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At Least 5 in Illinois Test Positive for Coronavirus After Outbreak Linked to 'Mini-Prom'

Health officials in Illinois are warning of potential exposure to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) at a prom-like indoor gathering.

On Thursday, the Wabash County Health Department issued a public notice on Facebook, telling local community members that confirmed cases of the coronavirus have been linked to a "mini-prom" event held on Aug. 4.

"If you attended a 'mini-prom' at the Anderson Building in Mount Carmel, IL on August 4, 2020 you could have been exposed to multiple confirmed positive cases of COVID-19,"  the alert stated.

The health officials went on to list symptoms that if anyone connected to the dance is experiencing should call their office. Those symptoms included "fever of 100.4, chills, cough shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headaches, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea."

Concluding the memo, the department encouraged those who aren't experiencing symptoms but believe they came in contact with an infected person should still reach out. (Studies have shown that some COVID-19 cases can be asymptomatic.)

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As of Aug. 13, five positive COVID-19 cases have been tied to the "mini-prom," according to WFIE, while 40 other people have been identified as potentially exposed.

“We’re just trying to alert the other kids that may have been there that they may have been in contact with several positive cases and to watch for symptoms,” Judy Wissel, Wabash County Health Department administrator, told the outlet.

According to CNN, the state of Illinois reported the highest tally of new cases since May 24, identifying over 2,260 infections.

The superintendent of Wabash Community Unit Schools, Chuck Bleyer told WFIE that the district's prom had been canceled earlier this year, and the so-called "mini-prom" was not an official school event.

Bleyer urged locals to be mindful of public health guidelines so schools could reopen soon. “Help us stay open because we are doing everything we can here,” said Bleyer. “But we have to have help when those students are not here.”

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  • Posted on August 15, 2020