|48th Ward UpdateView this email in your browserFebruary 1, 2021|
I hope you had a safe and warm weekend. Please reach out to my office if you need assistance clearing your walkway of snow. Additionally, I encourage neighbors to help others on your block who may have difficulty clearing snow from walkways and around their cars.
Leadership from Chicago Public School and the Chicago Teachers Union continued negotiations related to the reopening of in-person learning throughout the weekend. According to the CPS Reopening Plan, Kindergarten-8th grade students who had opted for in-person learning were scheduled to return to school today, joining Pre-K and Cluster students who have been back since January. Due to the ongoing negotiations, CPS has delayed that by one day, and is expecting to have in-person learning for Pre-K through 8th grade and Cluster students tomorrow. CPS leadership has indicated that teachers who do not report to their school buildings, without having received prior approval to work from home, will be “locked out” of their Google Classroom tomorrow and unable to teach their students remotely. As a parent, I understand the frustration many of you are feeling today due to the uncertainty of what the rest of your children’s school year will look like. This weekend I spoke with leaders from both CPS and CTU and it is my continued hope that both sides will work together today in order to reach an agreement that allows for a safe return for students, teachers, and school staff.
We continue to hear from many of you with questions about access to COVID-19 Vaccine appointments. I want to assure you that everyone who is eligible and wants a vaccine will get one, it is just going to take some time. Unfortunately, the supply the City of Chicago is receiving does not meet the immediate demand. Please continue to check with your doctor’s office and your pharmacy every few days to see if appointments are available. As more vaccines are approved by the FDA to receive Emergency Use Authorization, as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is expected to soon, our supply will increase. Please see a list of resources related to the COVID-19 vaccine:Information from Chicago Department of Public Health: chicago.gov/covidvax48th Ward COVID-19 Resources: 48thward.org/coronavirusWatch the recording of our 48th Ward Vaccine Town Hall: https://youtu.be/V1_gepYUnowChicago COVID-19 Hotline: 312-746-4835Cook County Community Vaccination Program: vaccine.cookcountyil.gov // 883-308-1988Throughout the pandemic, our collective ability to be patient and to look out for the wellbeing of our neighbors has been tested and strengthened. These very serious matters related to school reopening and vaccine access will require us to continue being patient and doing what we can to protect ourselves and our neighbors in the meantime. Our resiliency as a community and as a City has shined over the last year. Let’s continue to lead with kindness and allow things to unfold in a safe and structured manner.
My office is co-hosting a day of free COVID-19 testing with Near North Health Services Corporation and the Isamili Jamatkhana this Saturday, February 6, 10am-2pm, in the parking lot at 6259 N. Broadway. This is a walk-up and drive-up test, available to anyone over the age of 5, regardless of insurance or immigration status. We encourage pre-registration via this Eventbrite link, but walk-ins will be accepted while supplies are available. My staff and I will be on site during the event to distribute free masks and smoke detectors to neighbors who need them. If you would like to volunteer to help manage traffic and ensure a safe event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In more positive news, Chicago’s COVID-19 metrics, including test positivity and hospitalization rates, have been steadily improving. This weekend, it was announced that according to the Illinois Department of Public Health’s metrics, Chicago has moved from Tier 1 mitigations into Phase 4 reopening. Because it has only been one week since reopening indoor dining, the City of Chicago is following standard public health guidance to allow at least two weeks between lifting of restrictions to monitor the impact. This means that some restrictions will be eased, such as the prohibition of bar seating and the non-essential business curfew, but most of the capacity regulations will remain in place. Click here for full details on what Phase 4 looks like.
Today marks the first day of Black History Month. The Edgewater Historical Society is honoring this month through their monthly book club picks, featuring books by and about Lorraine Hansberry. Lorriane was a Chicago playwright, who was the first Black female playwright to have her work performed on Broadway in New York City. This play, “A Raisin in the Sun”, highlighted the housing crisis due to discrimination faced by Black Chicagoans in the mid-20th Century, the lingering effects of which still exist today. Thank you to the Edgewater Historical Society and Edgewater Branch Chicago Public Library for partnering on this monthly book discussion club. Click here to register for the February 13 meeting.
Stay warm and stay safe.
Alderman, 48th Ward
Copyright © 2021 Harry Osterman – 48th Ward Alderman, All rights reserved.
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