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Thị trưởng Lori E. Lightfoot đã ra lệnh đóng cửa Lakefront bao gồm những con đường mòn, các công viên ở Chicago liền kề Michigan Lake cùng với không tụ tập tại công viên hoặc bãi biển chó trong thành phố Chicago




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Ngày 26 tháng 3 năm 2019
TIẾP XÚC:
Văn phòng báo chí Thị trưởng từ 312.744.3334 press@cityofchicago.org

Mặc dù ở nhà trật tự, một số lượng quá nhiều người tập trung dọc theo bờ hồ và trong các khu phố đòi hỏi phải có hành động tiếp theo để uốn cong đường cong của COVID-19
CHICAGO – Để đối phó với sự tụ tập quá mức của người dân dọc theo Lakefront, Riverwalk và Đường mòn 606 của Chicago trong tuần này, có hiệu lực ngay lập tức, Thị trưởng Lori E. Lightfoot đã ban hành lệnh điều hành đóng cửa các không gian này cho công chúng cho đến khi có thông báo mới. Thị trưởng đưa ra thông báo cùng với các quan chức thành phố và thị trưởng từ các cộng đồng xung quanh cũng đang vật lộn với vấn đề tụ tập xã hội và tập hợp trong cộng đồng của họ trong khi nhà nước ‘Giữ nguyên trật tự tại nhà.
Lệnh điều hành thị trưởng sẽ hướng dẫn việc đóng cửa Lakefront bao gồm những con đường mòn liền kề, không gian xanh và các cơ sở. Ngoài ra, lệnh này cung cấp hướng dẫn cho cư dân thực hiện mọi nỗ lực để thực hành cách xa xã hội trong các hoạt động giải trí, chẳng hạn như đi bộ, chạy hoặc đi xe đạp. Lệnh này cũng cấm các môn thể thao tiếp xúc, như bóng rổ và bóng đá. Các biện pháp này được thiết kế để bảo vệ sức khỏe và sự an toàn của cư dân trong bối cảnh dịch coronavirus bùng phát (COVID-19).
“Trong khi các công viên của chúng tôi và các không gian xanh khác mang đến cho cư dân một thời gian nghỉ ngơi ngắn ngủi trong thời gian ở nhà, chúng tôi chỉ đơn giản là phải hành động để ngăn chặn các cuộc tụ họp lớn đang gây nguy hiểm cho sức khỏe cộng đồng của chúng tôi”, Thị trưởng Lightfoot nói. “Khi chúng tôi làm việc không mệt mỏi để làm phẳng đường cong và ngăn chặn sự lây lan của COVID-19, chúng tôi cần mọi người ở nhà càng nhiều càng tốt. Lệnh của chúng tôi tạm thời tiếp cận với Lakefront và hạn chế các cuộc tụ họp nỗ lực bảo vệ người dân và đưa thành phố của chúng ta vượt qua cuộc khủng hoảng này nhanh nhất có thể.
Trong suốt tuần, các quan chức thành phố đã quan sát thấy đám đông tụ tập dọc bờ hồ, trong công viên và các không gian công cộng khác vi phạm quy định về hướng dẫn và sức khỏe của tiểu bang, cả hai đều yêu cầu cư dân không tập trung thành nhóm để ngăn chặn sự lây lan của COVID-19. Để đảm bảo cư dân tuân thủ lệnh ủy thác của bang và tránh các hoạt động không thiết yếu, An ninh quận Chicago và Sở cảnh sát Chicago sẽ tiếp tục tuần tra bên hồ và giải tán những người vi phạm việc đóng cửa.
Trên tất cả, chúng tôi muốn người dân Chicago được an toàn, ông Michael Kelly, Tổng Giám đốc và Giám đốc điều hành của Chicago Park, nói. Việc đóng cửa này là cần thiết để thực thi cách xa xã hội và giảm thiểu tình trạng đông đúc, điển hình dọc theo bờ hồ Chicago, nhưng đe dọa sức khỏe của thành phố chúng ta trong thời gian rất tế nhị này.
  
 Lệnh của Thị trưởng cấm tiếp cận bờ hồ đến tất cả các công viên ở Chicago liền kề Hồ Michigan, bao gồm các con đường đi bộ, chạy và đi xe đạp, bãi biển và các phương tiện giải trí khác. Để giữ an toàn cho các khu vực này, Khu Công viên Chicago đang đặt rào chắn và các biện pháp an ninh khác theo lệnh. Vui lòng truy cập chicagoparkdistrict.com để biết danh sách đầy đủ các lần đóng cửa.
Đơn đặt hàng cũng cấm truy cập vào các không gian công cộng khác ở Chicago như Công viên Thiên niên kỷ, Đường Chicago Chicago Riverwalk và Đường mòn 606. Nhiều tuyến đường thay thế vẫn sẽ có sẵn cho cư dân Chicago lựa chọn để đi bộ hoặc xe đạp để làm việc trong thời gian này, và người dân được khuyến khích đến thăm Chicago.gov/CDOT để xem mạng của thành phố 248 dặm của làn đường xe đạp.
Các phong trào của những người là công nhân thiết yếu và những người khác đi du lịch cần thiết phải được ưu tiên trong thời gian chưa từng có này. Chúng tôi hiểu quyết định của Thị trưởng về việc đóng cửa Lakefront và 606 để bảo vệ sức khỏe cộng đồng của chúng tôi., Melody Geraci, Giám đốc điều hành tạm thời của Liên minh Vận tải Chủ động cho biết. Người Chicago nên ở nhà càng nhiều càng tốt và khi dành thời gian ra ngoài, họ nên tuân theo các hướng dẫn về sức khỏe cộng đồng bằng cách duy trì sự xa cách xã hội và tránh xa các khu vực bận rộn.
Trong khi Sở Cảnh sát Chicago được trao quyền để thi hành lệnh mới của Thị trưởng thông qua các trích dẫn lên tới 500 đô la và các biện pháp bổ sung, Bộ chủ yếu tập trung vào việc giáo dục cư dân về trật tự mới và đưa ra cảnh báo cho các cá nhân sử dụng các không gian kín này. Để tiếp tục đảm bảo tuân thủ mệnh lệnh, Bộ sẽ tiến lên phía trước với việc đưa ra các trích dẫn nếu các cá nhân không tuân thủ các cảnh báo ban đầu từ các sĩ quan cảnh sát.
Phần lớn, người Chicago đã làm rất tốt trong việc duy trì sự xa cách xã hội nhưng với số lượng người tập trung ở ven hồ trong những ngày gần đây, chúng tôi cần phải đóng cửa những khu vực này vì sức khỏe và sự an toàn của cư dân, “Interim nói Giám thị Beck. “Một lần nữa, mỗi người dân Chicago có trách nhiệm làm phần việc của mình để giúp giữ an toàn cho nhau và tuân theo mệnh lệnh này sẽ cứu mạng sống của những người hàng xóm của chúng tôi.”

Hôm thứ Tư, Thị trưởng Lightfoot đã tham gia Ủy viên Allison Arwady của Sở Y tế Công cộng Chicago (CDPH) và các quan chức thành phố khác để nhắc nhở cư dân về các hướng dẫn quan trọng để tuân thủ trong lệnh của nhà nước, và khi các quan chức y tế công cộng làm việc để ngăn chặn sự lây lan của virus. . Người Chicago vẫn có thể, và được khuyến khích, làm những việc sau trong thời gian này:
• Đi bộ hoặc chạy bộ ngắn nhưng duy trì khoảng cách vật lý với người khác trong khi làm như vậy, tốt nhất là trong các khu phố riêng của họ.
• Đi bộ chó của họ, nhưng không tụ tập tại công viên hoặc bãi biển chó.
• Mua sắm tại các cửa hàng tạp hóa vẫn mở, miễn là bạn không bị bệnh và
thực hành xã hội xa cách.
• Tiếp tục ghé thăm các nhà hàng vẫn mở cửa để nhận và giao hàng.
   
 Tiến sĩ Arwady cho biết, như chúng ta đã học được từ việc xem các quốc gia khác đã đối phó với dịch bệnh này như thế nào, cách tốt nhất để chúng ta ngăn chặn virus này là thực hành cách xa xã hội thích hợp. Cái này không có nghĩa là bạn có thể đi ra ngoài để có không khí trong lành, dắt chó đi dạo hoặc chạy bộ. Điều đó chỉ có nghĩa là bạn phải làm điều đó đúng cách, bằng cách giữ khoảng cách với những người khác và không tụ tập thành nhóm.
Các cơ sở và nhà thực địa của Chicago Park District sẽ vẫn đóng cửa trong suốt thời gian lưu trú tại nhà. Hiện tại, các không gian và công viên xanh của quận vẫn còn mở và Thành phố sẽ giám sát hoạt động của công viên trong trường hợp cần đóng cửa nhiều hơn để ngăn chặn các cuộc tụ họp và hội nghị đông người trong thời gian ở nhà.
Theo Lệnh ‘Ở nhà’ của Thống đốc Pritzker, bắt đầu có hiệu lực vào ngày 21 tháng 3, cư dân Chicago và trên toàn tiểu bang được ủy quyền ở nhà càng nhiều càng tốt, và hạn chế các dịp rời khỏi nhà của họ, trừ khi: lấy hàng hóa hoặc dịch vụ thiết yếu, đi làm nếu họ là một nhân viên thiết yếu, tìm kiếm sự chăm sóc y tế hoặc để có được không khí trong lành trong một khoảng thời gian ngắn trong khi thực hành cách xa xã hội. Lệnh đã được ban hành với sự thận trọng dồi dào để bảo vệ sức khỏe cộng đồng và ngăn chặn sự lan rộng hơn nữa trong cộng đồng và dự kiến ​​sẽ kéo dài đến ngày 7 tháng 4, trừ khi có hướng dẫn khác.
Ngoài ra, theo lệnh phát hành bởi CDPH tuần trước, bất kỳ cư dân Chicago nào có COVID-19 hoặc đang có các triệu chứng phải ở nhà trong thời gian này trừ khi tìm kiếm sự chăm sóc y tế khẩn cấp. Lệnh này đã được ban hành với sự thận trọng dồi dào để bảo vệ sức khỏe cộng đồng và ngăn chặn sự lây lan hơn nữa trong cộng đồng.
Để đối phó với đại dịch COVID-19, Thành phố đang phát động chiến dịch Ở nhà, Save Lives để thông báo cho người dân về cách họ có thể sống khỏe mạnh và làm phần việc của họ để bẻ cong đường cong của virus. Để biết thêm thông tin và cập nhật về COVID-19, hãy soạn COVID19 tới
78015, gửi email coronavirus@chicago.gov hoặc truy cập Chicago.gov/coronavirus.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 26, 2019
CONTACT:
Mayor’s Press Office 312.744.3334 press@cityofchicago.org
MAYOR LIGHTFOOT ORDERS THE IMMEDIATE CLOSURE OF THE CITY’S LAKEFRONT, ADJACENT PARKS, 606 AND RIVERWALK TO THE PUBLIC
Despite Stay at Home order, an excessive number of people gathering along the lakefront and in neighborhoods necessitates further action to bend the curve of COVID-19
CHICAGO – In response to the excessive gatherings of people along Chicago’s Lakefront, Riverwalk and 606 Trail this week, effective immediately, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot has issued an executive order closing these spaces to the public until further notice. The Mayor made the announcement alongside city officials and mayors from surrounding communities that are also grappling with the issue of social and congregate gatherings in their communities while the state’s ‘Stay at Home’ order is in effect.
The Mayor’s Executive Order will direct a shutdown of the Lakefront including adjacent trails, green spaces and facilities. In addition, the order provides guidance for residents to make every effort to practice social distancing during recreational activities, such as walking, running or cycling. The order also prohibits contact sports, like basketball and football. These measures are designed to protect the health and safety of residents amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“While our parks and other green spaces offer residents a brief respite during this stay at home order, we simply must take action to prevent the large gatherings that are putting our public health at risk,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “As we work tirelessly to flatten the curve and prevent the spread of COVID-19, we need people to stay at home as much as possible. Our order to temporarily close access to the Lakefront and restrict gatherings has now become a necessary step in our effort to protect people, and to get our city through this crisis as quickly as possible.”
Throughout the week, City officials have observed crowds congregating along the lakefront, in parks, and other public spaces violating the state’s mandate and health guidance, both requiring that residents do not gather in groups to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. To ensure residents comply with the State’s mandate and abstain from non-essential activities, the Chicago Park District Security and the Chicago Police Department will continue to patrol the lakefront and disband people who violate the closure.
“Above all, we want the residents of Chicago to be safe,” said Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO Michael Kelly. “This closure is necessary to enforce social distancing and mitigate crowding that is typical along Chicago’s lakefront but threatens the health of our city during this very delicate time.”

The Mayor’s order bans lakefront access to all parkland in Chicago adjoining Lake Michigan, including walking, running and cycling paths, beaches and other recreational facilities. To keep these areas secured, the Chicago Park District is putting in place barricades and other security measures pursuant to the order. Please visit chicagoparkdistrict.com for the full list of closures.
The order also bans access to other Chicago public spaces like Millennium Park, Chicago’s Riverwalk and the 606 Trail. Many alternative routes will still be available to Chicago residents choosing to walk or bike to work during this time, and residents are encouraged to visit Chicago.gov/CDOT to view the city’s network of 248 miles of bike lanes.
“The movement of people who are essential workers and others doing necessary travel must take priority during this unprecedented time. We understand the Mayor’s decision to close the Lakefront and 606 to protect our public health.,” said Melody Geraci, interim executive Director of the Active Transportation Alliance. “Chicagoans should stay home as much as possible and, when spending time outside, they should follow public health guidelines by maintaining social distancing and staying away from busy areas.”
While the Chicago Police Department is empowered to enforce the Mayor’s new order through citations up to $500 and additional measures, the Department is primarily focusing on educating residents about the new order and providing warnings to individuals using these closed spaces. To further ensure compliance with the order, the Department will move forward with issuing citations if individuals don’t adhere to initial warnings from police officers.
“For the most part, Chicagoans have been doing well at maintaining social distancing but with the number of people gathering on the lakefront in recent days, it is necessary that we shut down these areas for the health and safety of our residents,” said Interim Superintendent Beck. “Again, it is the responsibility of every Chicagoan to do their part to help keep each other safe and following this order will save the lives of our fellow neighbors.”
On Wednesday, Mayor Lightfoot joined Commissioner Allison Arwady of the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and other city officials to remind residents of important guidance to adhere to during the state’s order, and as public health officials work to stem the spread of the virus. Chicagoans are still able, and encouraged, to do the following during this time:
• Go for a short walk or runs but maintain physical distance from others while doing so, preferably in their own neighborhoods.
• Walk their dog, but do not congregate at the dog park or beach.
• Shop at the grocery stores that remain open, as long as, you are not sick, and
practice social distancing.
• Continue visiting the restaurants that remain open for pick-up and delivery.

“As we have learned from watching how other countries have responded to this outbreak, the best way for us to contain this virus is to practice proper social distancing,” said Dr. Arwady. “This doesn’t mean you can’t go outside for fresh air, walk your dog or go for a run. It just means you have to do it the right way, by keeping your distance from others and not congregating in groups.”
Chicago Park District’s facilities and fieldhouses will remain closed for the duration of the stay at home order. Currently, the District’s green spaces and parks remain open, and the City will monitor park activity in the event more closures are necessary to prevent large gatherings and congregations of people during the stay at home order.
Under Governor Pritzker’s ‘Stay at Home’ Order, which went into effect on March 21, residents of Chicago and across the state are mandated to stay at home as much as possible, and to limit occasions for leaving their homes, unless it is to: retrieve essential goods or services, go work if they are an essential employee, seek medical care, or to get fresh air for brief amounts of time while practicing social distancing. The order was issued out of an abundance of caution to safeguard the public health and prevent further spread in the community and is expected to last through April 7, unless otherwise directed.
Additionally, under an order released by CDPH last week, any Chicago resident that has COVID-19 or is displaying symptoms must stay at home during this time unless seeking emergency medical care. This order was issued out of an abundance of caution to safeguard the public health and prevent further spread in the community.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic the City is launching the Stay Home, Save Lives campaign to inform residents about how they can stay healthy and do their part to bend the curve of the virus. For more information and updates on COVID-19, text COVID19 to
78015, email coronavirus@chicago.gov or visit Chicago.gov/coronavirus.
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Press Releases

Theo lệnh Thống đốc Pritzker của Tiểu bang Illinois tất cả các trường học trong Thành phố Chicago sẽ đóng cửa từ ngày 17 tháng 3 đến ngày 31 tháng 3 năm 2020

March 13, 2020 City of Chicago Prepares for Closure of all K-12 Schools, as Mandated by the State of Illinois Following Governor Pritzker’s mandate, all schools in the City and the State will be closed from March 17 until March 31 due to COVID-19 CONTACT: Mayor’s Press Office 312.744.3334 press@cityofchicago.org CHICAGO – Following the mandate issued by Governor JB Pritzker this afternoon, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot joined Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson and other city officials to update the public on emergency preparedness plans in place for students in the wake of school closures. CPS and all other school districts across the state will remain closed from Tuesday, March 17 until Tuesday, March 31, according to a new state mandate issued to mitigate the further spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). During this period of school closure, the administration and its public health officials are strongly recommending that students stay home and practice social distancing to prevent further spread. Recognizing the hardship school closures present to families, CPS is working to provide families with food and services available at their neighborhood CPS school. “We understand the governor’s decision to close schools statewide, but the City will not shrink from our obligation to provide essential services that CPS students and parents depend on,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “The health and safety of our children are of paramount importance. The City is finalizing a contingency plan that will meet the needs of vulnerable populations and ensure all our children are safe and engaged, but it is critical employers are flexible as parents seek childcare.” Currently, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 involving CPS students, and no confirmed staff cases beyond the initial case announced on March 6. The closures will affect over 350,000 students enrolled in the district, and all network, area and central offices will be closed except for personnel needed for essential operations. Earlier today, the Archdiocese of Chicago announced a system-wide closure of Catholic schools, effective Monday, March 16. This decision applies to all Catholic schools in Cook and Lake Counties operated by the Archdiocese of Chicago. Catholic schools not operated by the archdiocese, such as those governed by religious orders, will make decisions individually. “As a CPS parent, I understand this may be a difficult time for families but we will be working with our partners at the City and State to help connect our families to critical services during this time,” said CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “We are one CPS family and our students and staff will receive regular updates about our plan to support them in the coming days.” While schools remain closed, the City and CPS are working to ensure all students in the district have access to food and educational enrichment activities during this time. As the largest and most diverse district in the state, CPS has more than 70 percent of families which qualify for free or reduced lunch. All CPS families and staff are being alerted to the district-wide closure via e-mail and robocall and CPS will be working with citywide leadership to coordinate resources for students across schools and parks during out of school time starting next week. The District is taking the following steps to keep students safe and engaged: CPS will provide meals to all students in need. All CPS families will be able to pick up meals outside of their nearest CPS school beginning March 17, between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Monday-Friday throughout the closure. The Greater Chicago Food Depository and Chicago’s network of food providers stand ready to support vulnerable families impacted by school closures or other hardships. A full list of locations is available at www.chicagosfoodbank.org/find-food/ Students will receive educational enrichment activities on Monday, and schools will work to ensure students are engaged throughout their time away from the classroom. Project based packets will be ready for principals to print out on Monday to be sent home with students. Limited recreational and enrichment activities will be at select Chicago Park District facilities. Activities will be offered in a safe setting and will adhere to Chicago Department of Public Health social distancing recommendations. Beginning this weekend, the City will conduct a full and thorough cleaning of select Chicago Park District and Chicago Public Library sites. A list of site locations will be made available at cps.edu/coronavirus. “The health and safety of Chicago Public School students and all children in Chicago is always our number one priority,” said Allison Arwady, M.D. Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Health. “As I’ve said before, younger people seem to tolerate COVID-19 better than adults, but with this news we are thinking even more about how to protect them and everyone from further spread of this virus. And for children who will now be out of school, we want them as well as their parents, caregivers and families to follow the preventive guidance that we have been sharing throughout this process: if you are sick, stay home and avoid sick people; wash your hands several times a day; always remember to cover your cough and sneeze; avoid touching your face, nose and eyes; and don’t shake hands – instead bump elbows or just wave.” Prior to Governor Pritzker’s announcement, CPS had developed contingency plans for various scenarios and the district is finalizing guidance on enrichment learning opportunities, resources for families and other critical information. Parents are encouraged to continue to monitor the district’s website cps.edu/coronavirus for updates and information. The district will be rolling out robocalls and will provide regular updates as they become available. Chicago public health officials continue to encourage all residents to practice social distancing—a key recommendation by health experts to further prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease. According to the CDC, social distancing involves “remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance” whenever possible to limit the ability of the virus to spread. Mayor Lightfoot encourages Chicago employers to remain flexible during school closures, and to take steps to provide leave as parents across the city work to keep their families safe, healthy and secure. Earlier today, the Lightfoot administration rolled out a set of temporary policies to City of Chicago staff to ensure those impacted by COVID-19 are given additional paid time off and permitted to work from home when possible. # # #

District Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources for Parents Frequently Asked Questions March 13 School Closure Announcement March 13, 2020 – Dear CPS Parents, Families, and Staff, The past several weeks have been difficult as we’ve watched the COVID-19 health crisis impact countries around the world, and now our home. Today, Governor Pritzker announced that all Illinois schools, including Chicago Public Schools, will close beginning Tuesday, March 17 through Monday, March 30. Classes are currently scheduled to resume on Tuesday, March 31. School-sponsored activities, events, field trips, and athletic events are also canceled during this time. I recognize the impact this closure will have on our community, and I know it will greatly burden our students, staff, and working families who rely on our schools. I want to assure you that COVID-19 will not stop our work on behalf of children. We are one family with one goal, and we are here to support you. Important Information for Families and Staff All school buildings will be closed for deep cleaning. Schools will be closed to all students and staff beginning Tuesday, March 17 through Monday, March 30. Only environmental cleaning experts will be allowed in school buildings along with essential staff. Families should not send their children to schools. Healthy meals will be available to our students. We recognize that our schools provide healthy meals to many of our students, and we will be providing free food boxes that will contain three days of breakfast and lunches for every student in the household. All families will be able to pick up meals at their nearest CPS school beginning Tuesday, March 17, between 9 a.m and 1 p.m. daily. Lunchroom staff will prep, bag, and provide meals outside of the school building. Schools will be sending enrichment resources and materials home with students. On Monday, March 16, school-based staff will send resources home in hard copy and online format. School-based staff members will also help students remember to take supplies, personal belongings, medications, and other materials home with them. All full-time and regularly scheduled staff will be paid throughout this time. School staff will not have access to school buildings during the closure. Central and network offices will be open only for emergency personnel. Emergency personnel are considered to be those who perform essential district functions. All other central and network office staff will be asked to telework or will be excused with pay. More information for staff will be forthcoming over the weekend. Polling sites will remain at CPS locations. Deep cleaning at those schools will not begin until after the primary election. If you have questions, email familyservices@cps.edu or call CPS Command Center at 773-553-KIDS (5437) until 7 p.m. tonight. We are working to update our Frequently Asked Questions, and encourage you to check here for updates later tonight. Specific guidance to principals and staff will be forthcoming. If you need help locating medical care, please reach out to the CPS Office of Student Health and Wellness at oshw@cps.edu or by calling the CPS Command Center at 773-553-KIDS (5437). If you or your child has a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing and did not have direct contact with a COVID-19 positive person, please contact your primary care provider. If you are concerned that you or your child have had direct contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please contact the CDPH at coronavirus@chicago.gov or call 312-746-4835. For the most reliable information about COVID-19, please visit: Chicago Department of Public Health Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Chicago Public Schools Sincerely, Janice K. Jackson, EdD Chief Executive Officer Chicago Public Schools

Gov. Pritzker Announces Two-Week Statewide School Closure to Minimize COVID-19 Spread, Additional Economic Measures to Reduce Burden on Illinois Families Friday, March 13, 2020 – Governor, Office of the Chicago — Building on state guidance issued yesterday to promote social distancing and minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, Governor JB Pritzker announced that the state of Illinois will close all schools from March 17 through March 30 and implement additional economic measures to reduce the burden on Illinois families. As of now, day care centers will remain open and will follow strict health and safety guidance. “All of these choices have cascading effects for citizens and vulnerable populations when it comes to food access, safety, childcare, and social services,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “We’ve seen what happens in places that didn’t move with urgency. I ask all of you not to hesitate to do the right thing for your family, your friends, and your community. One small step at a time, we will get through this together.” “We have seen evidence from influenza outbreaks that community mitigation strategies, such a school closures, have an effect on decreasing the severity of the outbreak,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “By taking these actions now, we hope to slow and limit widespread transmission of this virus, which is essential to ensuring our health care system is not overwhelmed as the disease progresses through our state. School closures will help slow the progression of the virus and we are asking for everyone’s help in reducing the spread.” “This is an unprecedented event in our lifetime, and we will get through this together,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen I. Ayala. “Our administrators and educators have shown extraordinary leadership during a time of very difficult decisions. Schools closing will affect each community differently, and I want our teachers, our students, and our families to know that the Illinois State Board of Education is open and is here to help.” SCHOOL CLOSURES Following extensive state-level analysis of coronavirus spread in various countries and the social distancing measures that were put in place, the State is taking the precautionary measure of closing all K-12 schools in the state of Illinois from March 17 through March 30. Schools with a spring break that falls outside of this window should move their spring break to within this timeframe. The Pritzker administration is working to ensure critical support functions remain available to students across the state – including their access to food, child care and safe environments. Gov. Pritzker has assured school administrators that the state will issue no penalties as a result of this closure. To provide support to school districts across the state, the Illinois State Board of Education will be fully staffed over the coming weekend and during the closure period to work through individualized issues and challenges in each district. An executive order to provide school districts flexibility during this period is forthcoming. On Thursday, the Illinois State Board of Education was granted a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to continue providing meals to students in non-group settings. Students receiving free and reduce priced breakfasts and lunches will be able to receive grab-and-go meals each day, with some districts having the ability to deliver and others offering parent pick up. The Department of Children and Family Services is working closely with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the Illinois Department of Public Health to ensure emergency and preparedness plans are in place to keep youth in care and staff safe. All DCFS group homes will remain open and take extra safety precautions. ECONOMIC MEASURES The Governor has also announced new economic measures to reduce the burden on Illinois families. Gov. Pritzker and Attorney General Raoul have urged the Illinois Commerce Commission to immediately institute a moratorium on shutoffs for all utility companies across Illinois – including energy, telecommunications and water – until the state disaster proclamation has been lifted. The administration is also requesting changes to payment and collection policies to ensure Illinoisans aren’t saddled with utility debt as a result of COVID-19. The Governor is contacting the leaders of Illinois’ utility companies and urging them to maintain services for all Illinoisans, regardless of their ability to pay, during this public health crisis. The Pritzker administration is working directly with the eight major food banks across Illinois to expand services. The administration is reaching out to food manufacturers to ensure food banks are prioritized and can provide our vulnerable residents the food they need. Earlier this week, the administration filed emergency rules granting workers who are unemployed due to COVID-19 access to unemployment benefits. The rules provide relief to people who may be restricted in the type of work they can perform due to the outbreak. AVAILABILITY OF TESTING The Illinois Department of Public Health is working with state labs and hospital partners to significantly increase testing capability. At this time the administration believes testing can be sufficiently increased to ensure the minimum level of surveillance testing needed to appropriately monitor the spread of the virus. Gov. Pritzker is continuing to pressure the federal government for more tests to allow the state to deploy full surveillance testing. HEIGHTENED VIGILANCE FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC Vulnerable populations remain a top priority as community spread continues around the state, country and globe. Elderly and immunocompromised residents should take extra caution when attending gatherings of any size and avoid exposure to large groups of people whenever possible. The state has implemented new staffing procedures and strict guidelines restricting visitors at state-operated long-term care facilities and is also working closely with private nursing home and assisted living associations on the adoption of similar guidelines. Anyone experiencing symptoms should stay home, call their doctor and plan a safe visit for examination. The general public is encouraged to take social distancing practices, including avoiding events of more than 250 people, working from home if possible and maintaining social distance (6 feet) from anyone experiencing symptoms. The Illinois Department of Public Health has a statewide COVID-19 hotline and website to answer any questions from the public or to report a suspected case: call 1-800-889-3931 or visit IDPH.illinois.gov.