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Jason Addy, Editor
7:34 pm CDT March 28, 2020

One of the more than three dozen people who fell ill after attending a March 15 service at The Life Church of Glenview died Friday morning, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

William Rosado, 64, of Wheeling, was pronounced dead at 12:30 a.m. Friday, March 27, at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, the medical examiner’s office reported. Offiicals listed his cause of death as pneumonia due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). He was battling pancreatic cancer at the time of his death.

Rosado was one of at least 10 people who tested positive for the coronavirus after attending the March 15 service. At least 43 have shown symptoms in the two weeks since the service, according to Layna Showalter LoCascio, the wife of the church’s pastor, Anthony LoCascio.

Only about a dozen of those who are showing symptoms have been tested, “but whoever gets a test done ends up being positive, and we all have the same symptoms,” Showalter LoCascio said Tuesday, March 25, in a now-deleted Facebook post.

Some of Rosado’s family members have also tested positive, according to a report by Mick Zawislak of The Daily Herald.

The Cook County Department of Public Health is responsible for conducting “contact tracing” to determine who may have come into contact with any of those who have tested positive or were exposed to the coronavirus during The Life Church’s service, Village of Glenview officials said in a statement after news of the outbreak was first published.

In a message to The Lantern on Saturday, March 28, Showalter LoCascio declined to comment on Rosado’s death beyond a statement posted the day before on the church’s Facebook page that thanked church leaders "for the outpouring of support.”

Rosado was one of three people hospitalized for coronavirus symptoms after attending the service. Another of those hospitalized was a guest speaker who flew in from Nevada to talk to the congregation about “having faith, not fear,” according to The Daily Herald’s report.

The guest speaker told LoCascio he had a slight fever, but LoCascio learned soon after that the man was receiving treatment in an intensive care unit, the report states.

Since news of the outbreak was first reported, many people have questioned the church’s leaders for not canceling the service that attracted about 80 people.

Showalter LoCascio said in her message to The Lantern that The Life Church of Glenview “strictly followed” the guidelines set out by the CDC, adding public schools had not been shut down at the time of the March 15 service. However, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced two days before the church’s service that all schools in Illinois would be closed starting March 17 to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Illinois public health officials on Feb. 28 began encouraging community and faith-based organizations to consider canceling or postponing large gatherings.

Three days before the March 15 service, officials said organizations and residents “should closely consider who is likely to attend the event and, if it includes vulnerable populations, strongly consider canceling.”

The day of the service, the CDC warned organizations against holding large gatherings of more than 50 people. Illinois public health officials also announced 29 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus that day.

Pritzker issued a shelter-in-place order and banned gatherings of more than 10 people on March 20, five days after the service.

The 10 confirmed coronavirus cases linked to The Life Church's service represent the first known cluster outbreak in the Village of Glenview.

Including those at The Life Church’s March 15 service, more than 100 people affiliated with the North Shore have tested positive or were exposed to the coronavirus, as of press time.
• Loyola Academy officials announced a teacher tested positive for the coronavirus on Saturday, March 21. The teacher last had contact with students on March 12, according to school officials.
• A parent of a student at Kenilworth’s A Joyful Noise Preschool, who was in a classroom at the school on March 12, was confirmed positive for COVID-19 (coronavirus), on Thursday, March 19.
• The Winnetka Public Schools District 36 officials confirmed on March 17 a seventh-grader from Carleton Washburne School in Winnetka has a “probable, presumptive case.” The student was at school last on March 11.
• Officials from Glenbrook High Schools District 225 and Glenview District 34 announced Monday, March 16, that a parent with children in both districts tested positive for the coronavirus.
• Township School District 113 announced emergency closure of school Friday, March 13, after a suspected case was reported at Deerfield High School.
• Two employees of Northwestern University in Evanston tested positive for the virus in consecutive days — Friday and Saturday, March 13-14.
• A NorthShore University HealthSystems hospital was treating a patient for the virus last week, according to a release from the organization. The group has hospitals in Glenview, Skokie, Highland Park and Chicago.
• In a statement posted March 11, Evanston Unitarian Church said a congregation member tested positive for the coronavirus and it would suspend services for at least a week.
• The Village of Glencoe announced March 4 that an employee of its Public Works Department was exposed to the coronavirus, but the employee remained symptom-free for 14 days.
• Loyola Academy in Wilmette closed March 9-10 after a student at the school was exposed to the virus off-campus.
• A faculty member of Lake Forest High School entered a 14-day quarantine after being exposed to the coronavirus while visiting a Chicago high school where someone with the virus was present the same day.
• Gabe Funk, a former Lake Forest High School football team captain, publicly identified himself as testing positive for coronavirus. Funk had been studying abroad in Rome where he believes he contracted it. He is currently in self-quarantine.
• An unidentified Lake Bluff man informed village officials that he has tested positive for coronavirus. He is also self-quarantining.
• Sixty-two residents of the City of Evanston have tested positive for COVID-19 as of March 28, according to the city’s website.

There are 3,491 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 47 reported deaths in Illinois, and the CDC reports 103,321 confirmed cases and 1,668 deaths from the virus in the United States, as of press time Saturday, March 28.

According to the World Health Organization, there are more than 575,444 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 26,654 deaths linked to the virus worldwide, as of Saturday, March 28. There are confirmed cases in at least 201 countries, according to WHO statistics.