Thursday, March 18, 2021
Dear River Forest Residents,
Earlier today, Governor Pritzker held a press conference to announce an amendment to the phased Restore IL Plan, and to give details about vaccination expansion in the coming weeks. Please see below to learn more about these important developments. 

Late last week, U.S. President Joe Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan of 2021, which will provide $1.3 million in funding to the Village of River Forest. This vital assistance can help our small businesses that are struggling, and offset unplanned costs related to our Village’s ongoing pandemic response. Please view a recent press release on how these funds can be utilized to help our community here.
Information is also provided about the upcoming Justice Reform Forum at Dominican University, early voting and other information about the April 6, 2021 Election, as well as rental assistance programs to help our neighbors in need. Don’t forget to check out this week’s ‘Did You Know?’ section pointing you to different resources and information on the Village website, and a spotlight on one of our River Forest businesses! And finally, a big congratulations to the Oak Park River Forest Swim Team who broke six school records recently! 
As always, thank you for taking the time to review this week’s Village E-News.
Catherine M. Adduci, Village President
Village of River Forest
Announcements from Governor Pritzker and CCDPH:
 ‘Bridge’ Phase and Expanded Vaccine Availability
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced earlier today that once the State achieves certain metrics relating to COVID-19 vaccinations, there will be a ‘Bridge Phase’ between the current Phase 4: Revitalization and Phase 5: Restored of the Restore Illinois Plan. This ‘Bridge Phase’ will begin when 70% of Illinois residents aged 65 and over have received at least one vaccine dose.  If current trends continue, the Bridge Phase is expected to begin within the next 12-14 days. Once the Bridge Phase is initiated, a 28-day monitoring period will begin. If metrics continue on a positive track, the State can move to Phase 5, at which time all businesses can fully reopen, along with schools and normal recreation operations, with new safety guidance and procedures. Additionally, large events, including festivals and conventions can also take place.
The Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) announced that suburban Cook County will move to phase 1b+ effective Monday, March 22, 2021. Phase 1b+ expands eligibility to certain individuals 16 and older. CCDPH will continue to monitor vaccination rates as it plans for advancement to phase 1c in the near future. For more information about phase 1b+, click here

Additionally, the Governor announced that all individuals aged 16 and older will be eligible to receive the vaccine starting April 12, 2021. Vaccine doses are expected to remain in limited supply as the State works to ensure vulnerable populations get vaccinated. The IDPH anticipates that supplies will be available to those in the expanded phases by late April or early May. Face covers will continue to be required until the CDC says they are no longer necessary.

What Does This Mean For River Forest Residents?
River Forest residents are under the jurisdiction of CCDPH. In order to receive a vaccine dose at a Cook County site, residents must be eligible based on CCDPH guidance. Beginning Monday, March 22, 2021, individuals 16 years and older with underlying health conditions will become eligible to receive the vaccine. The expanded eligibility list includes individuals with underlying conditions who aren’t otherwise covered in previous eligibility categories, such as cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, heart conditions, immunosuppressed states from a solid organ transplant, obesity, pulmonary disease and sickle cell disease. Expanded eligibility also applies to individuals 16+ with disabilities, individuals who are pregnant and smokers.
COVID-19 Cases in River Forest
From Sunday, March 7 – Saturday, March 13, River Forest had 15 new COVID-19 positive cases and 291 tests completed, resulting in a 5.2% positivity rate. During the previous week, there were 12 new positive cases and 305 tests completed, and a 3.9% positivity rate. Daily updates throughout the state by zip code can be found here

Updates will continue to be provided as new information becomes available relating to COVID-19 and the vaccine. To sign up for Village alerts, please click here, or direct questions to Village Hall at (708) 366-8500, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
COVID-19 Vaccine
Accessibility Update
To date, at least one dose of the vaccine has been administered to more than 460,000 suburban Cook County residents, with more than 245,000 residents having completed the vaccine series. At this time, the United Center vaccination site continues to allow only City of Chicago residents to register for appointments. River Forest residents can register to receive vaccination updates and information about appointments in Cook County here, or call (833) 308-1988 weekdays from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. Vaccination locations can be searched by zip code at this link, and appointments can be scheduled on ZocDoc.

The Village will continue to update residents as new information becomes available regarding vaccine availability and locations. To sign up for Village alerts, please click here. Vaccination data is available on the IDPH and CCDPH websites, and additional online resources can be found on the Village’s website
Additional Vaccine Resources & New CDC Guidelines
Vaccine Assistance Hotline for Seniors
The State has now launched a Vaccine Appointment Call Center for individuals without internet access or for those who need assistance registering for the vaccine online. Residents can call (833) 621-1284 from 6 a.m. until midnight, seven days a week to reach an attendant who will provide assistance and make appointments, when necessary.

Reminder: New CDC Guidelines
The Village would like to remind residents of the new CDC guidelines for individuals who are, or will be fully vaccinated. To be considered fully vaccinated, two full weeks must have passed since having received the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Those who have been fully vaccinated are asked to continue to follow basic COVID-19 prevention steps, which can be found here.

Statewide Vaccine Statistics
The IDPH has begun to report progress on vaccinations throughout Illinois. As of today (Thursday, March 18), 12.9% of the Illinois population has been fully vaccinated. This percentage represents 1,645,032 out of the total population of 12,741,080. These statistics are positive progress toward achieving herd immunity.
Dominican University to Host Criminal Justice Reform Forum
On April 8 from 6 p.m. - 7 p.m., Dominican University will be hosting Illinois State Senators Kimberly Lightford and Elgie Sims during a forum to discuss the newly passed Criminal Justice Reform Bill (HB3653). Residents interested in participating virtually can attend online here.
Cook County
Rental Assistance Program
Households that have been financially impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for Cook County’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program. This rapid response initiative provides financial relief to those who may need additional support to afford rent and/or other bills. The program will pay up to 12 months' of missed rent and utility payments, and up to three months' of future rent payments. Payments will be made directly to the landlord and utility companies. The application deadline is April 2, 2021. For more information, please click here.

OPRF HS Boys Swim Team
The Oak Park River Forest High School boys swim and dive team recently won their second consecutive West Suburban Silver Conference Championship against Glenbard West/South, during which time the team also broke six school swim records! Congratulations!
Did You Know?
The Village’s website has a wide range of resources and information for our community members. Click below to learn more about our historic preservation efforts, or if you are looking for other information, visit and enter your topic into the search bar (top right of the page). Residents can also email with any questions!

  • The Historic Preservation Commission developed a brochure to help provide education and information on historic homes in River Forest. Click here or get a copy at Village Hall, and enjoy a walk around town seeing these homes.
  • The Village has educational videos about historic preservation efforts, including videos about River Forest home restorations that received Historic Preservation awards and a four-part video series by former Historic Preservation Commissioner Al Popowits, focusing on historically and architecturally significant homes in the Village.
River Forest Business Spotlight
Buying or selling a home? MJO Realty, Inc. is a trusted resource for all of your residential real estate needs in River Forest, Oak Park and surrounding areas.

Shop River Forest! Please support our local businesses whenever possible! You can find a listing of River Forest businesses on the Village’s website. If you’d like your business to be featured in the weekly Business Spotlight, email