CHICAGO (WREX) — Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has issued a disaster proclamation to unlock additional federal resources and help the state prepare for the potential of further spread of COVID-19.
Gov. Pritzker made the announcement Monday afternoon in Chicago.
“As we’ve said from the beginning, the state of Illinois will use every tool at our disposal to respond to this virus, and this is the next step in that commitment,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “We stand ready to put the full weight of state government in preparation for a full-fledged response when needed and will continue to update the public regularly, responsibly and honestly as the situation evolves.”
The governor made the declaration after announcing an additional four cases of COVID-19, bringing the total of Illinois cases up to 11.
Two of the cases, a woman in her 50s and a woman in her 70s, are both family members to the sixth case, a woman in her 50s who acquired the virus on a cruise ship and is an employee at Jacqueline B. Vaughn Occupational High School.
The third new case is a woman in her 50s from California who traveled to Illinois.
The fourth most recent case is a woman in her 70s who returned earlier this month from an Egyptian cruise. All four of these new cases are in isolation and in good condition.
“While we continue to implement measures to reduce the spread of the virus, as we anticipated, we are starting to see more COVID-19 cases in Illinois,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “Although these most recent cases are close contacts to a confirmed case or have a history of travel, we want people to prepare for the virus to spread in the community. The virus is not circulating widely in Illinois at this time, but we must prepare now to reduce the impact to our communities if it becomes widespread.”
IDPH is currently operating three testing labs statewide – in Chicago, Springfield and Carbondale. These state labs meet current need, and commercial testing expansion is anticipated this week.