Two emergency room doctors at Rush Oak Park Hospital tested positive for the coronavirus and are now quarantined at home, a spokesman for the hospital system said Thursday.
"One doctor has not been seeing patients for several days prior, when he would have been contagious," the hospital's statement said. "The other may have had patient and peer contact and we are assessing the overall risk of exposure, working with the Illinois Department of Public Health and advising patients and peers as appropriate."
The hospital said it was likely the doctors' cases of the coronavirus were community transmitted, adding that all 12,000 people who work throughout the Rush Health System were trained on infection protection protocols like handwashing, gowning, masking and more.
"Those staff who are dedicated to our COVID-19 assessment, screening, testing and treatment areas, and in our emergency rooms, have even more protection from infection, but spread is inevitable as this moves into our communities," Rush's statement reads, calling the cases an "important reminder of the critical need to dramatically adjust our routines."
"In these uncertain times, one thing is for certain: staff in our healthcare systems are heroes for providing comfort and care under difficult circumstances with a highly transmissible disease," Rush added.
An order to shelter in place in Oak Park was issued Thursday and was set to begin at 12:01 a.m. Friday as the village's mayor and health officials try to stop the spread of the deadly virus amid a global outbreak.
Mayor Anan Abu-Taleb declared a local state of emergency under the Illinois Municipal Code Thursday and Public Health Director Mike Charley issued a public order directing residents to shelter in place from 12:01 a.m. March 20 through 11:59 p.m. on April 3.
"All individuals currently living within the Village of Oak Park are ordered to shelter at their place of residence," the order reads. "To the extent individuals are using shared or outdoor spaces, they must at all times as reasonably possible maintain social distancing of at least six (6) feet from any other person when they are outside their residence."
While all residents were encouraged to stay in their homes at all times, the order does provide for multiple exceptions: businesses that provide essential services, including banks, convenience stores, pharmacies, grocery stores, laundromats, hardware stores and more.
Full details on the order can be found on the village’s coronavirus response website here.
Illinois health officials on Wednesday announced that at least 128 new confirmed cases of coronavirus had been reported in Illinois, lifting the state's total to 288 cases in 17 counties. It was not immediately clear if the doctors at Rush Oak Park were included in that total.