August 26, 2021
Executive Director, IPHA
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Tom Hughes, Executive Director of the Illinois Public Health Association (IPHA), released the following statement on Thursday:
“As local health providers, we know that vaccinations and wearing a mask are two effective ways to help end this global pandemic. On behalf of the 88 certified local health departments our association represents, we strongly support the new mask and vaccination mandates issued by the governor today to help protect the health and safety of the people of Illinois against this highly transmissible COVID-19 variant.
“Our state is facing a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases, and are now straining the demands placed on hospitals, healthcare workers and those charged with protecting the public health, including members of our association. This new surge of cases and hospitalizations has resulted in just one ICU hospital bed available for a region of Illinois covering 20 counties, and more children being hospitalized for COVID-19 than in previous surges. These alarming facts show that something must be done immediately to prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed and unable to care for new patients and to protect those that remain vulnerable.
“Members of our association has been on the frontline of protecting the public’s health since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. We strongly support these new mandates that will help save many lives across our state and prevent more hospitalizations. The vaccine is a safe and proven way to help end this pandemic and to prevent future mitigation efforts from being placed on regions in Illinois. We strongly encourage members of the public to support these efforts and get vaccinated to protect their health and stop the spread of COVID-19.”
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