Macomb – Last week, State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb), who serves as the Republican Spokesperson on the House Human Services Committee, sent the following letter to the Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health requesting the Department’s formal coronavirus response plan and a plan to hire a permanent Chief Medical Officer/State Epidemiologist:
Dear Director Ezike,
Historically, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) produces a response plan to outline coordination and the decision-making process at the state level among its state partners who have a role during a pandemic. Previously, IDPH released plans involving the state’s response to Ebola, H1N1, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and Zika. Therefore, I am writing you to request a copy of IDPH’s formal written plan explicitly addressing the coronavirus outbreak, which includes outlining the state’s operational framework when preparing and responding to this emerging threat to the people of Illinois.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week warned of the increased likelihood of the coronavirus spreading across communities in the United States. In addition, there are two previous known cases in Illinois as well as the first U.S. community spread case appearing in California. While the severity of the virus within the United States is uncertain, the state’s preparedness should be clear, transparent, and give confidence to the people of Illinois.
Additionally, since IDPH serves as the lead state agency for public health, we also ask that you provide members of the House Human Services Committee with your contingency plans in the absence of a permanent Chief Medical Officer/State Epidemiologist. This position plays a crucial public health role during pandemics and requires immediate attention in light of this global crisis.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter as we work to ensure Illinois is prepared.
Representative Norine K. Hammond
A PDF copy of the letter can also be found HERE.