Second Oak Park cop tests positive as COVID-19 hits 36 in village

Six more residents and a second police officer received positive test results

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By Stacey Sheridan

Staff Reporter

An additional six residents and a second Oak Park police officer have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a March 31 announcement from the village of Oak Park. The total number of residents with COVID-19 is now 36.

Of the 30, the Oak Park cases range in from 20s to 70s and include a child younger than one. The newest six cases have an age range of 30s to 70s. Further information cannot be released regarding the cases due to privacy laws. The announcement noted that privacy precludes the sharing of the location information of those tested to anyone other than public health officials and first responders.

The second police officer to test positive chose to self-quarantine directly upon experiencing symptoms and has stayed out of the workplace since mid-March, according to Oak Park Public Health Director Mike Charley. 

According to the local test bulletin attached to the announcement, Oak Park Assistant Human Resources Director Kira Tchang has "notified employees who have had direct contact with the individual and they have been placed in quarantine status as a precaution."

However, the announcement itself states that "employees who have had direct contact with the officer have been notified, but because the contact was greater than 14 days ago, they are not subject to quarantine."

The attached testing bulletin also states that, pursuant to current Illinois Department of Public Health protocols, "any other individuals who had direct close contact with the village employee would be notified through the applicable public health authority."

As with the previously reported cases, the bulletin stated "The Oak Park Department of Public Health is working closely with officials from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), investigating and notifying anyone who may have had exposure to the individual who tested positive for COVID-19. Local public health officials, hospitals and first responders are following protocols consistent with the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)."

The announcement also includes an important caveat designated with asterisks, reading, "It is important to note that as patient tracking and case follow-up occurs, the number of Oak Park cases reported may change depending on residency confirmation."


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Reader Comments

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Tommy McCoy  

Posted: April 3rd, 2020 10:43 PM

Brian Slowiak I know you know how to use a phone and I just called the 24/7 phone number and it is 22:30 hours and it was a voice mail message announcing the persons name and saying please leave a message and she will get back as soon as possible. You may want to check your dialing skills again and also during these very trying times you have to expect not to get a return call right away if you do reach the right number because your call will be returned based on importance. The garbage cans should keep you busy until you receive a phone call back if you call the correct number and there is a style of talking with people that I have acquired over a number of years which helps get a quicker return call. The number one thing is get right to the point since CEO's, etc., are very busy. The only person I could not reach was Mary Barra with GM although I still got done what I wanted to get done

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: April 3rd, 2020 8:52 PM

@ Tommy "Real" McCoy: For the sake of trying once again, The problems I had were all with RC. . I did not mention the failures that I had with RC. The first was after a hurricane where the RC aired a commercial showing various musical celebrities in action, a guitar player shown on stings putting up a tent , a vocalist with headset filling in a bulletin board etc. I thought great RC is down the street from me in Hillside. I called RC wanting to do loading dock work. The response was no, send a check The commercial must have took at least 30 days to shoot prior to the hurricane.. Second was RC asking for blood after 9/11. Called RC wanting to donate blood, and they said no thanks, send a check. I donate blood thru Heartland now. 48 hours and counting and the different agency dear to my heart hasn't called me back. For grins, I will contact RC keep you posted. I think I will stick to the neighborhood taking the garbage cans out and back from the curb for the block. Seeing if someone needs errand and minor home repair.

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: April 2nd, 2020 11:45 AM

Brian Slowiak The American Red Cross may be helpful in helping you. Here is a starting point below Joy Squier?| Chief Communications Officer |? 630.220.9468 (c)?312.907.0520 (24/7)

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: April 2nd, 2020 10:52 AM

@ Dwyer: I can nor get thru to a hospital. I called my local hospital and left a message wanting t do dock work, , and no response. Called another hospital wanting to volunteer outside lawn care left message no response. A truism, no one returns phone calls until need is great and then only to their benefit. I also have a third line into an agency that is near my heart and so far no return call for 36 hours, still waiting.

William Dwyer Jr.  

Posted: April 1st, 2020 2:45 PM

Thank you, Bruce. I meant no disrespect to your expertise.

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: April 1st, 2020 2:23 PM

Doctor Kline I never thought about all of the viruses you and your colleagues were exposed to I have always though in terms of full haz mat protection which would obviously not always be available to you and your colleagues and it require you and your colleagues to improvise to find the best equipment to protect you. Thank you very much for really risking your own health to take care of others. That is the most commendable thing a human being can do for another. All of these people now risking their lives should have the best equipment. I notice Police Officers on the street without any protection and they have to perform their duties as well as Firefighter Paramedics. A good lead for Brian to get an idea on masks would be and then take it from there. There are N95 masks that filter in and out. I have noticed people in the store wearing particle masks and having them poorly fitted so if the media does find out what happened to them, and there is an abundance, people will need to be properly trained. Thank you for all you and your colleagues and First Responders do Doctor Kline

Bruce Kline  

Posted: April 1st, 2020 2:09 PM

Bill Dwyer: I reread your comment, and I humbly apologize. Since you are correct. Brian should contact a hospital to see if they can use what he has (I doubt it). I misunderstood your intial point. I thought you were impugning my expertise in the use of and knowledge of PPE. Sorry. My humble apologies.

Bruce Kline  

Posted: April 1st, 2020 1:59 PM

Brian: In regard to N95 masks. A picture is worth a thousand words. Google N95 mask, check out the images. There are several different configurations.

Bruce Kline  

Posted: April 1st, 2020 1:49 PM

Gee Junior. Do you think I have been working in an ice cream parlor for the past 35 years? I have 35 years of bedside ICU and OR experience as a board certified anesthesiologist and critical care intensivist. That means I have been exposed to drug resistant TB, HIV, and now SARS-CoVid-2. As such, I and my colleagues have had to acquire an expert understanding and knowledge of PPE such as N95 masks and their like since our lives were often literally on the line. And of course in the present dynamic situation we find ourselves in, "expert" guidelines keep changing, and depending upon the so called "expert" those guidelines can be contradictory ?" particularly in regard to public mask use. And quite frankly I find your advice to Brian to be ridiculous. Who is the hospital expert your referring to genius? I got to say it. Your ignorance in these matters is only exceeded by your pompous arrogant gasbaggery.

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: April 1st, 2020 12:45 PM

Bruce Kline I would never hoard anything or imply people should try and get their hands on masks. Medical and First Responders need them first. The President said the media should be figuring out what happened to them instead of the President figuring that out. Companies like Battelle can sterilize them to get several more uses, although some one better figure out where the new ones are. I am only suggesting that if people are still infecting each other when I think people would run as fast as they could from someone sneezing or coughing then other attempts are worth considering when and if there is a flood of masks available. Sealing instructions can be learned just like gas masks and possibly a sealant included. A doctor on the news said people can leave non perishable foods in the truck of a car for 2 or 3 days. Maybe that is how long the virus lives although no one knows. No one knows if it can enter through cracked skin. What is apparent is no one really knows much about this virus other then it has been given a name and no new updates other than wash hands and stay away. Not possible in grocery stores. This virus is new and now is being studied from the beginning. I understand people being infected two weeks ago and now testing positive and testing is to separate the population to protect others although if people are still being tested positive in 8 weeks then some thing else needs to be attempted to protect people if items are available. We all need to observe and think of possibles is really all I am writing. Observing is how a lot of discoveries have happened and it saved the Cavemen and Cavewomen

William Dwyer Jr.  

Posted: April 1st, 2020 12:34 PM

I humbly suggest it would be a better idea to contact a hospital of your choice and ask an expert there is they can use anything you have, Brian.

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: April 1st, 2020 11:19 AM

@ Bruce "Burger King" Kline: Please describe what a N95 mask looks like as compared to a surgical mask, as compared to face masks used to protect yourself as say a homeowner who is hanging insulation in their attic. Please address proper disposal of plastic gloves. I went to Aldis and observed used plastic gloves laying on the ground next to the shopping carts. And folding used gloves into a ball and disposing. Also I volunteer at The Automotive Mentoring Group in Bedford Park, Ill mentoring youth in auto mechanics and auto body fender work. We have several new sealed in original bags heavy plastic full face shields used for grinding work and working under cars.Are they useful/wanted for a hospital to use? Also have a full size plastic cooler filled with sealed paper(?) paint suits with hood. Are these suits useful/wanted at a hospital?Thanxs for steadying the tiller of the ship.

Bruce Kline  

Posted: April 1st, 2020 1:10 AM

Tommy: Well the reason N95 masks are not recommended is 1. to be truly effective you need fit testing 2. Covid19 has been shown time and time again to be spread by respiratory droplets; not viral aerosols. 3. the studies that have looked at mitigation of respiratory virus transmission in the general population (Cochrane Review 2011) have shown that the N95 mask has no advantage over a standard surgical mask but may have several disadvantages: they need to be fitted and are hard to breath through 4. the only folks subjected to Covid19 viral aerosols are first responders, anesthesia personnel, and intensive care docs and nurses (I am sure I missed a whole host of others as well). These aerosols happen during invasive life saving procedures such as tracheal intubation.and other critical procedures So they - not you - need an N95 mask. Your suggestion to use N95 masks at the expense of our stressed health care system - already short of PPE - has me scratching my head. I think you should think about "flattening the curve." If you selfishly hoard N95 masks which basically offer you no advantage over a standard surgical mask (which by the way is also in short supply), then as health care workers get sick (and they are already due to lack of appropriate PPE) - due to public use - you wind up unable to flatten the curve after all - since hospital capacity continually goes down due to sick personnel. Finally consider the more testing we do, the more likely it is to find more infected cases. So do not assume increasing numbers are merely a function of increasing infections ... they are very likely a function of increasing testing. I am guessing that the number of infected folks are from three to ten times the number who presently test positive. in Illinois ... maybe more.

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: March 31st, 2020 11:00 PM

Marlene Scott from Oak Park There is a lot to learn about this new virus although the way it is spreading, I have to think that how many people have I noticed coughing or sneezing in public compared to how the cases are soaring since the shelter at home has gone into place and the connection of people needing to be in stores for essentials. Considering that as a main source of closeness without anyone sneezing or coughing then I would suggest there is a possibility of the virus spreading to others just as if some one was smoking meaning it is just not heavy droplets falling to the ground. This is why I would think a FDA approved N95 certainly would be worth consideration until proof can show otherwise. Also, if the masks can not be made for enough people then grocery store curbside pick up which may not be as nice as shopping should be put into a possible plan if this virus does not correct itself with keeping the standard 6 foot distance

Marlene Scott from Oak Park  

Posted: March 31st, 2020 10:41 PM

If COVID-19 was an airborne virus, then it would make sense to wear a mask. But it is spread by droplets. That's why we are told to wash our hands and not touch our face. There aren't enough masks for healthcare workers who could be exposed to the virus on the job. Stay at home.

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: March 31st, 2020 9:05 PM

Karen Krug Anderson it is a matter of privacy laws. I think this has been mentioned before and it is not going to change. This takes another Police Officer out of service and it may be possible if this continues to deputize or ask retired Officer's if they are available. I am sure all possibles are being considered. I still would like to know if a N95 mask approved by the FDA would be helpful for people to wear in public as right now the information is no although there is no explanation on why not. If cases are still climbing even after stay at home then maybe grocery stores will have to take online orders for curb side pick up to reduce the social closeness

Karen Krug Anderson  

Posted: March 31st, 2020 8:43 PM

you are doing a disservice of not reporting the number of cases in surrounding areas of oak park. i understand op has a health department which one can obtain covid-19 information easily,, but i think the community would also appreciate knowing about cases around oak park..

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