Governor JB Pritzker announced Tuesday that Illinois’ COVID-19 disaster proclamation will end in May, more than three years after the governor made the first emergency declaration.
Pritzker said in a statement that the state’s public health emergency will end on May 11.
The end date aligns with the federal government’s decision to end the national public health emergency, the governor’s office said.
The White House announced Monday that Biden will end the national COVID-19 emergency on the same day, May 11.
The governor said Illinois’ and the federal government’s health emergencies were linked to bring in additional federal funding and expand healthcare access for residents across the state.
“Since COVID-19 first emerged nearly three years ago, my administration has worked diligently alongside the federal government to battle this once-in-a-generation pandemic by following scientific and medical guidance to support frontline workers and save lives,” Pritzker said.
“Our state’s disaster proclamation and executive orders enabled us to use every resource at our disposal from building up testing capacity and expanding our healthcare workforce to supporting our vaccine rollout and mutual aid efforts,” Pritzker said.
Illinois joined 12 other states and the Department of Health and Human Services in declaring a public health emergency at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic on March 9, 2020.
“Let me be clear: COVID-19 has not disappeared. It is still a real and present danger to people with compromised immune systems—and I urge all Illinoisans to get vaccinated or get their booster shots if they have not done so already,” Pritzker said.
Illinois residents were able to collect additional SNAP benefits and more than 1.4 million children received pandemic EBT support, the governor’s office said.
The proclamation formalized emergency procedures by activating the State Emergency Operations Center, bringing together decision-makers from every state agency and the state’s mutual aid network to deploy resources as necessary, the governor’s office said.
Illinois was able to receive federal reimbursement for response costs and was allowed to use the state disaster relief fund.
The declaration also allowed Pritzker to activate Illinois National Guard reservists, some of whom were doctors and nurses and served on the front lines of the pandemic response.