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Health director not surprised by governor's order

Hector Gomez
Administrator, Bureau, Putnam and Marshall County Health Departments
Hector Gomez Administrator, Bureau, Putnam and Marshall County Health Departments

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PRINCETON — In response to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s shelter-in-place order issued Friday and taking effect at 5 p.m. Saturday, Hector Gomez, administrator of the Bureau, Putnam, Marshall County Health Department, said he was not surprised by the order, based on the way the number of COVID-19 cases has increased within days.

“I think sheltering in place to allow people to stay home, and hopefully they do stay home, will slow the spread of the virus in Illinois and in our area,” he said.

Gomez added if everyone follows the order and only leaves their homes for the essential things like groceries, medications and gas, there is potential the spread of the virus will slow.

“If people don’t follow it and still get out or have big gatherings or travel to other locations where the virus has been confirmed, then it’s not going to help,” he said.

“If residents are thinking of the health and well-being of themselves and their family, I think they should follow the governor’s order.”

The Bureau, Putnam and Marshall County Health Department continues to work diligently to provide citizens with the most up-to-date, accurate information regarding COVID-19.

Gomez said the health department is encouraging citizens to assume COVID-19 is in their community.

“Whether or not we have confirmed cases here, continue to practice the precautions like social distancing, avoid large gatherings and wash your hands,” he said.

Since the outbreak, Gomez has also encouraged people to continue checking in on the elderly to make sure they are doing well and have essential supplies on hand.

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