By SAMANTHA PIDDE

Carroll County reported its first COVID-19 related death Monday, March 30, the Carroll County Health Department said in a news release.

The county resident who died was in his or her 80s and had tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease, health department officials said.

Also Monday, Carroll County reported a third positive case, a person in his or her 80s.

The total number of positive cases of COVID-19 in Carroll County now stands at three, health officials said. The first case was reported Friday, March 27, a person in his or her 40s.

No further information is being provided on the individuals and their families as a matter of privacy, the release said. A Facebook post by the individual who tested positive identified herself as a woman from Savanna.

“The investigation is ongoing,” the release said. “These cases reinforce the importance of actions the public can take to protect themselves and prevent the spread in the community.”

“Our health department is working closely with the Illinois Department of Public Health and continues to monitor the individual that has been self-quarantined for 12 days and their close contacts,” the March 27 release said about the woman in her 40s. “While the investigation is ongoing, we are aware that this case is related to travel. This case reinforces the importance of actions the public can take to protect themselves and prevent the spread in the community.”

Savanna Mayor Chris Lain also confirmed the Savanna case of COVID-19 on his Facebook page and urged the public not to panic but to continue to follow the recommendations of the CDC and the measures put in place by the state of Illinois.

"Practice social distancing, stay at home if possible, sanitize surfaces and be aware," said Mayor Lain, adding, "This time is tough for all of us. Stress levels are high. But Savanna is a strong community. And we will come out of this even stronger. Please stay safe, healthy and kind."

Eighty percent of cases are mild, health officials have said, so testing is not performed and a symptomatic person is instructed to stay at home for seven days or 72 hours after being fever free without the use of fever-reducing medication, whichever is longer. Anyone with respiratory symptoms that cannot be attributed to an underlying or previously recognized condition should consider themselves a possible case of COVID-19.

Statewide, 461 new cases were announced Monday with eight deaths, putting the total to 5,057 cases, including 73 deaths, in 52 counties in Illinois.

A possible COVID-19 case is defined as a person with a fever or cough or shortness of breath or sore throat that cannot be attributed to an underlying or previously known condition.

Anyone with respiratory symptoms that cannot be attributed to an underlying or previously recognized condition should consider themselves a possible case of COVID-19. In children, fever with sore throat may be attributable with conditions other than the coronavirus (such as strep throat) and a parent or guardian should consult a healthcare provider to rule out other illnesses.

Unless it is an emergency, individuals who feel they may have COVID-19, or have had close contact with someone diagnosed with the virus or who is under evaluation for possible exposure, are advised to stay at home and call their healthcare provider for further direction.

These individuals are asked not to go to the emergency room, a walk-in clinic or their doctor's office. Instead they should call ahead and follow their doctor's instructions to prevent further spread of the virus.

Potential emergency warning signs in which an individual should get medical attention immediately include trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, bluish lips or face.

The best defense against COVID-19 remains self-isolation and social distancing.

Health officials advise you to stay apart (at least six feet from others); stay put, only leaving home when essential; wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before preparing or eating food, touching your face and after you return home; try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep; avoid lines by taking advantage of pick-up and delivery services for groceries and other goods; call your friends and family or take advantage of apps that allow video chat.

For general information on COVID-19, visit https://coronavirus.illinois.gov. For general questions, call the IDPH COVID-19 hotline at 800-889-3931, email dph.sick@illinois.gov, or call the Carroll County Health Department at 815-244-8855.