Cross-Cultural, Urban, Reformed, Ecumenical

Update 4/16/2020

Dear Chicago Residents and Partners,

As we complete our fourth week of the Stay at Home order, new data released by the City is suggesting that Chicago may be flattening the COVID-19 curve. The new data suggests that the City’s mitigation efforts have been effective in reducing transmission of COVID-19, and therefore, protect the local healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed. This also allows the City to maintain resources, continue treating patients and ultimately, save lives. However, a steady decline in new cases still needs to occur before major social distancing interventions are no longer required. Key take-aways include:

  • New case rate slowdown: Just one month ago, cases in Chicago were doubling every 2-3 days; now they are doubling only every 12 days.
  • Lower rate of cases and deaths: If there hadn’t been a stay-at-home order and strong compliance with social distancing, modeling shows that the city could have seen more than 62,000 cases and 2,000 deaths by this point. 
  • Sustained hospital capacity: Chicago’s healthcare and hospital systems still have available bed capacity, ICU capacity, and ventilator capacity, indicating that the progress in flattening the curve has protected our health system so far.
  • Increased social compliance: New geo-location data from BlueDot shows that Chicagoans are staying at home. In February and early March, these metrics showed an average (median) of between 59% and 64% of phone check-ins in Chicago were at home, recognizing that we spend a lot of time at home, much of it sleeping. By last week, across Chicago, the average (median) phone check-ins at home had increased to 79% of all check-ins.

Even with the positive data trends, the Stay at Home order remains necessary to continue to protect our communities. We all should continue to stay home as much as possible and always practice social distancing and good hand hygiene.

See the full data report at chicago.gov/coronavirus.

What's New

  • COVID-19 Testing - Testing is only recommended for people with symptoms of COVID-19. If you have symptoms and are in one of the high risk groups, call your healthcare provider. If your doctor recommends you be tested for COVID-19, they will likely take a swab of your nose or throat (for the PCR test) and/or take a small blood sample (serology test). 
  • A PCR test is the most reliable way to determine whether you have COVID-19 or not.
  • At this time, the FDA has issued emergency use authorization (EUA) for three COVID-19 antibody tests and none have been validated for diagnosis. Antibody tests currently on the market might not be reliable and test results must be interpreted with caution. At this time, antibody testing results, alone, are not sufficient to make a clinical diagnosis of COVID-19, nor to rule out infection. To learn more, see CDPH's Testing Fact Sheet.

Resources

  • Free Resources for Healthcare Workers and First Responders - The City of Chicago along with health, hotel and other partners created a microsite to offer a variety of free resources and supports for healthcare workers and first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic, including:
  • Free virtual support groups provided by NAMI-Chicago
  • Free individual and group psychotherapy provided by CDPH
  • A mental health resource dashboard featuring free apps, self-assessments, hotline supports, video tutorials, and fact sheets hosted by CDPH
  • Hotel-based housing provided by the City of Chicago for healthcare workers and first responders wishing to temporarily live separately from family due to concerns about exposure to COVID-19
  • Free access to childcare provided through a partnership with Sittercity or provided by Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Child Care Assistance Program 
  • Free and discounted transportation options from PACE, Metra, Divvy, and CTA
  • 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.

Latest Public Health Guidance

 

Join the Fight against COVID-19

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  shelly.johnson@sunbeltstaffing.com or call 813-261-2706.

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: