Pritzker Administration Deploys Disaster Survivor Assistance Teams to Support COVID-19 Vaccination Sites Across Illinois

The Pritzker administration today announced the State is deploying three Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) teams throughout the state to serve as community outreach specialists at county-run COVID-19 vaccination sites. These teams are federal resources, requested by the State of Illinois. Prior to COVID-19, Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) teams were used to build community outreach to educate disaster survivors about the availability of federal disaster assistance and services.  DSA teams were last deployed to Illinois in 2013 when tornadoes and severe storms ripped through the state. Each DSA team is comprised of 8 people, and team members hail from throughout the nation.  Like all FEMA personnel, DSA team members can be identified by their official federal photo ID badge. If in doubt, immediately contact your local law enforcement or local emergency number for assistance.  Given the current COVID environment, DSA teams will be deployed to assist local health departments serving underserved communities and vulnerable populations. The first DSA team will be deployed to St. Clair County this week. These teams will be used to support the county’s call center operations to help individuals make vaccination appointments. The team will also work with various organizations throughout the community to contact seniors and other eligible populations about the availability of the vaccine.In the coming days, the two remaining teams will be assigned to assist the Cook County Department of Public Health. These teams will be used at community ambassadors stationed at health centers to assist patients with scheduling first and second appointments.  At this time, vaccinations are available only by appointment at local health departments and pharmacies across the state. Until the federal vaccine supply is increased, there will be a great demand and appointments may be limited. For information on how to make an appointment to receive the vaccine, updates on the state’s plan and eligibility, and answers to frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, go to coronavirus.illinois.gov.

 

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