The Serve Illinois Commission is asking you to report on the service your volunteers are giving to communities during the COVID-19 response. The Serve Illinois website has an online form to collect information from around the state. The form asks for your number of volunteers, the hours they have served, and how many they are serving. This information may be used at a later date in any application for disaster funding that would be submitted by the state. Please continue to submit surveys on a weekly basis as your aggregate data increases.
A team led by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Grainger College of Engineering and Carle Health has produced a prototype emergency ventilator to help address the expected surge in the need for respiratory care associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The team focused on designing a device that could help the sickest patients to breathe, by plugging into the oxygen source available in most hospital rooms or into a tank of oxygen. Less than one week later, the team demonstrated a working prototype. “Our team is living the Apollo 13 movie,” said William King, the overall project leader. “We have dropped everything else to work around the clock to help respond to the COVID-19 crisis.” King is a Professor of Mechanical Science and Engineering who holds appointments in The Grainger College of Engineering and the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. “We have a team of brilliant and dedicated people that made something that actually works in less than one week. It’s very inspiring. We hope that we can engage even more people to work on the global response to COVID-19 as we continue to develop the prototype.” The Illinois RapidVent prototype has run for more than 75 hours, which is more than 125,000 breathing cycles. Over this time, the device delivered the amount of oxygen necessary and the pressure that patients would need when they are unable to breathe well enough on their own. So far, focused testing in the laboratory shows equivalent performance to commercial products—which are in very short supply.
The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) launched a statewide public awareness campaign and website to provide health and safety information about legal cannabis use in Illinois. The website, LetsTalkCannabisIL.com, provides health information for specific audiences, including pregnant and breastfeeding women, adults, parents and teenagers. Downloadable fact sheets can be shared by community partners or anyone interested in learning about safe and legal use. “Bringing regulation and safety to a previously unsafe and illegal market was one of the most important things we wanted to accomplish when legalizing adult-use cannabis,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Our focus of the “Let’s Talk Cannabis Illinois” campaign and website is to provide a trusted source for safety and health information where all residents can go to get their questions answered on safer cannabis use.”
Local officials and agency staff in Illinois need to stay up to date with the legal challenges of COVID-19. Illinois Extension will welcome attorneys from Heyl Royster, who’ll present COVID-19 Update for Local Officials on Friday, April 3, at Noon CST. Presenters will discuss the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, updates to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Open Meetings Act (OMA), impacts on employment issues, and worker compensation issues. Heyl Royster is a regional Midwest law firm with more than 100 lawyers and eight offices located in Illinois (Peoria, Champaign, Chicago, Edwardsville, Rockford, and Springfield), Missouri (St. Louis), and Mississippi (Jackson). The firm provides legal services for businesses and corporations, professionals, healthcare organizations, governmental entities, universities, insurance carriers and other major institutions. REGISTER for this free webinar.