As the state continues to grapple with the devastating impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is encouraging citizens to try to help each other through a difficult time.
During his daily coronavirus press briefing Sunday, Pritzker encouraged young and healthy college students to seek out volunteering opportunities and laid out safety measures to ensure that all community-driven activities can move forward safely.
According to the governor, all organizations recruiting volunteers through the state’s special website (which you can access here) will receive CDC guidance on how to safely on-board volunteers.
Safety measures, including daily health surveys, temperature checks for volunteers, thorough cleaning of surfaces at shift changes and other techniques will need to be employed by organizations participating in the program.
For those looking for another way to help, Pritzker called attention to a potentially critical blood donation shortage because of the virus. With many blood drives being canceled, Pritzker encouraged healthy residents to contact their local Red Cross branches to donate blood.
“A blood shortage would only worsen the health crisis we’re facing right now,” he said.
Pritzker emphasized that there is “no evidence” that respiratory illnesses can be transmitted via blood donation.
The governor also praised those citizens adopting and fostering animals, and volunteers who are shopping for groceries and other medical supplies for their vulnerable neighbors.
“Hope is all around us, and can be found in every corner of the state,” he said.
Finally, Pritzker called on residents and companies with unused personal protective equipment (PPE) to donate it to first responders. The governor’s office set up an email account at firstname.lastname@example.org, and encouraged residents and companies to step up their efforts to help medical professionals.