CHICAGO – Gov. J.B. Pritzker added five counties to an existing disaster proclamation Wednesday to aid local jurisdictions in their efforts to keep communities safe.
Lake, Peoria, Rock Island, Williamson and Stephenson counties were added to the edict because they represent a threat for looting or destruction through planned protests.
To date, 15 counties are included in the current disaster proclamation.
Pritzker activated 375 Illinois National Guard soldiers Sunday to assist the Chicago Police Department in protecting the City of Chicago and its residents. The guard’s role will be supporting the Illinois State Police and local authorities in enforcing street closures around the city.
An additional 250 soldiers were activated on Monday to join the state’s civil disturbance response efforts to address the needs of various jurisdictions throughout the state. The soldiers will represent a Quick Reactionary Force (QRF), staged at various guard facilities throughout the state to await instructions from the Illinois State Police to help meet the needs of our local communities. These QRF teams will be staging in Chicago, Kewanee, Mt. Vernon, Peoria, Springfield and Scott Air Force Base.
In addition to the soldiers from the Illinois National Guard, personnel from the Illinois State Police, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and various mutual aid networks are aiding the requests of local governments. The State Emergency Operations Center is monitoring operations throughout the state and fulfilling requests from local governments.
All personnel deployed for operations will be outfitted with personal protective equipment, such as face shields and masks, to address the threats of our current COVID environment.
On Tuesday, IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau announced ten of the 11 state-managed Community Based Testing Sites would resume COVID-19 testing operations. Additional security has been brought in to replace personnel that had been reassigned due to ongoing civil unrest throughout the state.