PEORIA - An eleventh Tri-County resident has died from COVID-19.


“There was one new death reported in Woodford County,” said Dr. Gregg Stoner, medical director for the Peoria City/County Health Department during the daily COVID-19 press briefing Tuesday. “This was a 90-year-old female with multiple medical co-morbidities, and she was not a resident of a long term care facility.”


The Tri-County area now has a total of 247 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 165 in Peoria County, 64 in Tazewell County, and 18 in Woodford County.


Of the 4,500 people who have been tested at Heartland Health Services drive thru clinics, about 2.05 percent have been positive for COVID-19, said Stoner. Among the positive cases, the rate of asymptomatic cases remains around 42 percent.


Eric Larson, senior operations manager for Illinois American Water offered reassuranes that workers were keeping the water flowing in central Illinois during the shut-down. In fact, in the interest of public well-being, water shut-offs for non payment have been suspended.


“We want to make sure everyone has water, for public health and public good during the pandemic,” said Larson.


Larson asked the public to help keep water systems running by not flushing flushable wipes which can block pipes. Some people turned to the wipes when they couldn’t find toilet paper in the stores.


“They are not really flushable. Please use the trash bucket. It helps the whole community,” he said.


He also offered tips for restaurant owners when they return to work as the shutdown eases.


“Flush those water pipes. Open the tap, do a good flush and bring fresh water in,” he said. When water stagnates inside pipes the chlorine gets consumed, and the copper from copper pipes can leach into the water.


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.