An Update on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

March 23, 2020
Newsletter

Earlier this week, the State of Illinois declared a state of emergency in response to the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). My team and I have received a number of questions about the spread of COVID-19 so I want to update you on how to best stay informed and healthy. 

As with any public health emergency, it is important to get factual, verified information. Please visit CDC.gov for the latest and most accurate information. Locally, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is tracking the number of cases in our state. IDPH has a number of resources including guidelines on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, if you have questions, ILDPH can be reached at 1-800-889-3931 or by email at DPH.SICK@ILLINOIS.GOV. The IDPH website can be found here.  

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Rep. Casten being briefed on the local impact of COVID-19 by DuPage County public health officials. 

Everyone should take these commonsense measures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to protect themselves and their families:

  • Do not panic!
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
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Last week, Congress passed the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, and the bill was signed into law by the President on March 6, 2020. The legislation provides $8.3 billion in funding to ensure the federal government is providing the resources to respond to this growing public health emergency. 

Included in the bill is $2.2 billion in public health funding for prevention, preparedness, and response, including $950 million to support state and local health agencies. It also provides: 

  • Nearly $1 billion for medical supplies, health care preparedness, and medical surge capacity;
  • More than $3 billion for the development of treatments and vaccines; and importantly, once those vaccines are developed, more than $300 million is dedicated to ensuring that the access to vaccines is affordable;
  • And, over $1 billion to secure Americans’ health by addressing the coronavirus overseas.

I’ll continue to keep you updated with more information as it becomes available – and encourage you to sign-up for my newsletter and follow me on Facebook and Twitter for the latest.

Sincerely, 
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 Rep. Sean Casten