Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker declared a disaster proclamation Monday afternoon over the coronavirus outbreak as state health officials reported an additional four cases in Chicago, bringing the total up to 11.
Illinois joins 13 other states across the nation to issue an emergency procedure in response to COVID-19.
So what does Illinois' version of a state of emergency mean?
According to the official statement it:
- Allows federal reimbursement for state response costs
- Allows use of State Disaster Relief Fund, covering direct state costs and reimbursements to Illinois National Guard and mutual aid groups
- Allows 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, fire fighters, emergency medical technicians and disaster response professionals — that are available to deploy to areas of shortage
- Authorizes the Governor to activate Illinois National Guard reservists, some of whom may be doctors and nurses
- Allows expedited procurement should it be necessary
- Authorizes additional executive authorities to protect public health and safety
“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,” Pritzker said. “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.”
A state disaster proclamation essentially allows the state to ask the federal government for additional resources should the need arise, "by activating the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC), physically bringing together decision-makers from every state agency and the state’s highly qualified mutual aid network," officials stated Monday.