First Cases of COVID-19 in Northwest Illinois

March 15, 2020 – This afternoon the first two cases of COVID-19, the novel Coronavirus, in northwest Illinois were announced, one in Winnebago County and one in Whiteside. FHN stands ready for our communities as the virus continues to spread and reminds the public...

  • Stay calm - as the pandemic overwhelms media reports, ensure you are getting facts. In that regard, FHN commits to providing only factual information through our website and social media.
  • Stay apart - practice social distancing (more information can be found at
  • Stay put - avoid or minimize public gatherings and ask your employer about options to work from home when possible. If you are sick and have respiratory symptoms, such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath, stay home unless you need medical attention. Remain in your home until you feel better and have no symptoms.
Keep in mind there is no treatment for COVID-19 and people who are mildly ill can be safe at home. While at home, as much as possible, stay in a specific room if you live with others and away from other people who may visit.Those who need medical attention should contact their healthcare provider, who will evaluate whether they can be cared for at home or need further treatment or hospitalization. Please do not go to an Emergency Department expecting to be tested unless you are at risk - see for more information. We will continue to update on a timely basis as conditions change.

If people are enrolled in FHN's online information portal MyFHN, they can use the "message" capability to send a message directly to FHN providers about symptoms. He or she may ask patients to call their office and talk to a nurse.

Anyone, including people who are not FHN patients, can also use FHNow, FHN's telemedicine service, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Callers do not need to have an FHN provider, and can speak face-to-face with a healthcare provider via videoconference on phones, tablets, or laptop computers. It's fast and easy to sign up - visit FHNow for instructions and more information. (Costs apply: See for information.)

Illinois COVID-19 Hotline and Email Address

If you have questions about Coronavirus, call the Illinois Coronavirus (COVID-19) Hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email DPH.SICK@ILLINOIS.GOV 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

For more local information, visit; for more information on COVID-19 nationally, visit