Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has announced a partnership between Illinois manufacturing and biotech firms. The partnership will help the state to equip itself to battle the Coronavirus pandemic. For the first time since the earliest days of the outbreak, the number of new COVID-19 cases have declined from the previous day.
The director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, Dr. Ngozi Ezike the state has reported 236 new cases on Monday dropping from the 296 registered on Sunday. The state’s infected tally has reached 1,285. The director says that the state has recorded three new deaths on Monday making 12 Illinois deaths attributed to the pandemic. Pritzker detailed the negative response of the federal government in response to the state’s requests for personal protective equipment.
Personal protective equipment is also known as PPE, which includes masks, gloves, gowns, goggles, and respirators. As of Monday, the state had requested the National Strategic Stockpile for 47,500 goggles and 4,000 respirators. The state hasn’t received a single one of either. The state had also put in requests for 2.3 million N95 specialized masks and 900,000 surgical masks.
The state received 10 percent of the masks, 247,000 N95 specialized masks, and 91,000 surgical masks. The state received the same proportion for gowns having asked for 924,000 and received 91,000. The state received just 4.4 percent of gloves, having put the request for 7.4 million pairs. However, the state did receive almost all of the 120,000 protective face shields it asked for.
To fulfill the requirements, Pritzker announced a new partnership between the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association and the Illinois Biotechnology Innovation Organization. The partnership is a do-it-yourself effort to provide the equipment needed to confront the coronavirus outbreak. Pritzker said, “Our innovative biotech companies and state-of-the-art manufacturers are teaming up with the state of Illinois to ramp up production of personal protective equipment, also known as PPE, through a newly launched alliance — the Essential Equipment Task Force.”