On March 9, Illinois’ Governor issued a disaster proclamation in response to growing concerns surrounding the rapidly changing COVID-19 health issue.
Illinois joins over a dozen other states in issuing the emergency procedure to unlock additional federal resources and help the state prepare for the potential of further spread of the virus.
According to the Governor’s official release, a disaster proclamation will allow for the following:
· Federal reimbursement for state response costs
· Use of State Disaster Relief Fund, covering direct state costs and reimbursements to Illinois National Guard and mutual aid groups
· Use of the state’s mutual aid network, groups of public safety response professionals — including hundreds of health care providers and management professionals, law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and disaster response professionals — that are available to deploy to areas of shortage
· The Governor to activate Illinois National Guard reservists, some of whom may be doctors and nurses
· Expedited procurement should it be necessary
· Additional executive authorities to protect public health and safety
As of March 13th, there are 32 cases of Coronavirus confirmed in Illinois. Senator McClure is urging residents to continue to be proactive in efforts to avoid the spread of the virus within Illinois communities. The CDC has some useful tips to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases like COVID-19:
· Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
· Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
· Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
· Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
· Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Meanwhile, the Illinois Department of Public Health has established a statewide COVID-19 hotline (1-800-889-3931) and website for questions or concerns.