The Virus Spreads
Stay Home and Stay Inside
The Lakefront Closes
Stay off the Playgrounds and Don't Crowd the Park
Dear Neighbors,

In the last few days, the entire city has had a tremendous amount of congestion at the lakefront and in our parks.

Because of the danger that so much congestion poses to the population, the entire lakefront is being closed to the public, including the entire trail, and all the adjoining parks, including Lincoln Park.

For the next two weeks, we must stay inside as much as possible. As Public Health Commissioner Arwady said yesterday, “If you do not need to be out, I need you to stay home.”

This includes:

1) You should exercise close to home or change your form of exercise to do most of it inside. The City is closing the lakefront - but we have seen too much congestion at every park, including Oz. When you go out to walk the dog stay close to home.

2) Get off the playgrounds and keep kids at home. It feels like vacation, but it's not. It's a global health crisis. Just google "Playgrounds Closed Due to COVID-19" and you will see. Playgrounds are closed around the world - from Arlington, VA to New Orleans, to Edmonton, Canada to New Zealand. Playgrounds are not clean nor can they be sanitized. The virus can last for up to several days on surfaces, and if one child picks it up and passes it along, even if the child shows no symptoms, it can spread disease to others.

On average, any person with the virus can spread it to 2.3 others. One case leads to 400 cases within a month .

Remember, if someone gets COVID-19, that person has to be completely quarantined. Read this article about an Old Town Triangle family. And read this story about a wife and teenage daughter's taking care of a very sick dad.

According to the New York Times today, "While some people are practicing 'social monogamy' — socializing with only one set of trusted friends — public health experts are now discouraging even that much contact. ' Even if you choose only one friend to have over, you are creating new links and possibilities for the type of transmission that all of our school/work/public event closures are trying to prevent,' said Dr. Asaf Bitton, the executive director of Ariadne Labs at Brigham and Women's Hospital. 'The symptoms of coronavirus take four to five days to manifest themselves. Someone who comes over looking well can transmit the virus.'" Children playing with their friends is dangerous to others.

So please, stay home. Socialize on Facebook or other social media, organize a block singing exercise or have the kids video chat.

Right now is the moment when we can either have thousands at risk or avoid it. Right now we have to be apart - for everyone's sake.

Mayor Lightfoot will be holding a press conference today at 1 p.m. You can watch it on her Facebook page.
Disease Statistics

Here are the grim statistics from Chicago and around the world:

  • The State of Illinois now has 1,865 confirmed COVID-19 cases across 32 counties. That's over 300 cases more than the day before. The vast majority of the increase is in Chicago.
  • Eleven (11) more states issued Stay at Home Executive Orders and Statewide curfews.
  • Thirteen (13) U.S. airports implemented Enhanced Health Screenings. 
  • The National Guard has been activated in 38 states.
  • The Department of State posted Global Level 4 Health Advisory: DO NOT TRAVEL.
  • Chicago has partnered with five local hotels to allow hospitals to assign critical beds to patients most in need.
  • All City facilities, including City Hall, remain closed to the public.
  • Chicago Public Schools will remain closed through Monday, April 20. Classes due to resume on April 21.
Misdemeanor Citations for Social Distancing Violations

Interim Superintendent Beck warned Chicagoans that the "education stage" is over. Mayor Lightfoot and Superintendent Beck held a press conference informing the public that if they are in violation of the social distancing order, people will face a misdemeanor and fined $500, and even arrest. You can watch the full press conference here.

Visit the City's FAQ page for details on the Executive order.
Defining Essential Businesses and Workers

We have received some inquiries regarding what is an essential worker or employee. Here is the Governor's Executive Order. Please see the list below.

  • Gas stations
  • Pharmacies
  • Grocery stores, food banks, convenience stores, take-out and delivery restaurants
  • Hardware stores/plumbers
  • Banks
  • Community benefit organizations on a case-by-case basis
  • Laundromats/laundry services
  • Transportation, including CTA and private transportation
  • Essential infrastructure, such as utilities and public transportation

What if businesses are not complying with the executive order
Please report any businesses that are not in compliance with the governor's executive order by going online to 311, calling 311 and reporting it as a nuisance business. Visit the City's General Resource Guide for more details.
Mayor Lightfoot and AARP Illinois Telephone Town Hall
TODAY, March 26
7:00 p.m.

Mayor Lightfoot, AARP Illinois, and Commissioner Lisa Morrison Butler from the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) will cohost a telephone town hall to address the City's senior population. The town hall was developed to address
growing questions and concerns about health, wellness and service offerings in
response to the novel Coronavirus

You can watch it on the Mayor's Facebook and Twitter pages.
Tax Filing Extended to July 15

Governor Pritzker announced the tax filing deadline has been extended from April 15 to July 15. The Department of Revenue will continue to process tax refunds for those filing ahead of the new deadline.
Written Translators Needed

The City of Chicago is seeking fluent readers and writers of several languages to help translate the many guidance documents that are being produced concerning the coronavirus.

If you can translate written English into any of the following languages:  
  • Spanish
  • Mandarin
  • Polish
  • Arabic
  • Hindi
  • Urdu

Please contact us at, and we will send your name and contact information in and let us know which language(s) you are proficient in.
These are harsh measures. But be tender with one another, and our world,

Coronavirus Resources :

If you have any additional questions, please email:  or call 312-746-4835

The Doctor Is In: Ask Dr. Arwady. Live-stream by Chicago Health Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D., daily at 11:00 am on  Twitter and  Facebook Live.

Sign up to receive the latest updates on Coronavirus:
State of Illinois
Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
43rd Ward Office Hours: M - F 9 AM - 5 PM 
  2523 N Halsted  |  773-348-9500