Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker Wednesday continued to point out how the state has too few health care workers as the system becomes stretched due to COVID-19.
The governor indicated Illinois has received over 11-hundred applications from both former workers looking to “rejoin the fight” and from out-of-state professionals who want to help here.
"It’s really incredible to watch the people of this state are truly so deeply genuine and caring," he said. Pritzker spoke on the same day the state's total number of COVID-19 cases reached 6.980 with 141 deaths. The coronavirus disease has shown up in 56 of the state's 102 counties.
Pritzker reminded those already licensed in Illinois to sign up to be on call.
“So that in the event of an urgent need, such as those created by COVID-19, our public health officials will be able to contact you immediately to ask that you volunteer your critical skills at that moment,” said Pritzker.
An emergency alert was sent across the state earlier this week.
The governor also said Illinois is exploring options to allow fourth year medical students – as well as some nursing students at the end of their program – to join the workforce early and battle the pandemic.
Pritzker Urges 10 Minutes For The Census
With so many residents forced to stay home due to the coronavirus, Illinois’ governor says it’s a good time fill out the census form. Pritzker says it can be done in minutes.
“It’s incredibly important to make sure that every Illinois resident, from newborn babies to great grandparents, is counted in the census,” he said. "We are in the biggest battle of our lifetimes against COVID-19, but it's important to look beyond this fight today and take a moment to think about our future."
The census will determine how much federal tax money will come back to Illinois as well as the state’s political power when it comes to the number of congressional seats.
An online census questionnaire is available and reminders to complete the form were sent through the mail. But census takers in the field are being delayed because of coronavirus concerns.
New Fund To Help The Arts
There is a new fundraising effort to help Illinois artists and artisans. The Arts Illinois Relief Fund allows for donations that will be turned into grants to help during a time when nearly all performances and exhibits have been canceled.
Chicago artist Amanda Williams said the arts community is resilient.
“We will not stop making, creating, inspiring, challenging, bearing witness and bringing hope. In fact, that’s all we know to do in these moments,” she said.
Williams mentioned while some performers have continued to share art online, the shutdown has been far reaching. She says those who do lighting, costumes and more have also found themselves out of work.