Gov. J.B. Pritzker has activated the Illinois National Guard to help with the state’s response to the novel coronavirus.
According to a National Guard Facebook post, Pritzker has activated approximately 60 service members to assist with the state’s response to COVID-19, which has sickened at least 160 people and has resulted in one death.
The Guard says 43 airmen from the Peoria-based 182nd Airlift Wing’s Medical Group will be activated, along with 17 planners and liaison officers from the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard.
The release says the guardsmen will help with “logistical support and medical staffing.”
The news comes after state officials confirmed 55 new cases on Tuesday. Officials also confirmed that a 61-year-old Chicago woman had died after being diagnosed with the virus, but an examination of medical records Wednesday will rule on an official cause of death.
“There are going to be moments during the next few weeks and months when this burden feels like it is more than we can bear – this is one of those moments, but we will get through this together,” Pritzker said.
Nearly 5,900 confirmed cases have been reported across the United States, according to health officials. 160 of those cases have been reported in Illinois.