Dear Chicago Residents and Partners,
Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the City’s Racial Equity Rapid Response Team (RERRT) are taking immediate steps to address the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on African-American communities, including tele-town halls, community PPE distribution and neighborhood canvassing. The Racial Equity Rapid Response Team is partnering with local community organizations to develop hyperlocal, data-informed strategies to slow the spread of COVID-19 and improve health outcomes among communities that have been most heavily impacted.
Three communities have been identified for initial engagement – Austin, Auburn Gresham, and South Shore. The coordinating structure comprises a steering committee and working groups focused on Education, Prevention, Testing & Treatment, and Supportive Services, each to include targeted ways to engage directly with residents in the impacted communities. Other elements of the RERRT include:
- An Operations Team integrated into the City’s Emergency Operations Center to enable coordination and resourcing of strategies developed through local partnerships.
- The Education/Communication Working Group, which is tailoring messaging to speak directly to the realities that people in these communities face, including protecting loved ones, and guidance for essential workers and multigenerational households.
- A Providers Working Group that is developing strategies to proactively reach patients with underlying health conditions.
- Community leadership networks that are coordinating the distribution of masks and protective resources to local residents in their communities.
To provide targeted information and receive direct input from residents in each neighborhood, the RERRT is hosting three tele-town halls, one for each of the priority communities. The town halls will be streamed live through each organization’s social media platforms:
Thursday, April 23:
- 4:30-6 pm: South Shore Works (@southshoreworks)
Saturday, April 25:
- 10:30am-12pm: Greater Auburn Gresham DC (@gagdcchicago)
- 12:30-2pm: Austin Coming Together (@act.chicago)
In addition, last week the University of Chicago Medicine, a RERRT partner, announced expanded testing capacity in Hyde Park and at the UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial in Harvey of up to 1,000 tests per day per location for COVID-19. These tests will be available at no out-of-pocket cost to patients. Both locations will test patients by appointment with hours varying based on demand.
The City remains committed to addressing the specific needs of Chicago residents and families. We are all in this crisis together.
Stay home. Save lives.
- New Protective Measures for City Workers – Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot announced new protective measures to further ensure the health and safety of the City’s essential workforce amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Beginning this week, all essential City employees will be provided with and trained on the proper use of cloth masks. Additionally, new COVID Safety Officers will be designated to further ensure social distancing techniques are practiced across departments. To further protect employees with COVID-19, the City is also announcing a new partnership with Hotel Julian to provide City workers with a safe space to isolate themselves if they cannot be at home.
- Chicago Rx – The Chicago Rx Card is a free and easy way to save up to 80% on prescription drugs at more than 59,000 pharmacies across the country including Rite Aid, Kroger, Osco, CVS, Walmart, Walgreens and many more. No registration or pre-qualification needed. The card is free, pre-activated and can be used immediately! The Chicago Rx card can be used by individuals and family members regardless of a person’s health, age, immigration status, or income, and there are no limits on how many times it can be used. Find out more at www.chicagorxcard.com.
- Smart 911 – Sign up for Smart 911 and create a safety profile for yourself and your family. In the event of an emergency, your Safety Profile is made available to call takers the moment your phone or one associated with your account dials 9-1-1. The service is free and sign up can be completed in minutes at www.smart911.com.
Join the Fight against COVID-19
- Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund
- A Better Chicago’s Emergency Relief Fund
- CPS Compassion Fund for COVID-19 Closures
- Red Cross Blood Donations
- PPE & Medical Supplies