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Coronavirus In Chicago: City Releases Online Survey So You Can Share Ideas For Reopening Chicago

The mayor is asking Chicagoans to share their ideas for how officials can safely reopen the city's economy.

Raquel Gonzalez of Logan Square wears a mask and gloves as she waits for the Fullerton bus after working on Monday, April 27, 2020. Starting May 1, all Illinois residents are required to wear masks in public. | Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — Mayor Lori Lightfoot wants your input on how she’ll reopen Chicago.

The mayor released a vague plan for reopening the city Friday, highlighting how officials are keeping track of health data to determine how they’ll slowly reopen businesses and get the economy moving.

But Lightfoot didn’t release concrete plans for what businesses will open when, instead saying her administration is working with industry leaders and wants feedback from the public to make those decisions.

That feedback will come in the form of a survey that Chicagoans can take online.

“… We need to hear from all of Chicago in order to develop the best ways to open safely and move our city forward,” Lightfoot said during a Friday press conference. “Your responses will shape our decisions on where we need to place greater emphasis and how we can make our reopening as smooth as possible.”

The survey is anonymous but asks for basic information, including your age range, race, zip code and household income.

The short survey includes questions about what you’re struggling with under the stay at home order, how you’re practicing social distancing and what’s helped you cope during the crisis.

Toward the end, the survey asks what support you need as the city starts to reopen and what businesses you want to open first and second.

There’s also a section where respondents are asked to rank what Chicago should prioritize out of four options: increasing antibody testing, increasing current coronavirus case testing, slowly opening businesses or waiting for a vaccine.

Chicagoans are also asked to share their ideas for how to slowly reopen the economy safely.

Chicago has made progress in its fight against coronavirus, officials have said, but cases are still growing here.

Lightfoot and Gov. JB Pritzker’s plans for reopening the city and state call for a slow reopening of businesses, with social distancing, to slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives. Both plans life won’t return to normal until there’s a vaccine or widespread treatment.

Lightfoot will have a press conference at 1 p.m. and Pritzker will have his daily coronavirus briefing at 2:30 p.m.

Coronavirus Cases

• There have been 77,741 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Illinois as of Sunday afternoon. Many of those patients have recovered since testing positive.

• At least 3,406 people have died in Illinois as a result of the virus.

• There have been 30,921 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Chicago and at least 1,356 people have died.

If You Need Help

• Sick? Broke? Want To Help? Here’s A Massive List Of Coronavirus Resources In Chicago

What’s Happening In Chicago

• Unemployment: Illinois is staffing up as 1099 and gig workers get ready to file claims for unemployment starting Monday. The state has seen a huge surge in claims.

• Electronic Monitoring: Cook County has run out of electronic monitoring devices, meaning detained people who were cleared for release are now stuck at Cook County Jail, a coronavirus hot spot.

• Latino Communities: Faced with a surge of coronavirus cases in Chicago’s Latino neighborhoods, the city is scrambling to increase testing and treatment on the city’s South and West sides.

 Pro Sports: Chicago sports teams likely won’t be able to have fans at games for months, Pritzker said.

• Keep Isolating: It’s not safe to start expanding your “quarantine circle,” doctors said.

• Reopening: Pritzker unveiled his five-step plan for reopening Illinois and restarting the state’s economy.

• Concerts, Festivals: Large events will remain banned in Illinois until there’s a vaccine, widespread and effective treatment or no new cases for a prolonged period.

 “Still At War:” Though the weather is getting nicer, people must continue to stay at home so Illinois can win its war against COVID-19, Ezike said.

• Restaurants: The city’s eateries are urging customers to skip GrubHub and similar services and order directly from them so they can make it through the crisis.

• Help for Artists: The statewide Artist Relief Fund is again taking applications.

 Masks: Everyone is now required to wear a face covering or mask when unable to social distance. And yes, stores can require you to wear a face covering if you want to shop.

Here’s what you need to know about the requirement.

• Testing: Officials are now saying anyone with coronavirus symptoms can get tested in Illinois. Before, they’d advised most people to simply stay at home and assume they had coronavirus.

Here’s where you can get tested in Chicago.


Coronavirus can be deadly, but the vast majority of cases have been mild. Those most at risk from the virus are people who are elderly or who have underlying health conditions.

Symptoms of coronavirus can appear two to 14 days after a person has been exposed to the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control. People with no symptoms may have the virus and spread it to others.

The virus spreads between people through coughing and sneezing, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The most common symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills and shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste and/or smell

People have also experienced body aches, nasal congestion and runny nose, according to Harvard Medical School.

If you or someone else has difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, become confused, cannot be roused or develop a bluish face or lips, get immediate medical attention, according to the CDC.

How To Protect Yourself

Here’s what you can actually do to prevent getting ill:

  • The CDC and other officials have said people should wash their hands often, including before, during and after eating; after using the bathroom; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
    The CDC has a guide here for how to properly wash your hands. Remember: Wash with soap and water, scrubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • If you can’t wash your hands with soap and water, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
  • Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth, with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces you touch frequently, like cellphones and light switches. Here are tips from the CDC.
  • Stay home when you’re sick and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you have to sneeze or cough with a tissue, throw it out immediately after using it, according to the CDC.

What To Do If You Think You’re Sick

Even if you’re not showing symptoms, the Chicago Department of Public Health recommends people coming from high-risk countries (here’s a CDC list) self-quarantine for 14 days after returning home.

If you do have symptoms of coronavirus, contact your primary doctor or a health care facility before going in. Explain your symptoms and tell them if you’ve come into close contact with anyone with coronavirus or traveled to an area where COVID-19 is widespread (here’s a CDC list) within the last 14 days, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

From there, the experts will work with your local health department to determine what to do and if you need to be tested for coronavirus, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

And, of course, if you think you’re sick with coronavirus, don’t risk exposing other people to the virus. Anyone who feels unwell has been ordered to stay home or risk getting a $500 fine.

Those with questions and concerns about coronavirus can call the Illinois Department of Public Health at 800-889-3931.

Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.

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