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Mayor Hagerty’s COVID-19 Task Force includes key members of the education, government, business, faith, nonprofit, health, and senior communities. 

Members to Task Force includes representative of the following organizations:  AMITA Health Saint Francis Hospital, NorthShore University HealthSystem, Representative Jan Schakowsky, State Senator Laura Fine, State Representative Robyn Gabel, State Representative Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin, Evanston senior living communities, Evanston Chamber of Commerce, Evanston Community Foundation, Second Baptist Church, Northwestern University, Evanston/Skokie School District 65, Evanston Township High School District 202, and more.

The meetings are held twice a week. The RoundTable has requested that the meetings be held in accordance with the Open Meetings Act. The City’s attorney responded that said she does not think the Open Meetings Act applies.

Below are the meeting notes of the Task Force’s meeting held on March 27, 2020, as posted by the City on its website.

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Mayor’s COVID-19 Task Force, Meeting Notes

March 27, 2020

Mayor Hagerty’s Daily Briefing

–  Major disaster declaration?On March 26, the US President issued a major disaster declaration for the State of IL. The cap is “unlimited” for emergency work directed by the Public Health authorities to eliminate the immediate threat to health, life and safety.?The declaration also potentially opens up individual aid for families. It’s unclear if this will be for each state; however, crisis counseling will be available.?Non-profit organizations may be reimbursed for their costs; all are strongly advised to continue to track their costs related to COVID-19.

– IL has created and launched a COVID-19 response fund. This is a statewide fund to meet essential unmet needs.

-The State has delayed the tax filing deadline by 90 days, from April 15 to July 15.

– IL is still in the market for Personal Protective Equipment and is trying to stockpile inventory to support organizations throughout the state. Ventilators are a special big need, as well as supplies for N95 masks. Consult the State’s website for more information.

-COVID-19 cases continue to rise; Evanston currently has 55 confirmed cases as of Thursday, March 26.

-Current hospital capacity exists; however, the State is setting up alternative care sites -10,400 sites around the State that would provide moderate treatment.

-Urgent call for doctors and nurses. Anyone formally licensed in that field can quickly become re-licensed. Please visit www.illinoishep.net

-As cases are increasing, please make certain everyone is complying with the “Shelter-in-Place” order.

-For the Governor’s 2:30 p.m. press conferences, watch WGN Channel 9 or visitillinois.gov/liveupdates.

Today’s Spotlight Report (Erika Strolie, Interim City Manager)

The City is utilizing the Incident Command System for the City’s response. There’s an Emergency Operations Center assembled operating with 24- and 48-hour intervals, and having daily morning briefings with a summary wrap up at the end of each day to identify priorities for the following day.

-Structure for Unified Command & Sections 

-Unified Command Team: E. Storlie, S. Hagerty, B. Scott, D. Cook, I. Olgo, D.Stoneback

-Sections includes: Operations, Planning, Finance, and Logistics

-Working with the Evanston Police Department to ensure social distancing measures are being followed within the community. At this point, no need to close the lakefront;  however, if circumstances change, that is a possibility. The parks and usage of parks for people to congregate and play contact sports has been an issue. Please contact 311 to report if this is happening and available resources can be dispatched. The goal is to have compliance with the Governor’s Stay at Home Order.

-There is a plan for housing related to the COVID-19 situation. Contracts are in place with hotels in Evanston for people who are not ready to go back to a congregate setting.

-There are also wraparound services available for people in these settings, suchas transportation, food, and pet care.

-The City is still receiving PPE and monitoring the care use of each piece. First responders and healthcare workers need priority access, as well as congregate setting and their needs.

-The City is concerned about issues arising around food insecurity – not just access but the ability to purchase food and have food due to lack of volunteers who would distribute meals. Currently working with existing providers to assist in this effort.

Community Sector Reports

Health Systems

St Francis

-There’s been an increase in Patients under Investigation

-Seeing an increase in discharged patients

-Good supply of PPE, but will continue to monitor that situation

Evanston Hospital

-Received 160 ventilators

-Drive-through yielded 400 tests; and 5,000 e-visits

-Masks and isolation gowns are still needed

-Blood donations are continuing

Legislative Updates

Jan Schakowsky’s Office

-$2.3 trillion dollar stimulus package just recently passed. $100 billion investment in hospitals, and $150 billion for State and Local government (500,000 and above in population). $260 billion for unemployment insurance benefits – and additional 13 weeks of federally funded benefits available.

-For additional information and details, please contact Jan Schakowsky’s Office.

Senator Laura Fine’s Office

-Monitoring the impact of the Federal packages passed down to the State

-Making the information aviation for distribution into the e-newsletter

-Available for constituents needs to be addressed Robyn Gabel’s Office

-Providing constituents services is the focus right now.

Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz’s Office

-No additional information, already shared by Fine and Gabel. 

Commissioner Larry Sufferdin

-No update at this time

Senior Living Centers

-The City’s HHS Director provided recommendations for what providers can do to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 at the various facilities.

-City staff provided the group an update on delivery of PPEs and guidance on communication among working group members

-Congregate living facilities continue to manage employees who may have had exposure to the virus.

Business Group

-Working with the SBA on upcoming seminars to apply for disaster relief loans

-Distributing daily e-blast, and communicating with local Chambers of Commerce on best practices

Northwestern University

-No updates

-Removed basketball rims from the courts and have closed the tennis courts to enforce compliance with the Governor’s order for social distancing

Education

-Doubling meal program for March 30 for distribution to the children in the community

-Parents may also pick up food for kids

-Continuing to encourage compliance with Stay at Home Order issued by the Governor

-Also assembling PPE packets from the science department for donation. Packages consist of gloves, masks and gowns – over 16,000 pieces

-2,700 children are going online for e-learning

Faith-Based

-Successful with developing three committees: Best Practices, Volunteering and Communications.

-Cradle to Career and Evanston Library staff provided suggestions for training online for houses of worship in need technical support.

-Continuing e-mail blast and conference calls to share State and Federal information

-Volunteer based is being assembled

-Would like to have the Mayor’s advice on ringing church bells to show solidarity and unity on  Sunday through this time

Non-Profit

-Conference call with the working group on March 25 to discuss the Federal stimulus package

-Continuing to work with leaders on food distribution and delivery services

-Reaching out to hospitals to monitor services

-Will report on the next conference concerning results of the Evanston community childcare survey