members and their children (who work at/attend Dryden, Ivy Hill, Greenbrier, and Olive Mary Stitt) were contacted by a babysitter,” district superintendent Lori Bein said Sunday in a letter to parents. “A member of the babysitter’s family, a hospital employee, was exposed to a patient diagnosed with coronavirus. None of these people have any symptoms currently. Our employees /students will stay home and self-monitor their symptoms, and they have been in contact with their physicians.”

It was not immediately clear if the patient referred to is the third or fourth case announced in the state.

Further details were not immediately released to protect the patient’s privacy.

“I want to assure residents that the Cook County Department of Public Health is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the state public health department as we monitor the situation closely,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle wrote on Twitter. “I will continue to provide you with the most up-to-date information as it becomes available.

Illinois state officials have requested a CDC team be sent to help with the response.

A Chicago couple who contracted the coronavirus in January were the first and only Illinois residents to test positive for the disease until this third patient was announced. They were released from a Hoffman Estates hospital earlier last month, and have since made a full recovery, health officials said.

On Friday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced plans to expand testing for the disease.

Health officials are advising the public to “remain vigilant about keeping germs from spreading, by covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands with warm soap and water, and staying home when sick,” though they said people don’t need to alter their daily routines.

As of Monday, the number of confirmed U.S. cases climbed to over 100, and health officials in Washington state reported four more people had died from coronavirus, bringing the number of deaths in the U.S. to six.

The disease broke out in Wuhan, China in late 2019. The global death toll has pushed past 3,000, and the number of people infected topped 89,000.