Gov. Pritzker announces partnership with manufacturing and biotech industries

information provided by the Office of the Governor

CHICAGO, Ill. (March 23, 2020) – As the state continues to build on its response to the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for increased demand across the state’s health care system, Governor JB Pritzker announced a variety of steps taken to rapidly increase the state’s supply of personal protective equipment. The Governor announced a new partnership with the manufacturing and biotech industries to produce life-saving products in Illinois and an expansive state procurement effort that has already netted millions of masks and other PPE.

“In the face of the unprecedented challenges presented by COVID-19, the people of Illinois have stepped up once again: our innovative biotech companies and state-of-the art manufacturers are teaming up with the State of Illinois to ramp up production of Personal Protective Equipment,” said Governor Pritzker. “We’re not just waiting for in-state production. My administration continues to work day and night to scour the global supply chain.”

New partnership

Providing immediate support for healthcare workers and first responders on the front lines of the COVID-19 response, Pritzker announced a new partnership with the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA) and the Illinois Biotechnology Innovation Organization (iBIO) to ramp up in-state production of essential supplies.

Repurposing their facilities and ensuring employees adhere to strict social distancing guidelines, companies will begin manufacturing products ranging from medicine and therapies, personal protective devices—which includes N95 masks, gloves, gowns, ventilators, and sanitizer—and medical equipment.

Both the IMA and iBIO are organizing medical supply donation programs from their 4,000-company and 85,000-employee memberships respectively, and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency will direct donated supplies to the healthcare and emergency response providers across the state with the most need.

New purchases

In another effort to build supply to protect those on the frontlines battling this pandemic, Pritzker announced today that the state has executed contracts to purchase 2.5 million N95 masks, 1 million disposable surgical masks, 11,000 gloves, and 10,000 personal protection kits.

While medical facilities across the state do have their own stocks of PPE and use their own vendors to source additional PPE, the administration’s procurement effort aims to supplement their existing supply during this period of heightened need.

Calling for support

Continuing his calls for more support from the federal government, Gov. Pritzker called for the federal activation of the Defense Production Act to vastly increase the production of essential medical supplies and their distribution to states in need.

In the last few weeks, Illinois has received only a fraction of what has been requested from the National Strategic Stockpile:

  • N95 Masks—2,340,000 requested; 246,860 (10.5%) received
  • Surgical Masks—900,000 requested; 91,298 (10.1%) received
  • Gloves—7,400,000 requested; 325,082 (4.4%) received
  • Gowns—924,000 requested; 91,298 (9.9%) received
  • Goggles—47,500 requested; 0 (0.0%) received
  • Face shields—120,000 requested; 111,978 (93.3%) received
  • Respirators—4,000 requested; 0 (0.0%) received

Statewide distribution

As the state receives personal protective equipment from across its multi-pronged procurement operation, Gov. Pritzker announced that the state has in turn distributed these vital supplies to county emergency management agencies, health departments, and hospitals across the state.

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency has distributed more than 28,400 N95 masks, more than 15,500 pairs of gloves, and nearly 6,200 gowns to over a dozen county health departments with the most need.

The Illinois Department of Public Health has also distributed supplies to 150 hospitals and 62 local health departments across Illinois, and the second shipment of supplies from the National Strategic Stockpile will soon be distributed to every public health jurisdiction and hospital in the state.

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