Hundreds of Healthcare Workers Answered Call to Return to Frontlines of Fight Against Coronavirus, Pritzker Says

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Hundreds of healthcare workers reached out to Illinois officials after Gov. J.B. Pritzker asked those who had recently retired or left the field to return to the fight against the deadly coronavirus, the governor says.

"I'm very proud to say that since my call to action this weekend, for those qualified to join the fight, we have had hundreds of nurses and doctors and other healthcare workers reach out to us and let us know that they are interested in helping," Pritzker said in his daily coronavirus briefing on Tuesday.

"The application went live yesterday and in just 24 hours, we've already received 180 applications from individuals ready and willing to rejoin the healthcare workforce," he continued, encouraging anyone interested to visit the state's coronavirus website to find the necessary forms from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to rejoin the workforce.

March 24 briefing: Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, tears up while discussing four additional coronavirus-related deaths in Illinois, lifting the state total to 16.

The IDFPR issued a proclamation to allow out-of-state physicians, nurses, physician assistants, and respiratory care therapists to care for Illinois residents during the pandemic, and to make it easier for Illinois healthcare workers whose licenses are inactive or expired to renew or restore those licenses.

Specifically, doctors and physician assistants whose licenses have been expired or inactive for less than three years can renew it without any fees and without having to complete any continuing education requirement, the IDFPR says, in order to work for the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, the Illinois Department of Public Health, in a long-term care facility, hospital, or health center.

Licensed practical nurses, registered professional nurses, advanced practice registered nurses and respiratory care therapists whose licenses have been inactive for less than five years can temporarily restore them for no fee or continuing education requirement to work in the same capacity, state officials say.

State health officials announced Tuesday that 250 new cases of coronavirus had been confirmed in Illinois over the last 24 hours, bringing the state total to at least 1,535. Four new deaths were also recorded in Illinois, officials said, bringing the total number of fatalities to 16 across the state.

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