PEORIA -- Twelve more Tri-County residents were diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.


Peoria County now has 79 cases, Tazewell has 28, and Woodford County has 12, said Monica Hendrickson, administrator for the Peoria City County Health Department during the daily press briefing.


At area hospitals, 20 intensive care beds and 34 non-ICU beds are in use for either confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases.


Forty-eight percent of COVID-19 cases in Peoria County have recovered, 29 percent are in home isolation, and 20 percent are hospitalized. People between the ages of 30-39 now comprise the largest number of cases in Peoria County, said Hendrickson. Thirty-five percent of Peoria County’s cases are attached to a congregate living setting, said Hendrickson. Those include both residents and staff from long-term care facilities and group homes.


Hendrickson also reported on Heartland Health Clinic’s drive thru testing program which has now been open for a week.


"Heartland Health Services began testing at their drive thru clinics on April 21. At that time Peoria County was reporting 44 confirmed cases. Today we sit at 79," said Hendrickson. "Of our 35 new cases in that time span, 45 percent of them were identified through the community based testing that Heartland Health Services provides. In fact, 16 of our overall tests have been identified through the Heartland Health Services. Recognizing the fact that as we increase community based testing, we’re getting a better understanding of what that level of virus is in our communities."


Dr. Matt Jackson, of OSF HealthCare Emergency Medical Services, reported that the stay at home order may be keeping some folks from requesting emergency help when they needed it. People may be afraid of being infected with COVID-19 by going to the hospital, and others are concerned about being a burden, said Jackson.


Jackson reassured people that emergency medical providers and hospital staff are taking every precaution to keep COVID-19 from spreading in their facilities, and that patients having an emergency do not present an added burden, because at this time emergency calls are actually down.


"So please, do not ignore serious symptoms," he said. "We have seen this in relation to heart attack, to stroke, even surgical emergencies."


Leslie Renken can be reached at 686-3250 or lrenken@pjstar.com. Follow her on Twitter.com/LeslieRenken, and subscribe to her on Facebook.com/leslie.renken.