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Governor Pritzker activates Illinois National Guard to assist with coronavirus response

Soldiers from the Illinois Army National Guard converge on Marseilles Training Center in Marseilles, Illinois, on April 5, 2018 | Photo: Sgt. 1st Class Bryan Spreitzer.

Governor J.B. Pritzker has activated the Illinois National Guard to assist with the COVID-19 outbreak, which has left 1 dead and at least 160 infected in Illinois.

Approximately 60 Illinois National Guard service members will be assisting.

The members include 43 Airmen from the Peoria-based 182nd Airlift Wing’s Medical Group and 17 planners and liaison officers from both Army National Guard and Air National Guard units from across the state, including medical planners.

The activation is to assist with anticipated need for logistical support and medical staffing, according to the Illinois National Guard.

On Tuesday, Pritzker announced that a Chicago woman in her 60s is the first coronavirus-related death in Illinois. The number of cases had increased by 50% on Tuesday to 160 cases statewide, health officials said.

“I am deeply saddened by the news that we’ve dreaded since the earliest days of this outbreak: the first COVID-19 related death in Illinois,” said Governor JB Pritzker.

“All of Illinois stands with this patient’s family and loved ones in mourning her loss and honoring her memory. May her memory be a blessing,” Pritzker said.

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IDPH announced this past weekend the first resident in a long-term care facility in DuPage County had tested positive for COVID-19. Following testing at the facility, the IDPH announced an additional 21 cases at the facility, including 17 residents and four staff.

“In addition to the death we are sad to report today, we are also reporting an outbreak of COVID-19 in a long-term care facility,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.

“Residents in nursing homes are our most vulnerable population and we are doing everything we can to protect them. We may see cases in other long-term care facilities, which is why it is so important that we all do our part to reduce possible exposure in the community to those who go in and out of these facilities as they provide care to resident,” Ezike said.


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