With information that is constantly evolving, it may be difficult to track the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the various actions being taken in response to it.
Here are the most recent numbers and responses from the local to international level, as of March 25.
SIUE currently has not reported any cases of students, faculty or staff having COVID-19. However, there have been several cases reported in the surrounding area.
In response to the outbreak, university leadership announced on March 15 that all SIUE classes would transition to an online or alternative format for the remainder of the semester.
Since then, all on-ground operations have also been suspended, including a postponement of Spring Commencement, which was announced on March 19. The university also asked all residents to move out of University Housing by 5 p.m. March 21 following Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order, unless they received approval to remain on campus.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, several confirmed cases have been reported within the Metro East, including two in Madison County, seven in St. Clair County, three in Clinton County and one in Monroe County, announced Monday.
Across the state line, 37 cases have been reported in the city of St. Louis, according to the city’s website. St. Louis had its first coronavirus-related death on Sunday — a 31-year-old Red Cross employee. According to St. Louis County’s website, the county has had 97 confirmed cases and one death.
The Madison County Health Department encourages those experiencing symptoms to contact their primary healthcare providers, who will determine whether they should be tested. The department also asks those experiencing a medical emergency who think they may have COVID-19 to notify 911 personnel or their primary healthcare provider so the medical staff can protect themselves.
With testing centers opening across the country, several have opened in southern Illinois. The testing facility currently closest to SIUE’s main campus is located in Swansea, Illinois, in St. Clair County, according to the Belleville News-Democrat.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, Illinois has had 1,535 confirmed cases of coronavirus, resulting in 16 deaths. As of March 24, 11,485 Illinois residents had been tested.
The first confirmed case in Illinois was announced January 24 in Chicago. The first cases outside Chicago and Cook County were reported March 11 in Kane and McHenry counties. Cases have now been reported in counties across the state, according to IDPH.
On March 9, Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a disaster proclamation in response to the coronavirus outbreak. This proclamation freed up state and federal resources to coordinate responses to the outbreak. On March 20, Pritzker issued a stay-at-home order, which directed all residents to only leave their homes for essential activities. The order went into effect the following day at 5 p.m. All non-essential businesses were also ordered to cease in-person operations. The order is currently in place until April 7.
The U.S. has had 54,453 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 737 deaths related to the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All 50 states have reported cases, in addition to the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Illinois currently has the sixth most cases nationwide, following New York, New Jersey, California, Washington, and Michigan, according to the CDC. Several states have enacted measures similar to Pritzker’s stay-at-home order. Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin are among the latest states to join this list, according to the New York Times.
On March 13, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency to free up more funding to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. Three days later, Trump announced new guidelines to combat COVID-19, called “15 Days to Slow the Spread.” These guidelines include encouraging U.S. citizens to work from home if possible, avoid social gatherings of 10 or more people and practice good hygiene.
The CDC has been coordinating efforts to assess the readiness of medical facilities across the U.S. as well as promoting research into the disease. While the CDC has developed a test to diagnose COVID-19, it is also developing a serology test, which would determine if someone was exposed to the virus even if they did not display symptoms.
According to the World Health Organization, there have been 375,498 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, resulting in 16,362 deaths. The number of cases worldwide has been rapidly increasing since the virus was first discovered in December.
So far, 196 countries across the world have at least one confirmed case of the virus, according to WHO. The countries with the most reported cases are Italy and China, where the outbreak originated. The U.S. currently has the third most cases in the world.
WHO is the leading international organization responding to the COVID-19 outbreak. According to the organization’s website, WHO has shipped personal protective equipment, such as masks and gloves, to 68 countries. Additionally, WHO has developed informational guides for the public as well as instructional online courses for responders.
Check the CDC’s website for the most recent information and guidelines. The Alestle will continue to provide local updates about the coronavirus as more information arises.