Coronavirus (COVID-19) Newsletter — May 16, 2020

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Lake County Health Department Coronavirus (COVID-19) Newsletter

May 16, 2020

Dear residents,
 

Our essential workers have an especially important role in our communities, from making sure we can access essentials like food and healthcare, and keeping us safe. You can use your creativity to encourage our essential workers! Send in pictures of uplifting messages or signs to COVID19@lakecountyil.govso we can share them in our community and newsletter, which reaches over 30,000 people. 

Thank you to the students at College of Lake County for sending in encouraging messages to first responders and healthcare workers. 

CLC

Protecting Our Children

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Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to remember to protect children against serious vaccine-preventable diseases. Doctors have protocols in place for safe well-child visits. Call your child’s doctor today to stay up to date with vaccines. Check out the CDC's Recommended Vaccinations for Infants and Children chart to make sure you’re on track!

Domestic Violence — Help is Available

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DV Hotline

While staying home and social distancing are best practices for reducing the spread of COVID-19, it may create unsafe situations for those in abusive relationshipsHelp is available if you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence. You can visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline's page with specific tips on staying safe during COVID-19. You can also call the hotline 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233 and talk to someone anonymously. Some steps to take include: 

  • Creating a safety plan. This is a personalized, practical plan that includes ways to remain safe while in a relationship, planning to leave, or after you leave. 
  • Practice self-care. Take time for your health and wellness. 
  • Reach out for help. Even if you are isolated, try to maintain social connections online or over the phone, if it is safe to do so, and try to stick to your daily routines as much as possible. 

Thank You, Long-Term Care Support Team!

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LTCST

The Lake County Health Department’s Long-Term Care Support Team is dedicated to making sure that residents and staff of long-term care facilities have the guidance and resources they need to stay safe. We are so grateful for all the work that they are doing to protect our vulnerable populations. 

In any facility with a positive COVID-19 case, the Health Department offers personal protective equipment (PPE) and a Communicable Disease investigator is in daily contact with the facility to trace contacts of infected individuals. The Team assists in monitoring residents and staff for respiratory symptoms and advises the facility on mitigation actions they need to take to prevent further spread of the virus. Here is a picture of the Long-Term Care Facilities Team from a recent meeting!

Asymptomatic Spread of COVID-19

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AS button

Did you know you can get and spread COVID-19 without having any symptoms? Social distancing helps to limit the chances of asymptomatic spread and helps keep our communities safe. Watch the video on asymptomatic spread.

Lake County Update

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Drive-Thru Food Drive Distributes More Than 12,100 Pounds of Food

LC FD

On Thursday, May 7, Lake County Government employees volunteered their time running a no-contact drive-thru food drive. The event was a huge success with nearly 12,100 pounds of food collected for local food pantries. This generosity shows the strength of our community, even during times of great difficulty. Thank you to all those who donated food, volunteered, and promoted the event. Watch this video to see the event in action!

More Than One MILLION Pieces of PPE Distributed

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Lake County has distributed more than ONE MILLION pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE)! For the past several weeks, Lake County has been receiving shipments from the State Emergency Operations Center AND from local donors to distribute to local long-term care facilities, fire and police department, and other local agencies. This includes more than 512,000 surgical masks, 326,000 gloves, 98,000 N95 masks, and 19,000 face shields. The support from our community to keep our frontline workers safe is amazing. THANK YOU! Watch our video showing the process of PPE collection and distribution.

Temporary Open Burning Ban in Unincorporated Lake County

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The Lake County Board voted to enact an emergency ordinance which temporarily bans open burning in unincorporated Lake County, effective immediately through June 10, 2020. Recreational fires that are no larger than 3’ x 3’ x 3’ used for warming, cooking, and other recreational purposes are not included in this ban.  

Exposure to smoke from open burning can increase serious health consequences during the COVID-19 pandemic in both people who have existing respiratory conditions and those who don’t. People who contract COVID-19 are more likely to develop more severe symptoms and/or serious complications due to smoke exposure. For more information about the temporary ban and alternatives to burning yard waste, please visit lakecountyil.gov/openburning. 

The Impact of COVID-19 in Our Communities

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Last week, Governor J.B. Pritzker discussed that Latino Illinoisans are testing positive for the novel coronavirus at a higher rate than other demographic groups in the state. Our Health Department has noted a similar trend in Lake County. When accounting for the differences in age between populations, for every one white non-Hispanic person contracting COVID-19 , four of our African American non-Hispanic and eight Hispanic residents are contracting the disease.

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) recently shared research which includes Lake County showing that “essential workers from disadvantaged communities—particularly people of color and those who live in low-income communities—are playing critical roles in providing healthcare and keeping the transportation, food supply, and other essentials systems functioning during this crisis.”

Essential workers who cannot work remotely during the pandemic are often at a higher risk of being exposed to COVID-19. Some people are not provided paid sick leave benefits or may have difficulty accessing healthcare, and those living in a food desert with limited access to healthy food have an increased risk for obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, which are major risk factors for COVID-19.

  • CMAP’s research indicates that many essential workers live in low-income areas, and essential jobs are disproportionately held by people of color in our region:
  • More than half (54.1 percent) of essential workers are people of color, compared to 43.9 percent of all regional workers.
  • Although Hispanic workers make up 21 percent of regional workers, they are especially overrepresented in construction (39.3 percent) and food service occupations (38.1 percent).
  • Black workers are most overrepresented in healthcare support (36.6 percent) and protective service jobs (29.1 percent), compared to 13.8 percent of the workforce overall.
  • Other occupations in manufacturing, transportation and material moving, and services like building and grounds maintenance also rely heavily on people of color.

The COVID-19 pandemic is highlighting existing health inequities in Lake County, and the Health Department is working with our community leaders to develop strategies to ensure our communities that are disproportionally impacted by this crisis have the support they need.

Read more: “Metropolitan Chicago’s essential workers disproportionately low-income, people of color” 

Property Tax Deferral

The County Board enacted an ordinance that allows taxpayers to spread their property tax payments over four installments, instead of the usual two installments. 

The payments were originally due on June 8 and September 8. Under the ordinance, property owners must still pay the full amount of taxes due but may spread them over four payments as outlined below. 

  • 50% of the first installment payment is due by June 8, 2020 
  • 50% of the first installment payment is due by August 7, 2020 
  • 50% of the second installment payment is due by September 8, 2020 
  • 50% of the second installment payment is due by November 9, 2020 

Property owners will receive a mailed notice from the Lake County Treasurer’s Office in approximately two weeks. While the Treasurer's Office remains closed to the public due to the stay-at-home order, customer support staff are available remotely to answer questions. To request that a staff member contact you, complete this form. 

Lake County Food Pantry Locator

If you or someone you know is in need of food resources, please visit the Lake County Food Pantry Locator at lakecountyil.gov/foodpantries or download a printable list in English or Spanish.

Get Counted, Lake County!

By responding to the census, you help make sure Lake County gets adequate funding to support critical services like healthcare, education, roads, and more.  It’s easy to respond online or by phone, and your answers are safe and confidential. Visit my2020census.gov or call 844-330-2020 (English) or 844-468-2020 (Spanish).

Count on Me Lake County 2020 Census

Who to Contact if You Have Questions

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Do you have questions? The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has established a COVID-19 hotline and email address to answer questions from the public:

For additional information from the IDPH, visit: http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/coronavirus

COVID-19 Resources

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Information for Specific Groups

Protect yourself and your community from getting and spreading respiratory illnesses like COVID-19.

We've started weekly conference calls to provide COVID-19 updates to our community, including:

  • Businesses and Employers
  • Faith-based Organizations
  • Municipal Leaders

Stay up to date and listen to the conference calls


Communication Resources

We need your help to keep our communities healthy and safe. The Lake County Health Department, Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer free resources including fact sheets, flyers, posters, and videos.

View communication resources

Useful Links

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