We need volunteers to help with the COVID-19 response. Learn more or joint the Medical Reserce Corp (MRC) by clicking here.

The Winnebago County Health Department coordinates with federal, state, local, and regional agencies to plan for and respond to public health emergencies.

A public health emergency is anything that can make a lot of people really sick unexpectedly or quickly. Examples of public health emergencies include pandemics, epidemics, bioterrorism and any unusual event that affects the health of a large segment of the population of Winnebago County. Public health emergencies can be natural or man-made and can happen at any time. That's why it is important to be prepared.

How is Winnebago County Health Department Preparing For Public Health Emergencies?

The Winnebago County Health Department’s Center for Public Health Emergency Preparedness is responsible for developing, updating, and evaluating plans for responding to public health emergencies in Winnebago County. The Center works closely with a variety of partners and government agencies at the local, state and federal level to both plan for and respond to public health emergencies.

WCHD writes our plans so that they can be used for a variety of emergencies, instead of having a different plan for each kind of emergency. We evaluate our plans to make sure that they will work in an emergency by actually exercising or testing what we say we’ll do in the plans. Exercising our plans helps us to learn our roles in an emergency response and to improve our overall response.

How You Can Prepare For Public Health Emergencies?

Because emergencies can happen at any time, it is important for everyone to be prepared. The Winnebago County Health Department needs your help to make sure we are safe during a public health emergency.

Below, we have included planning templates for healthcare, businesses, schools, and tips for personal preparedness.

Planning Templates
Personal Preparedness

Current Public Health Emergencies

Currently, there is a public health emergency in Winnebago County. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can cause mild to severe illness in people. Click here for information on COVID-19 and the response.

To report a public health emergency or reportable disease, call 815-720-4000.
(24 hours a day 7 days a week)


The Winnebago County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a committed group of volunteers who help by responding to public health emergencies. Volunteers are trained in advance, so you will be better prepared to help yourself and others during an emergency. Apply your skills where they are needed most, and volunteer with the Winnebago County MRC!

To learn more about the Winnebago County MRC, email Rebecca Lyons at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To apply to be a volunteer, completed this MRC application.