The first case in Chicago (2nd in the nation) was confirmed on January 24th, 2020
There have been extensive reports and updates issued by both the city itself, and local corporate news outlets. The City of Chicago response to COVID-19 takes the form of several committees. The Chicago Sun-Times reported on the existence of these committees on March 10th, 2020.
What we now know about the city's emergency response:
- The Lightfoot administration has activated the city's Emergency Operations Center at the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC)
- This move cones after Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a statewide disaster declaration as a result of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state.
Organizing Task Force — the equivalent of a board of directors — is led by Lightfoot and includes Arwady and Rich Guidice, executive director of the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications.
CONTINUITY OF GOVERNMENT — Mayor’s office of operations, Paul Stewart. Prior to the outbreak, Stewart had been running point on the city rollout of recreational marijuana sales.
CITYWIDE WORKFORCE — Department of Human Resources, First Deputy Commissioner Chris Owen.
COMMAND AND CONTROL — OEMC and Chicago Fire Department, OEMC Deputy Director Tom Sivak and Fire Commissioner Richard Ford II.
PUBLIC SAFETY — Eric Carter, Chicago Police Department’s chief of counterterrorism.
MESSAGING AND MEDIA — Mayor’s press office, OEMC, Health Department, Communications director Michael Crowley; OEMC spokesperson Melissa Stratton; Health Department spokesman Andy Buchanan.
PROCUREMENT — Chief Procurement Officer Shannon Andrews.
FINANCE — Office of Budget and Management, Budget Director Susie Park.
INTELLIGENCE AND PLANNING — Health and OEMC; Griffin Byer, OEMC; Emily Zaran, Health Department senior emergency management coordinator.
SPECIAL EVENTS AND HOSPITALITY — Cultural Affairs and Special Events Commissioner Mark Kelly.
HOUSING AND WRAP-AROUND SERVICES — Department of Housing, Managing Deputy Commissioner Anthony Simpkins.
EDUCATION, PARKS AND LIBRARIES — Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson.
Faces of Chicago's Corona Virus COVID-19 Response
|Mayor Lori Lightfoot|
Dr. Allison Arwady, Commissioner - Chicago Department of Public Health
The Chicago Sun-Times tells what Dr. Arwady's days look like during the city's hectic fight against COVID-19.
Chicago-One reached out to Anthony Guglielmi, the Director of Communications for the Chicago Police Department, and also reached out to Melissa Stratton at the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications on March 10th, 2020 to ask questions regarding the Public Safety Committee and the Intelligence Committee. Stratton asked for time to respond. As of 13 March, at 2:47PM, Stratton has not responded.
Guglielmi stated in his e-mail on March 11th, 2020:
"The Chicago Department of Health is the lead agency for Coronavirus assisted by the Office of Emergency Management. CPD is part of the overall team to address any public safety or law enforcement issues that may arise. Eric Carter has been designated as the lead Point of Contact by the Superintendent given the Counter-terroism Burea's experience managing large scale special events. Chief Carter would also be supported by the Operations Bureau should there be a specific need."
The Timeline - Chicago's Response to SARS-COV-2 (Novel Corona Virus / COVID-19)
The first tweet from Mayor Lori Lightfoot's office came on 28 February 2020 at 10:42AM.
First corona virus tweet from Mayor Lightfoot
March 4th, 2020 brought news from CBS 2 Chicago that the Chicago Fire Department was preparing for calls involving COVID-19
|Photo courtesy of CBS 2 Chicago|
Friday, March 13th, 2020
This is the date when a mass response by the public and businesses in the city began, as both the public and the business community recognized the danger posed by this virus, and found the need to act was in the mass public interest to keep the impact of this virus manageable.
8:54AM - Chicago-One News is tipped-off by confidential source that the John G. Shedd Aquarium has held a meeting and decided to close early at 3:30PM, followed by closure for two weeks as a result of COVID-19. WBBM then confirms this publicly at 11:09AM
The Chicago Teacher's Union called for Chicago Public Schools to close.
9:59AM - WBBM's Rob Hart reported on, and publicly provided the below email to parents from the Archdiocese Supt. Dr. Jim Rigg, explaining that schools operated by the Archdiocese would close effective Monday, March 16th, 2020.
11:54AM - The Museum of Science and Industry Announces Closure in Response to COVID-19
11:55AM - Peter Nickeas of the Chicago Tribune tweeted that the Illinois Department of Public Health had announced a new development in the ability to test for COVID-19 via two private labs who were said to be reporting mixed posituve and negative results
1:11PM - Chicago Tribune reports that Mayor Lightfoot has said Chicago Public Schools to remain open, Teacher's Union wants them to close
1:25PM - The Associated Press reported via their reporter, Jill Colvin, that President Trump would declare a national emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
2:33PM - President Donald J. Trump declares a national emergency
2:40PM - The popular Chicago Scanner twitter account posted the below photos from an Aldi store at 4600 W. Diversey on the city's northwest side, saying, "Aldi 4600 W Diversey
Bread, TP, canned goods, cashier said there was a line outside before opening"
3:56PM - Governor Pritzker orders ALL schools closed, public AND private