Peoria health leaders remind to social distance while practicing religion

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The Peoria City/County Health Department on Friday said there are now 23 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Tri-County area.

Administrator Monica Hendrickson said there are nine cases in Peoria County, with two more cases pending. Woodford County has six cases and Tazewell County now has eight; the two new Tazewell County cases are likely related to community spread, Hendrickson said.

Peoria County Board Chairman Andrew Rand on Friday noted that it has been one month since health and city leaders kick-started the Emergency Operations Center.

Rand and Hendrickson both reminded community members that there are more cases in the Tri-County area that just have not been confirmed due to lack of testing or a lack of symptoms. Because of this, they are encouraging people to not gather in-person to celebrate Palm Sunday.

“In these difficult times, faith, spirituality, and hope are essential,” Hendrickson said. “However, gathering in a location is not essential.”

Zion Baptist Church Pastor Samuel Duren spoke at the media briefing,

“We want to limit large gatherings in parking lots, limit social cookouts and gatherings, anything we can,” Duren said.

Duren, who is also President of the Peoria County Board of Health, said “I encourage the faith community to honor the governor’s orders for social distancing, and keeping gatherings to small numbers” to help flatten the curve.

There are five confirmed COVID-19 patients in ICU’s spread across OSF St. Francis Medical Center, UnityPoint Health Methodist, UnityPoint Health Proctor, and UnityPoint Health Pekin. There are 11 people under investigation in these hospitals, also in the ICU.

There are 17 confirmed and under investigation in non-ICU beds at these hospitals as well.

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