• We knew it was going to happen sooner or later in Macon County even though daily updates from the Joint Crisis Communication Team kept reporting that residents who had been tested had negative results for COVID-19.
The “negative results” good news updates ended Friday evening when the Joint Crisis Communication Team announced during a news conference that two Macon County residents had tested positive for COVID-19.
One patient was reported to be a female in her 50s who is isolated in the HSHS St. Mary’s Intensive Care Unit.
The other patient is a male in his 60s. This patient was tested through the Decatur Memorial Hospital Respiratory Clinic and has been self-isolated at home since his symptoms began.
• THE IMPORTANT information that follows comes from the Joint Crisis Communication Team . The team has been doing an excellent job of keeping us informed about what all of us are experiencing right now:
“Because testing is not widely available to the general public, it is imperative that community members, whether feeling ill or well, implement social distancing best practices to limit the spread and contraction of COVID-19.
“This means staying home and away from as many people as possible as often as possible. If you experience symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath, do not present at a hospital emergency room or doctor’s office immediately unless it is a true emergency.
“First, call your primary care physician. If you do not have a primary care physician in place at this time, you may call DMH Medical Group at (217) 876-2856, Crossing Healthcare at (217) 877-9117 or SIU at (217) 872-3800. HSHS Medical Group Family Medicine, Forsyth, is operating a regional respiratory hub. Their hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Saturday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please call your primary care provider if you have any questions.
“Memorial Health System is operating a respiratory screening clinic at its DMH Express Care East location to screen people for the COVID-19 virus. The clinic at 4455 U.S. Route 36 East will operate seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. People coming to the respiratory clinic should call (217) 876-1200 before they arrive. Patients and visitors to healthcare facilities should be prepared to be screened before entering.”
Please take the above information seriously. We can get through this pandemic if we all work together and follow important suggestions.
• TRIB OFFICES remain closed.
Allow me to do a little “shop talk” to keep you up-to-date about our newspaper production and what to expect.
Although we continue to publish our newspaper, our offices at 132 South Water Street, remain closed. If you call the office at 422-9702, you can leave a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
You can also contact us at our email address at email@example.com.
If you want to write us, our mailing address is P. O. Box 1490, Decatur, Illinois 62525-1490.
• THANKS for your patience. Obviously, I want to protect those people who work for me and the public so it has been very challenging to continue publishing under very “different” circumstances.
However, all members of the news media are coping with drastic changes in the way they obtain and report the news and no one appreciates their efforts more than I do.
So far, deadlines have been met and the Decatur Tribune has been published on time. I may fall asleep at my computer if this “strange” routine continues for a long time, but we will get through this — even though I may have to drink a lot more V8 juice before I send the newspaper to press!
• ABOUT all local businesses are facing a difficult time right now due to the coronavirus and health regulations that have either shut them down or greatly reduced their sales resulting in many people losing their jobs.
We need to support them in whatever way we can. It’s going to be a rough road for a while.
• A SPECIAL thanks to our own local leaders who have bonded together to do everything they can to get us through this pandemic.
If anyone wants to second guess what they are doing, make yourself a note and criticize when what you say or write has some significance.
Strange, isn’t it…the people we don’t elect always believe they are smarter and more qualified than those we do because…well…because…they have all the answers.
• PARKING — Decatur Police Chief Jim Getz has issued the following statement about parking: “Effective immediately enforcement of Time Limited parking on the public parking lots, alleys and streets in the downtown area is suspended through April 30, 2020. We will continue to enforce other violations in Chapter 34, Traffic and Parking of the City Code.”
• SHERIFF’S RECOUNT — Macon County Clerk Josh Tanner has issued the following information about the 2018 Macon County Sheriff’s Race Recount:
“The 2018 Macon County Sheriff’s race recount has been postponed until further notice. All parties have agreed that, given the current circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 emergency, it is prudent to wait until the situation improves. The timing of the recount will be reviewed on a regular basis and when all parties have agreed a date will be announced.”
• IT NEVER stops. I don’t know about you but all of the “political talk” and cheap shots to gain an advantage that is continuing in spite of the danger we face via COVID-19 is somewhat repulsive.
When our community and nation are facing a huge attack by a fierce, unseen enemy, it is time to pull together and using the coronavirus to demean anybody at this time really seems out of place to me.
As a member of the media, and a former public officeholder, I receive a ton of news releases and appeals from candidates, not only in Central Illinois, but across the nation either wanting money to “save us” from the candidates they are running against or spewing out hatred and lies.
They demean their opponents and, according to them, their opponents don’t care about the people in their district…blah…blah…blah.
Maybe they could do us all a real favor and concentrate on doing battle with the real enemy that poses the danger to all of us.
It’s not a time to run down other people (there never is a time for that) but a time to build up communities and people.
I wouldn’t ever vote for some of these people, even if they had no opposition — because their conduct during this pandemic is simply rude and crude and insensitive.
The worst of times should bring out the best in people in helping and caring about others.
• THANKS to all who are risking their lives every day to keep us healthy and safe. In this war, they are on the front lines unselfishly doing everything they can to save lives.
May God Bless all of them and their families — and all of you and keep you safe.