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Coronavirus - What you need to know

What counts as a COVID-19 death?

Medical professionals can be seen Tuesday, Mar. 31, 2020, while testing first responders and other medical professionals for COVID-19 at a testing station at the Jefferson Street WalMart in Joliet, Ill.
Medical professionals can be seen Tuesday, Mar. 31, 2020, while testing first responders and other medical professionals for COVID-19 at a testing station at the Jefferson Street WalMart in Joliet, Ill.

As a public service, Shaw Media will provide open access to information related to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) emergency. Sign up for the newsletter here

Each day, The Herald-News updates the number of COVID-19 cases in Will County and in the state.

Steve Brandy, a health department spokesman, said if the person with COVID-19 has a Will County address, the information comes to the health department’s epidemiology office from the testing location.

So if a person tests positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, that would count as a case. But what counts as a COVID-19 death?

During Gov. JB Pritzker's health briefing on Sunday, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the Illinois Department of Public Health director, said anyone who had COVID-19 at the time of death, even if the person died of other causes, is counted among the COVID deaths.

In fact, even if a person is in hospice for other reasons but has COVID, too, that death is still counted among the COVID deaths, Ezike said.

The Will County Health Department provides more information about coronavirus, including the number for a COVID-19 hotline on its website, willcountyhealth.org or call 815-740-8977.

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