While Illinois health officials continue to make daily announcements about additional positive coronavirus cases in the state, little information has been released about patients who have recovered from COVID-19.
As of Wednesday, 6,980 positive coronavirus cases were confirmed in the state, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. One of those positive cases is Jennie Novokavic, 43, from Wilmette, and she recovered.
Why aren't we hearing more about recovery cases?
In Novokavic's case, about two weeks after she tested positive for coronavirus, her symptoms were gone. She told NBC 5 that the only follow-up communication she received from health officials was a voluntary survey.
“It was just 10 to 15 questions, and that was it," Novokavic said. "I haven’t heard anything since.”
There-in lies the challenge.
NBC 5 Investigates has requested recovery numbers from every county in Illinois and northwest Indiana.
Some counties responded with numbers. In Kendall County, zero of 20 cases has recovered as of this week, the county said. Porter County, Indiana, reported that four of 15 cases have recovered.
Other counties told NBC 5 Investigates they don't collect that data or the information comes from the state. And others, like Kankakee and DeKalb counties, didn't respond to our inquires.
We also requested recovery numbers from the IDPH.
“The state has surveyed current COVID patients on their recovery status," an IDPH spokesperson said in response. "Of those that responded, 48% indicated they were recovered.”
It's not clear how many people responded to the survey.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determines a patient to be recovered from coronavirus when the patient has had no fever for at least 72 hours, other symptoms have improved and at least seven days have passed since symptoms first appeared. A patient also is considered recovered when the patient received two negative tests in a row, 24 hours apart, and there no more symptoms
Novokavic’s husband is a surgeon who feels confident she is in the clear but does believe more data on healing could provide more hope.