JANESVILLE — The first two deaths in the Stateline Area attributed to COVID-19 were reported Tuesday, with fatalities in Rock County, Wisconsin and Winnebago County, Illinois.
The Rock County Public Health Department reports that a 53-year-old individual who resided in Rock County died as a result of complications of COVID-19. In total, 16 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Rock County, health department data shows.
The individual, whose gender was not released, had no known contact with a confirmed positive COVID-19 case and had no history of recent international travel. Through the health investigation, it was learned the individual had traveled to Milwaukee 10 days prior to having COVID-19 symptoms.
As of Tuesday afternoon, 674 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Milwaukee County, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). The figure represents 49.8% of all COVID-19 cases in the state. There were a total of 209 cases reported in Dane County, which is just north of Rock County.
“It is with profound sadness that we announce that one of Rock County’s citizens has passed away from COVID-19,” said Rock County health officer Marie-Noel Sandoval. “We extend our deepest sympathies to the family and loved ones. We are facing extraordinary circumstances and continue to urge everyone that this virus is real, it is deadly, and we must continue to maintain social-distancing and adhere to the Safer At Home Order. Together, we will overcome these challenges and difficult days.”
Wisconsin reported 1,402 COVID-19 cases and 16 deaths as of Tuesday, DHS data shows.
In Winnebago County, Illinois, a patient in their 60s died as a result of COVID-19, the Winnebago County Health Department (WCHD).
"This is a tough day," said Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara. "Our thoughts are with the family of this individual as they not only face an incredible loss but do so in a time of uncertainty and fear. Your community stands with you, and we will get through this together."
The health department says the case was previously known to authorities. The person’s gender was not released on Tuesday. In Winnebago County, 19 cases of COVID-19 have been reported, said WCHD Director Sandra Martell.
Also on Tuesday, Gov. Tony Evers sent a letter to the Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requesting President Donald Trump issue a major disaster declaration for the entire state.
“The response to this virus has required a tremendous response from the state and all of its communities that far exceeds the resources currently available to us,” Evers said. “By seeking this declaration, we are hopeful the state will be able to access critical programs that are needed to deal with the pandemic now, and with the recovery that will be taking place down the road.”
In Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker extended the state’s stay at home order for residents through the end of April. The order originally would have expired on April 7. The similar Wisconsin order issued by Evers expires on April 24, or until a superseding order is issued.
Illinois reported 937 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and 26 new deaths, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reports, bringing the statewide total up to 5,994 cases and 99 deaths in 54 counties. No cases have been reported in 48 Illinois counties, including nearby Boone County.
Cook County in Illinois is responsible for 30% of all cases in the state with 1,803 positive COVID-19 cases and 39 deaths.