There were no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Shelby County as of 9 a.m. Monday, according to the Shelby County Health Department.

Steve Melega said in an interview that the latest pending test was a negative.

“There are no positive cases in Shelby County,” Melega said. “Six people have been tested. Five were negative and one is pending.”

Melega was called away from the phone and then returned to announce the pending case was also confirmed as a negative.

There was one another case of a person being isolated in their home for 14 days.

“They were in a training in Missouri and then learned that a person at that training was confirmed,” Melega said.

He said the Shelby County person is at home isolating and has shown no symptoms and has therefore not been tested.

Melega said that three of the six tests from Shelby County were done by the Illinois Department of Public Health and three of the tests were done by preferred reference labs. Melega explained that the IDPH only tests those who were in-patient with pneumonia or those suspected or confirmed COVID-19 from a congregate high risk setting, like an assisted living facility.

All other tests are being referred by physicians to preferred labs for testing.

Melega did point out that the number of cases in Illinois has increased to 1,049 as of Monday morning. He expects that an increase in the number of confirmed cases in Illinois will continue to be announced. State health officials earlier this month confirmed one case in Cumberland County.

“We have to assume it’s here, we just don’t have any positives yet,” Melega said. “Maybe it helps us because our population is in more rural areas than urban settings. We have 17,000 people of our population in rural areas. That helps.”

Melega said that people should continue their social distancing and if their activities are not essential that they are required by Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s order on Friday to stay home. He referred readers to their website to continue the protocols for good hygiene, like washing your hands for 20 seconds before toughing your face, and monitoring a fever or other symptoms. The Shelby County Health Department website is

John Curtis can be reached at

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