* Mark Brown…
Even as Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration is scrambling to find enough medical supplies to save lives during the coronavirus pandemic, it also is stockpiling body bags in preparation for a worst-case scenario.
In the past week, the state’s procurement team has issued three different solicitations to potential vendors to purchase body bags, also known as cadaver bags — seeking more than 12,000 in total.
That figure would far exceed most death projections for Illinois from COVID-19.
The latest model from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation projects 3,629 people will die in Illinois from the disease by August 4. The state’s death toll stood at 307 on Monday.
The institute, a global health research center, is projecting the range of deaths in Illinois could fall anywhere between 2,335 and 6,267. The researchers are projecting Illinois will experience a peak of 202 daily deaths on April 12.
I was told last week and again today that COVID-19 cadavers are being double-bagged. So if we hit the high end of the IHME projection, 12,000 bags would be needed. Pretty simple math.
* From IEMA…
As we would in any large scale emergency/disaster, the State evaluates any needs (personnel, equipment, supplies) that local jurisdictions may have to execute their response. All disasters start and end locally. If a local jurisdiction has extended its capability to respond to a disaster, the state’s role is to supply resources and/or assets to meet the needs of their communities.
Unfortunately, responding to fatalities is one of the many critical functions that the State is working collaboratively with local jurisdictions to ensure all parties in the State of Illinois are poised to respond quickly as the pandemic continues.
Distribution will never be precise during times like these. Some areas will get more than they’ll need, which is another way of justifying the large purchases.