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 April 21, 2020, as posted by the City on its website.
COVID-19 Task Force, Meeting Notes for April 21
Situation Report (Mayor Hagerty)
?Attempting to endure the Stay at Home Order mandated by the Governor’s office and it will more than likely be extended past April 30.
?Long-Term Care facilities continue to be a concern for care and we are working closing with the Health and Human Services area to continue to rectify what we can do to assist. Cook County is also providing more data analysis which is helpful.
?PPE and Hospital capacity are looking well.
?Not a lot of reporting with Police engagement and the public for non-compliance activity.
Spotlight on Public Health: New Mask Order (Ike Ogbo/Kimberly Richardson/Ald.Robin Rue-Simmons)
?Working very closely with the Long Term Care facilities to disseminate information relevant to issues concerning the pandemic. The HHS department has retained a Communicable Disease Liaison to assist the Long Term Care facilities with strategies,and protocol on how to manage outbreaks, symptoms and prevent diseases.
?Also expected to partner with NorthShore Health Care, and their experts will provide operational and clinical support to the congregate living facilities. The City will work closely with them to provide support, education and risk management as well. The City will continue to provide PPE to manage care in their facilities. Long Term Care facilities have implemented a number of preventative strategies regarding residents who have tested positive for the disease.
?Beginning on April 23, face coverings are required in essential businesses, with possible fines for re-enforcement of non-compliance. The purpose of this Order is to emphasize the importance of possible transmission of the virus without showing symptoms and to continue to educate the public on CDC best practices for the health and welfare of our community.
?We are working with essential businesses to encourage customer compliance.
?Business owners will need to maintain a strategy for customer social distancing and wearing of face coverings in their respective stores
.?There will be a distribution of flyers in English and Spanish to remind residents about face coverings and why it is important to comply and slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community and implement CDC best practices. There will be a photo sharing opportunity on Facebook for creativity purposes and to do your part to continue to make the community safe.
?Evanston Own It organization donated masks for distribution to the Evanston community. A total of 14 churches have participated in collecting the masks for distribution and toshare. Former Ald. Delores Holmes was key in the facilitation of distribution to the community among the churches.
Sector Updates Senior Living (Mary Leary
?Since last Friday several new confirmed cases among providers. Four communities with16 resident cases and seven communities with 22 confirmed cases.
?Governor has a designated strike team who examine nursing homes when an outbreak occurs. Local providers were curious if Evanston would implement the same procedure.
?Will follow up to share information with providers.
?HHS continues to monitor and provide the necessary support for our Long Term to make them a priority.
?We will also begin to track progress by individual facilities
?St. Francis (Kenneth Jones)
?The Amita Health System will begin to offer antibody testing for COVID-19.The test can determine if you’ve had the disease and never realized it and/or may have immunity but not overselling results. It is a blood test used todiagnose the infection. You can obtain a test through your healthcare provider.
?Evanston Hospital (Doug Silverstein)
?Over 20K test performed, 12K e-visits, and 2,500 drive-thru test done
?PPE is currently an issue with five days of N95 masks in supply and one weekworth of isolation gowns.
?Jan Schakowsky’s Office (Ann Limjoco)
?Deadline for Social Security recipients to add eligible dependent children totheir automatic economic impact payment by April 22nd
?Visit IRS website for more details
?Senator Laura Fine’s Office (Laura Fine)
?People hospitalized for COVID-19 prior to April 1 for coverage. Their coveragewill be backdated to Jan 1 to include this pandemic with Blue Cross/BlueShield for full coverage plans.
?Robyn Gabel’s Office (Robyn Gabel)
?Confirming the Governor’s Stay at Home Order will more than likely extendpast April 30.
?Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz’s Office (Karen)
?Available to continue to answer questions around unemployment benefits andfiling
?Commissioner Larry Suffredin’s Office (Adam)
?Cook County Dept. of Health will begin having conference calls on Tuesday,April 28 at 4 p.m.
Education (Eric Whiterspoon & Phil Ehrhardt)
?The Governor has confirmed schools will close for the remainder of the year.
?Will provide details on semester grades and what that looks like going forward.
Business (Roger Sosa)
?Monitoring agreement in Congress for additional funding for SBA loans.
?Helping with the Evanston LEND program to increase their funding opportunities toassist local businesses.
?Will continue to direct and inform essential businesses on the new mask order.
Northwestern University (Dave Davis)
?Four committees were established for preparation for students to return to campus.
?Plans for the summer quarter will be forthcoming.
Nonprofit (Monique Jones)
?Established sub committees are focused on Long Term Care facilities, child care,food insecurities, and undocumented residents.
?Will determine goals and report back to the taskforce soon.
Mental Health (Janet Jones)
?NAMI currently working closely with Congress for additional mental health resources.
Faith-Based (Rabbi London)
?Continuing conference calls with Houses of Worship.
?Sharing links for CDC best practices.
?Bethany Church has small bottles of sanitizer for distribution.Next Meeting: Friday, April 24th at 1:30 p.m.