Patient at University of Chicago hospital tests negative for coronavirus
University of Chicago Medical Center officials said Tuesday night that tests on a patient they feared would be the state's fifth person to be diagnosed with the COVID-19 coronavirus strain came out negative.
The patient was admitted Monday night. Doctors released lab results from the Illinois Department of Public Health just before 8:30 p.m.
The medical center didn't say anything more about the patient.
"We remain committed to providing safe and effective care to those in our community who become infected with COVID-19," read an email to hospital staff members, also shared with media. "We will continue to work with federal, state and local health officials as we monitor the situation locally and nationally while also ensuring UChicago Medicine's readiness for the various stages of the epidemic."
Meanwhile, two suburban coronavirus patients remain under watch, one at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights and the other quarantined at her home. The husband and wife in their 70s were the third and fourth patients diagnosed with the disease in the state. It's unclear how they were infected.
The first and second patients were treated at a hospital in Hoffman Estates weeks ago and released back to their Chicago home after symptoms subsided. Health officials said that couple is doing well. The woman became infected after traveling to China and her husband contracted the virus from her upon her return.
Elsewhere, Arlington Heights Elementary District 25 officials notified parents and staff about two students and two staffers who were staying home of their own volition after coming into contact with a babysitter who's relative treated a coronavirus patient at a hospital.
The disease, which has had significant outbreaks in China, Iran and Italy, has been responsible for hundreds of deaths around the world. So far, U.S. health officials have only confirmed six deaths, all in Washington state, from the virus.
Like most respiratory diseases, this strain of coronavirus affects the elderly, infants and those with compromised immune systems the most. Health officials are working on a vaccine in an effort to thwart the spread of the disease.