COVID-19 Not Up For Discussion

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Public Health Not On County Board Meeting Agenda

Jersey County Agenda - Page 1 of 2 - Continued Below
Jersey County Agenda - Page 1 of 2 - Continued Below

JERSEYVILLE - The agenda for the March 10 Jersey County Board meeting has time scheduled for figuring out how to subsidize business development with what some may say has little transparency and ignores what may be the greatest public health threat since the 1918-1919 flu pandemic.

Leading the agenda is the standing old business "Presentation of Information regarding Mid-American Gateway project." that rarely has anyone informing board members publicly of anything regarding a project that has yet to break ground or make significant financial investment in the local economy.

As the COVID-19 virus infects more people in the midwestern US, no mention or discussion of plans or mitigation is planned according to the published meeting agenda. The virus is severely disrupting business supply lines with European countries closing borders and quarantining entire regions to slow the spread of the infection.

The nature of the infection progression is such that once someone is showing obvious symptoms, several weeks may have passed where the person is able to spread the virus. Testing for the virus is almost non-existent. Hundreds of millions of tests will be needed to fully test who is infected (or was infected) and these are not currently available and likely will not be in the foreseeable future.

While Jersey County government is so far silent regarding the looming virus threat, Madison County released a statement by Chairman Kurt Prenzler that read in part, “Madison County health officials want to reassure our community that we are planning, preparing and doing a lot behind the scenes within the county government and with our partners across the county and region,”

Madison County Release - Page 1 of 2 - Continued Below
Madison County Release - Page 1 of 2 - Continued Below

Additionally, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker issued a disaster proclamation Monday that will unlock needed federal resources and help the state prepare for the potential of further spread. Issuing a disaster proclamation is the method of declaring a state of emergency in the state of Illinois, which 13 states across the United States have entered into.
The Governor's proclamation benefits state and local partners in the following ways:

• Allows federal reimbursement for state response costs
• Allows use of State Disaster Relief Fund, covering direct state costs and reimbursements to Illinois National Guard and mutual aid groups
• Allows use of the state's mutual aid network, groups of public safety response professionals — including hundreds of health care providers and management professionals, law enforcement officers, fire fighters, emergency medical technicians and disaster response professionals — that are available to deploy to areas of shortage
• Authorizes the Governor to activate Illinois National Guard reservists, some of whom may be doctors and nurses
• Allows expedited procurement should it be necessary
• Authorizes additional executive authorities to protect public health and safety

To put things into perspective, Jersey County has approximately 20,000 residents. If the mortality rate is only 1%, approximately 200 will lose their life to the COVID-19 virus. For every percentage point that it increases, another 200 will die. Even if you don't believe you are at high risk of death, you can cause the death of another by exposing them by being careless or just not caring.

The extraordinary means that are needed to assist those that are seriously ill from the virus will overwhelm the capacity of hospitals to provide ventilators and other supportive care. Currently there is no vaccine or anti-viral to combat COVID-19. There may be something in the future but it will not help those that become infected now.

Slowing the transmission of the virus is the only way to lessen the damage to the local community and it appears from the board agenda that no board oversight or planning has been done.

You can see the press release regarding Gov. Pritzker disaster proclamation here.

Jersey County Agenda - Page 2
Jersey County Agenda - Page 2
Madison County Release - Page 2
Madison County Release - Page 2
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