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Gov. Pritzker declares state disaster after four new coronavirus cases

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SPRINGFIELD (WEEK) - Gov. JB Pritzker said Monday a state of emergency exists in Illinois after four more cases of COVID-19 has been confirmed in the Chicago area.

"I am officially announcing a disaster proclamation for the State of Illinois," said Pritzker during a late afternoon news conference.

The governor said this declaration will let Illinois qualify for federal reimbursements. It also gives the state the ability to call for more medical experts from the federal government.

Pritzker said he's adding to his staff and deploying mobile support teams. He's asking people not to go out and buy medical supplies if they're not needed, or don't work in the health care industry.

"This is going to affect your daily life, but know that your city, your county, and your state officials are working hard to stay ahead of this, and to give you all the facts as soon as we know them," said Pritzker.

The governor said his administration will hold daily news conference about the state's response to COVID-19, starting Tuesday.

Other efforts around the state include three coronavirus testing labs, which Pritzker expects to expand commercially so more people can be tested.

He said 15 hospitals are also doing voluntary surveillance testing, three of those are in Central Illinois.

As for the four new cases in Chicago, health officials said all are in good condition, and these new cases are "not surprising."

Meantime, the McLean County Health Department issued a statement late Monday afternoon after it was revealed that a passenger aboard a Chicago-to-St. Louis Amtrak train was carrying a passenger, who was "presumptively positive" for COVID-19.

That train made a stop in Normal, and the county health department said it is now aware of the situation.

"MCHD has been notified by the Illinois Department of Public Health that there are no passengers for which MCHD needs to conduct follow-up," the statement said.

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