McHenry County protesters urged to get tested for COVID-19 after demonstrator tests positive
McHenry County health officials are urging those who attended a protest last weekend in McHenry to get tested for the coronavirus after an asymptomatic demonstrator tested positive.
The protest took place from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, beginning at Knox Park and ending at the McHenry Police Department. The McHenry County Department of Health has since confirmed a person who attended the event was infected with the COVID-19 virus but not showing symptoms, according to a news release.
McHenry County has had 2,069 confirmed coronavirus cases and 97 deaths as of Wednesday, according to public health data. Health officials said the number of cases has declined since April as social distancing and other restrictions remained in effect.
"The virus continues to circulate," county health officials said in the news release. "The more people an individual interacts with and the longer an interaction lasts, the potential risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 and spreading the virus increases."
The state moved into Phase 4 of Gov. J.B. Pritzker's Restore Illinois plan on June 26, loosening the restrictions on businesses and gatherings. Residents are encouraged to wear a face covering in public places, maintain a 6-foot distance between others, frequently wash their hands, sanitize frequently touched areas or items, and get tested at a community-based site before attending any event.
"We all need to continue to take precautions whenever we attend a gathering or come into contact with anyone who resides in another home," McHenry Police Chief John Birk said in a statement. "We know what it's like to be in the earlier phases of Restore Illinois. We know the best way to slow the spread of COVID, and it's up to us to prevent ourselves from taking steps backward."
Testing sites in Rockford, Rolling Meadows and Waukegan are free and open to the public, regardless of whether a person has symptoms, health officials said. Private testing locations also can be found in McHenry County, though individuals must meet certain requirements.