Illinois governor makes formal disaster declaration over spread of coronavirus

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The number of coronavirus cases in Illinois reached 11 on Monday, March 9. The growing number led Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker to make a formal disaster declaration for the state over the virus' spread.

According to the governor's office, the disaster proclamation is designed to unlock additional federal and state resources. The proclamation formalizes emergency procedures currently underway across the state in fighting COVID-19.

"In every step that we take, our priority is getting ahead and staying ahead in our response, and doing so with the safety of our most vulnerable residents at the core of our preparedness," said Pritzker.

A disaster declaration is Illinois' equivalent of a state of emergency.