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Winnebago County Disaster Proclamation extended through January 2022

Published: Dec. 9, 2021 at 12:47 PM CST
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WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. (WIFR) - With the rising COVID positive cases in the area, Winnebago County Board Chairman Joe Chiarelli declares a local disaster that started on December 8.

Cases of COVID are rising at an alarming rate across Winnebago County as well as the number of patients with COVID being admitted to the local hospitals. The disaster proclamation will provide emergency assistance by making Winnebago County, State of Illinois and federal resources accessible.

The proclamation will not reinstate any government or business shutdowns or mandate vaccinations or treatments. At its meeting on December 9, the Winnebago County Board extended the proclamation until January 31, 2022.

“My experience being hospitalized with COVID identified a need for not only prevention, but intervention, and I want to advocate for additional treatment options to be readily available to Winnebago County residents,” says Chairman Chiarelli.

This includes increased offers of monoclonal antibodies, a first-line treatment to help prevent serious illness for those who test positive for COVID, increased point-of-contact care and informational consultation at various testing sites in Winnebago County or phone upon an individual receiving a positive test result.

The disaster proclamation reads:

PROCLAMATION DECLARING THE COUNTY OF WINNEBAGO, ILLINOIS, A DISASTER AREA FOR COVID-19 RESPONSE

WHEREAS, a significant global outbreak of Sars-VCoV-2 (COVID-19) emerged in early 2020 with the first reported case occurring in Winnebago County, Illinois in March of 2020; and

WHEREAS, the Governor of the State of Illinois issued a disaster proclamation as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak in Illinois on March 9, 2020, and has issued successive disaster proclamations since that date; and

WHEREAS, since March of 2020, Winnebago County has reported approximately 49,000 cases of COVID-19 and 600 deaths; and

WHEREAS, on March 16, 2020, the Winnebago County Board Chairman issued the County’s first Proclamation Declaring the County of Winnebago, Illinois, a Disaster Area for Coronavirus Response, which was extended by the County Board to April 30, 2020 and then further to June 14, 2020; and

WHEREAS, on November 13, 2020, the Winnebago County Board Chairman issued a new Disaster Proclamation due to hospitals in the County nearing surge capacity based upon the high number of COVID-19 patients, which was extended by the County Board to December 31, 2020; and

WHEREAS, Winnebago County is currently experiencing a high rate of transmission of COVID-19, which has resulted in a surge in hospital admissions with COVID-like illness that is overwhelming local hospitals; and

WHEREAS, as of November 27, 2021, the availability of intensive care unit beds in the local hospitals is 15%, well below the 20% surge capacity threshold; and

WHEREAS, as of December 6, 2021, the positivity rate in Winnebago County is 10.8% and the rate of new cases as of that same date is 643.4 per 100,000; and

WHEREAS, Section 11 of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act, 20 ILCS 3305/11, empowers the County Board Chairman of Winnebago County, Illinois, to declare a local disaster for a period of seven (7) days and any extension requires the consent of the Winnebago County Board; and

WHEREAS, based on the foregoing, the current circumstances surrounding COVID-19 constitute a public health emergency, as defined under Section 4 of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act, 20 ILCS 3305/4; and

WHEREAS, such a proclamation will assist Winnebago County, by and through its Emergency Management Agency and Health Department, to be proactive in coordinating county and municipal resources to take actions, including preventative measures, as deemed necessary, in an effort to protect the health and safety of the community and provide emergency assistance pursuant to Illinois law; and

WHEREAS, declaring that a disaster exists in Winnebago County will have the effect of activating the Emergency Operations Plan of the County and will authorize the furnishing of aid and assistance to carry out that Plan; and

WHEREAS, the Public Health Administrator of Winnebago County has made the recommendation to the County Board Chairman to enact a Disaster Proclamation.

NOW, THEREFORE, pursuant to Section 11 of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act, 20 ILCS 3305/11, I hereby proclaim that a local disaster exists within Winnebago County, Illinois. This Proclamation shall be effective on December 8, 2021, and shall be given prompt and general publicity and filed with the Clerk of Winnebago County, Illinois. This Proclamation shall expire in seven (7) days unless terminated sooner by me, in my capacity as principal executive officer of Winnebago County, Illinois, or unless extended by a vote of the Winnebago County Board.

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