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On Monday, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) released new demographic data showing
the impact of COVID-19 in Chicago by race and ethnicity, age, gender
and zip code. The figures reveal great inequities in sickness and death
by race and ethnicity, and in response the City pledged to take
immediate steps to minimize gaps in healthcare systems; create more
equity in service delivery; provide information and resources; and
enhance rapid response programs to support the most impacted individuals
Sunday, April 5, 1,824 black Chicagoans, 847 white Chicagoans, 478
Hispanic/Latinx Chicagoans, and 126 Asian Chicagoans had been diagnosed
with COVID-19. Disparities in deaths
are even greater: among those for whom race-ethnicity is known, 72% of
the city’s deaths have been among black Chicagoans, though black
Chicagoans make up just 30% of the city’s population. COVID-19 worldwide
has had a greater impact on those with underlying health conditions,
and the data thus far shows that 97% of Chicago residents who have died
had such health challenges. African Americans have historically higher
rates of chronic disease (including heart disease, lung disease,
diabetes and smoking-related illness), and higher rates of death related
to these chronic diseases in Chicago.
by this data, the City, in partnership with West Side United, is
immediately working to implement a robust, multi-faceted community
engagement strategy that will provide residents in impacted communities
with health guidance for multi-generational families, isolation within
the home, faith communities, and what to do when returning home from
essential work or other activity. In addition, the City will launch a
community awareness campaign, accelerate its work to leverage existing
healthcare networks and develop new channels of communication to reach
Chicago’s most vulnerable populations, identify and address barriers to
protecting against COVID-19. To prevent congregate settings and to
promote social distancing where it is more challenging to comply with
the statewide Stay at Home order, the City will:
monitor CTA bus ridership along all routes and deploy large buses or
extra buses to allow for social distancing during transit;
coordination and socialization of health guidance for essential
businesses, such as grocery stores and corner stores, to promote social
distancing and discourage congregating; and
Business Affairs and Consumer Protection investigation and response of
non-essential businesses operating in communities with high transmission
Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and CDPH remain committed to taking a
transparent, data driven approach to responding to the COVID-19
outbreak, we all have a role to play in addressing health inequities and
helping those most vulnerable during this unprecedented public health
We Are Not Playing - The City launched a new campaign, “We Are Not Playing,”
in partnership with Chicago’s professional sports teams to combat the
spread of COVID-19. Each of Chicago’s hometown professional sports teams
has signed on to the initiative, which leverages the influence of
sports teams and their players to encourage residents to keep themselves
and their neighbors safe from the spread of COVID-19 by staying home.
We Are Not Playing is an integrated initiative that will kick-off with
digital and out-of-home billboards around Chicago, before moving online
and onto social media. The initiative builds on the recently launched
“Stay Home. Save Lives” movement created by Mayor Lightfoot.
Finding Care When Uninsured
- If you do not have a medical provider, are uninsured, or have limited
or no income and believe you need non-emergency medical services, you
can contact your nearest community health center (CHC) by phone and
inform them of your need. They will work with you to coordinate
appropriate care. CHCs receive funding from the federal government that
allows them to charge each patient on a sliding scale fee based on the
patient’s income and ability to pay. No patient will be turned away
because of inability to pay. There are approximately 165 CHCs throughout
the city of Chicago. You can find your nearest CHC at findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov.
- Emotional reactions to this emerging health crisis are expected.
Remind yourself, your family and your friends that feeling sad, anxious,
overwhelmed or having other symptoms of distress such as trouble
sleeping is normal. If symptoms become worse, encourage them, and
yourself, to reach out for support and help. The following are free mental health resources available to all Chicago residents:
Connect to free teletherapy services at Chicago Department of Public Health Mental Health Centers by calling 312-747-1020
after hours support, contact Crisis Text Line which serves anyone, in
any type of crisis, 24-hours a day. Instructions: Text HELLO to: 741741
to access a trained crisis counselor.
Smart 911 - Residents are encouraged to sign up for Smart 911 and
provide critical medical information to 9-1-1 so they can help faster
in an emergency. Residents can create a safety profile for themselves
and family members with information on their current health conditions
as well as information if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or are
under quarantine, and it will automatically be provided to first
responders when calling 9-1-1. To learn more, check out this video:
Mayor Lori Lightfoot and CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D. have issued a call for assistance from the medical community and are seeking to hire healthcare workers immediately to help the City of Chicago in its COVID-19 response efforts.
Medical Assistants and Nurses are
encouraged to apply for temporary positions. If you have any questions
about the positions or the application process, you may email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 813-261-2706.
Chicago Medical Reserve Corps (MRC)
is a network of both medical and non-medical professionals who
volunteer their time to assist during public health emergencies such as
the current COVID-19 outbreak. Many MRC volunteers are just like you -
nurses, doctors, pharmacists, therapists, public health professionals,
and other community members who believe in keeping Chicago safe.
Register at illinoishelps.net and be there when Chicago needs you most.
CDPH is coordinating multiple opportunities for individuals, organizations and businesses to donate medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) and join the fight against the COVID-19. Go to the links below to: