New Coronavirus Data Hub, Resources for Help, Volunteer Opportunities, and more


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Sandy Hart 2019

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April 22, 2020

Dear Neighbors,

I hope that you and your loved ones are all safe and healthy. This is a challenging time across several different fronts, and everyone has had to make adjustments in their life. In March we moved my parents in with us, and it's a full house with my husband and I working from home and our three kids learning remotely. We're finding the silver lining in the stay-at-home order, taking long walks with our dogs, learning how to cook new meals, and spending a lot of time together as a family. We are thankful that we're healthy and are doing what we can for others who may not be as fortunate.

I am proud of Lake County's response to COVID-19, both as a government agency and countywide.Please know that Lake County is doing everything possible to keep you informed and to take steps to protect the physical and financial health of our community. You can subscribe to the Lake County Health Department to receive important updates ON COVID 19, and you can visit the coronavirus data hub, where you can find statistics about the number of coronavirus cases in our community. 

We are grateful for the help we've received from individuals, non-profits, businesses, and educational institutions to combat this pandemic. Donations of funding, personal protection equipment (PPE), meals and food, diapers, and many more items and services have made an enormous difference in the safety of our medical professionals, first responders, and people living and working in congregate settings. We are extremely fortunate to have such generous and caring residents here; this is what makes Lake County such a special place.

We continue to meet as a board, albeit via conference calls. Anyone is welcome to listen to our meetings, live or at your convenience, and there is opportunity to submit public comment before or during the meeting to have your voice heard.To review prior meetings or read agendas for upcoming meetings, click here and select from the drop down menu.

Last Thursday the Finance and Administrative Committee met to discuss our budget policies, including taking a close look at what is the right amount to keep in reserves. Reserving too much is an inappropriate holding of tax dollars, and reserving too little can have negative implications, such as our bond rating. Lake County is one of the few counties in the United States that is AAA bond rated, and we receive lower interest rates as a result, thereby saving taxpayer dollars.

We also directed our Chief Financial Officer to present a 2021 balanced budget this fall with no growth in the tax levy for the second year in a row. It is critically important that we look carefully at how we can reduce the burden on our taxpayers. We have asked all departments to look at ways to reduce
expenditures while finding innovative solutions to continue to provide 
effective and efficient services to our residents.

Sandy hart

During the salary discussion of elected officials, I proposed a reduction in my salary by eliminating the stipend I currently receive for serving as Lake County Liquor Commissioner. 

It is an honor to serve as your Board Member and as Chair of the Lake County Board. As always, don't hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or concerns, and please stay safe, stay healthy, and stay at home.

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New Data Hub Provides Detailed Information on Lake County Covid-19 Cases

The Lake County Health Department continues to monitor confirmed COVID-19 cases in Lake County. As of April 21, 2020, 2,302 Lake County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, and there have been 85 deaths associated with COVID-19 complications.

data hub lake county

Lake County’s Coronavirus Data Hub shows the number of confirmed cases and deaths in Lake County and Illinois.  When looking at the data, keep in mind that it does not reflect the many residents who are likely infected and have not been tested. Testing is not available to everyone, and many people who have COVID-19 have mild or no symptoms. That is why it’s so important to continue social distancing and follow the Illinois Stay-At-Home order. and Illinois. View it  

For daily updates, visit 

covid 19 spread

COVID-19: How it is Spread and Why Social Distancing is Important  

According to the CDC, recent studies show that a significant percentage of individuals infected with the coronavirus do not experience symptoms but can still spread the virus.   This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people have no symptoms.  That’s why it’s so important to maintain six feet of social distancing between others, and to stay home whenever possible.    

Watch this video on how COVID-19 spreads and what you can do to keep
yourself and your family safe.

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Wear a Face Mask in Public: In settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) the CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public. Read more  

Watch this video from the U.S. Surgeon General showing how easy it is to create your own face covering 

Sign Up To Volunteer

Lake County has teamed up with the United Way of Lake County to coordinate local COVID-19 response volunteer opportunities. Volunteers are needed to serve meals to the homeless, deliver meals to seniors, provide general office support, and much more. Both remote and in person volunteer opportunities exist. Interested volunteers are asked to complete an online registration form that asks for contact information, areas of interest and times of availability, in order to appropriately match volunteers with organizations in need of assistance.  

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Local COVID-19 Fund Raises Over $300,000  

More than $300,000 has been raised so far for the Lake County COVID-19 Community Response Fund, administered by United Way of Lake County,  to support local non-profits providing urgent resources for Lake County’s most at-risk neighbors.  

Local corporations and philanthropies have added their generous early support, including a $100,000 gift from First Midwest Bank, $40,000 from Trustmark, $25,000 each from Medline Industries and Takeda Pharmaceutical, $20,000 from The Julian Grace Foundation, $15,000 from United Conveyor Corporation, among others.  In addition, nearly 300 individuals have contributed to the fund with gifts ranging from $10 to $5,000.  

To learn more about the fund and how you can donate, visit their web page.  

Board Votes to Set Aside Funds to Help Provide Emergency Shelter  

At its April 7 meeting, the Lake County Board  voted to approve setting aside $100,000 of 2020 Video Gaming Revenue (VGR) grant funds in the event the money is needed to reimburse local agencies for emergency shelter expenses incurred because of the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds are normally used to fund behavioral health programs.    

In Lake County, agencies like PADS Lake County and A Safe Place that provide services to the homeless and to victims of domestic violence normally provide shelter in group settings.  However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these types of arrangements would pose high risk to those clients.  


Get Counted, Lake County! 

Do your part to help our county - respond to the census while you’re staying home! When you participate in the census, you are helping make sure Lake County gets the funding it needs to support critical services like healthcare, education, roads, and more. Your answers are confidential and by law cannot be shared with anyone—even with law enforcement or immigration agencies.  It’s easy to respond online or by phone. Visit or call 844-330-2020 (English) or 844-468-2020 (Spanish). 

Lake County Closures and Service Modifications  

Lake County Government remains committed to protecting the public and our staff while maintaining essential government operations.  For a list of Lake County departments and services and how to obtain information during this time, please visit 

Health Department Closures and Modifications: The Health Department’s Community Health Centers continue to care for patients during this time, and modifications have been made to protect the health and safety of all patients and staffLearn more 

19th Judicial Circuit Court: The Court is only hearing emergency matters at this time. All cases, including trials, have been continued until at least May 18th or later. Please contact your attorney or the Circuit Clerk’s Office at 847-377-7888 to receive your new court date. To view current court administrative orders related to Covid-19, visit this link: 19thcircuitstate/COVID-19/RELATED.

Job Center of Lake County: Although the Job Center of Lake County is closed to the public, you can continue to access all Job Center services remotely.
Visit the 
job center website or call 847-377-3450.  

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Forest Preserves Logo 2020 Redesign

Forest Preserve News


Increased Monitoring  

With the weather improving, Forest Preserve staff will be even more closely monitoring trails and preserves to make sure social distancing is taking place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. "We intend to keep preserves and trails open during the state’s stay-at-home order, but that could change quickly and preserves could close immediately if visitors don’t abide by safe social distancing rules. All preserve visitors must maintain a 6-foot separation between people or family groups at all times and follow other public health guidelines while in parking lots or on trails," said Executive Director Ty Kovach. Learn more » 

Closures and Cancellations  

The Forest Preserve has closed all its public buildings, restrooms, playgrounds, dog exercise areas, marinas, and golf courses. All programs and restoration workdays are canceled. Preserves and trails are open but without regular maintenance. Pack it in, pack it out. Check our website for updates on closures and cancellations. Learn more » 

Social Media Inspiration  

Bring the outside in by following the Lake County Forest Preserves (@LCFPD) on FacebookInstagramTwitter for inspiration. Check out the new series, Backyard Birding, where Environmental Educator Mark Hurley will share photos, facts, and videos of feathered friends seen in or around his bird feeders. 
Learn more »  

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Get Help

Illinois Unemployment Claims  

To handle an extremely high volume of unemployment claims, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) has implemented a staggered schedule, based on the first letter of your last name, for those filing claims online and over the phone.   


Small Business Assistance   

  • Federal Paycheck Protection Program: This program provides small businesses with funds to pay up to eight weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. Learn more 
  • Low-Interest Disaster Loans from the Small Business AdministrationThe SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program provides small businesses with a long-term, low interest loan of up to $2 million to pay for expenses they would have met if not for the COVID-19 pandemic. Application Process:  The SBA has just recently rolled out a new, streamlined application process that is available here.
  • SBA Coronavirus Relief Options:  In addition to traditional SBA funding programs, the CARES Act established several new temporary programs to address the COVID-19 outbreak.  
    Learn more  
  • Illinois Programs for Small Businesses: Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced several new programs to provide more than $90 million in financial relief to small businesses across the state. These include a Hospitality Emergency Grant Program and an Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund. Learn more  
  • Additional information: Lake County Partners has compiled helpful resources for businesses. View it here. 

Utility Bill Payment Assistance  

The Community Action Partnership of Lake County is accepting applications for utility bill payment assistance. Those who have recently experienced a loss or reduction in income are encouraged to call to see if they are eligible, since eligibility is determined by your household's income from the past 30 days.  Call 847-249-4330 during normal business hours and ask to be transferred to a client service representative, who will help complete an application for you over the telephone. For more information, visit 

Childcare for Essential Workers  

The State of Illinois has launched a new resource to connect essential workers to childcare.  Effective on April 1, all essential workers in health care, human services, essential government services, and essential infrastructure now qualify for the state’s program. This includes people working as doctors, nurses, hospital staff, grocery store clerks and food producers.   

If you are an essential worker and need help finding childcare, call 888-228-1146, or use the COVID-19 Emergency Provider Search.  

Call 211 to Get Connected to the Help You Need   

If you need help finding any social service, including resources for finding food, healthcare, paying your utility bills, mental health services, etc., please reach out to United Way of Lake County’s free, confidential 211 service through any of the following:   

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Board and Committee Meetings  


Upcoming Lake County Board and Committee Meetings Will Be Held Virtually 

As Lake County Government continues to follow social distancing requirements and Governor Pritzker’s Stay-At-Home order, all Lake County board and committee meetings held during the month of April will be conducted remotely. Many regularly scheduled meetings have been canceled, and meetings that are held will be limited to agenda items necessary to ensure that essential functions and services can be carried out. Meetings will be live-streamed at, and on cable television (Comcast channels 18 or 30, depending where you live, and AT&T U-Verse Channel 99). Public comments will be accepted by email and phone call only. Learn more 

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Sheriff News 

Reporting a Stay-At-Home Order Violation 

For people that may have information regarding businesses possibly operating outside the guidelines of the Governor’s Executive Order, or people congregating or not otherwise following the stay-home order, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office has developed an online reporting system at where the public can log a complaint. Those complaints will be forwarded to other departments as appropriate for review, including municipal police departments, the Lake County Health Department, the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office and others.  However, please keep in mind that many businesses are considered essential and are allowed to remain open.  Please refer to this guide from the State of Illinois prior to filing a report. 

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april child abuse prevention month

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month 

The Lake County State’s Attorney’s Children’s Advocacy Center aims to provide a safe environment for all children in Lake County. The Children’s Advocacy Center remains open during the COVID-19 pandemic. To report suspected child abuse call 1-800-25-ABUSE. Learn more 

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Bag, Mulch or Compost, but Don’t Burn 

So many of us are using this time to catch up on yard work. There are a lot of leaves on the ground this spring because it was too cold to pick them up by the time they fell last fall. Leaf burning poses serious health consequences during the COVID-19 pandemic. People with underlying respiratory issues are more likely to develop serious complications if they contract COVID-19, and smoke exposure can make it worse. Even for people who do not have underlying respiratory issues, smoke exposure can cause worsening symptoms of COVID-19. Do your part to protect your family and your neighbors:  
Please bag, mulch or compost this spring—don't burn! 


Proper Disposal of Protective Material 

The waste disposal agencies serving Lake County are reporting a significant increase in the amount of trash being collected because so many people who are working and staying at home. To help crews collect trash as safely and efficiently as possible, please be sure to put all household trash in bags and tie them properly.  

Personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves, masks and gowns are not recyclable and should always be bagged and placed in a trash bin with a lid. Additionally, cleaning supplies such as disposable wipes, paper towels and tissues are not recyclable and should always be bagged and placed in a trash bin with a lid. 

View more details on Recycling Safely During COVID-19 from the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County (SWALCO). 

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Lake County SMC Acquires New Properties for Floodplain Buyout Program  

The Lake County Stormwater Management Commission (SMC) is hard at work, even during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 pandemic. Rain and flooding doesn't stop, and staff continues SMC's mission to protect people and property in Lake County from flooding and flood damages.

The SMC is currently in the process of acquiring 23 properties that flood repeatedly. In the coming months, these properties will be demolished, and the space will be returned to open land, ensuring that it becomes a place where flood waters can settle naturally without damaging homes.  Read more  

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COVID-19 Resources