OTTAWA, Ill. – To help protect the health and wellness of Illinois Valley communities and to ensure that local health departments are properly funded while fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, state Rep. Lance Yednock, D-Ottawa, calling for increased funding for local health departments in downstate Illinois.
“By ensuring that local health departments have the right amount of funding and support will help strengthen our communities’ response to this crisis, helping provide tailored approaches for communities while protecting the public’s health and employees on the frontlines,”said Yednock. “There are tough decisions to be made in every budget, especially in times of uncertainty, and the health of the people of the Illinois Valley must be a top priority now and into the future. Properly funding our health departments will help lay the foundation to reopening our economy and prioritize the health of downstate communities.”
Yednock is calling for additional funding for Local Health Protection Grants that provide resources to certified local health departments to maintain basic levels of protection for residents against infectious disease, food protection, safety of water supplies, and private sewage disposal. The Illinois Department of Public Health distributes funds to departments based on a formula that includes population and poverty levels within each local jurisdiction. These grants help local health departments in the essential services they perform to protect the public’s health in their respective area.
“Local health departments have been existing on scarce resources even prior to the COVID-19 crisis. Many are now facing extraordinary added costs, including added personnel, supplies, and personal protective equipment for employees as they work to protect the public’s health,” said Tom Hughes, executive director of the Illinois Public Health Association. “Without increasing the funds needed to properly serve their communities, health departments will have serious trouble maintaining the fight against this pandemic. It is imperative that our state support and protect workers on the frontlines of this crisis.”
To find the most recent information about resources and information regarding COVID-19 in Illinois, visit https://coronavirus.illinois.gov or call the Illinois Department of Public Health at 1-800-889-3931.
Contact Yednock’s office at 815-324-5055 (messages are checked frequently), by direct message on Facebook.com/StateRepYednock, or by emailing StateRepYednock@gmail.com.