CHICAGO (WMBD) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Monday announced a new partnership with the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA) and the Illinois Biotechnology Innovation Organization (iBIO) to increase in-state production of essential supplies amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The governor said the move is to prepare for increased demand across the state’s healthcare system.
“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,” Pritzker said. “We’re not just waiting for in-state production. My administration continues to work day and night to scour the global supply chain. Illinois is acquiring PPE to compensate for what we haven’t received in our federal requests. But we are doing so while running up against obstacles that should not exist.”
Companies will begin manufacturing products ranging from medicine and therapies, personal protective devices – which includes N95 masks, gloves, gowns, ventilators and sanitizer, among others — and medical equipment. Facilities will be repurposed to ensure employees follow strict social distancing guidelines.
Both the IMA and iBIO are organizing medical supply donation programs from their 4000-company and 85,000-employee memberships respectively, and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency will direct donated supplies to the health care and emergency response providers across the state with the most need.
The IEMA 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.