SPRINGFIELD Ill. (WCIA) — Governor J.B. Pritzker declared the monkeypox virus outbreak a public health emergency Monday.
The emergency disaster proclamation allows the Illinois Department of Public Health to work with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency to expand testing and vaccination efforts in the state.
“These measures will allow the state to deploy all our resources in fighting this disease and will open efficient lines of communication and cooperation across state lines,” Dr. Sameer Vohra, IDPH Director, said.
In the declaration, Pritzker also noted the outbreak is disproportionately affecting the LGBTQ+ community.
“Here in Illinois we will ensure our LGBTQ+ community has the resources they need to stay safe while ensuring members are not stigmatized as they access critical health care,” Pritzker said.
According to IDPH data, Illinois has had 520 cases of monkeypox as of Monday. Most cases have been located within the city of Chicago, but central Illinois has seen cases recently. Champaign County had its second case and Sangamon County its first probable case last week.