The Latest Vaccine Information, Lake County Moves to Tier 1, Senior Freeze Info and more


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Sandy Hart 2019

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January 27, 2021

covid town hall

Dear Neighbors,

I heard from several of you that your many questions were answered by watching the COVID-19 town hall last month with Dr. Ahmed and Executive Director of the Lake County Health Department Mark Pfister. We are very fortunate to have outstanding public health officials who are leading us through this pandemic with innovative and safe ways to vaccinate people. Today I had the opportunity to participate in a tour of the drive-up mass vaccination clinic with Governor Pritzker, Mark Pfister and other elected officials. This is the first mass vaccination clinic of its kind in the state of Illinois, and we are able to quickly and safely vaccinate our health care workers and others while they are still in their cars.

To date, we have vaccinated over 29,000 people in Lake County, and this number does not include vaccinations of people in our long term care facilities. Those vaccinations are handled by CVS and Walgreens through a federal contract and I am working with our federal and state legislators to see the pharmacy vaccination schedule for those facilities. I am very concerned that, as of today, residents in our skilled nursing home facilities have just received their first dose and that statewide, assisted living facilities are only about 50% complete for first doses since mid-December. Again, this is a federal contract, but I believe it is critical that our local public health department is informed. I know that many of you have family members living in long term care facilities, and it is so important that they are protected and receive the vaccine as soon as possible.  

As always, it is an honor to represent you on the Lake County Board and the Forest Preserve Board and to serve as Chair. Please don't hesitate to contact me with your questions, comments, and concerns.


Take care,

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Lake County COVID-19 Update  

COVID-19 Vaccines - Register Far and Wide! 

More and more vaccination locations are opening up across Lake County, but unfortunately we still do not have enough vaccines to meet demand. It doesn't matter where you get your COVID-19 vaccination, so be sure to contact your local pharmacies, hospitals, and clinics and get registered! More than 250,000 Lake County residents have registered to date through our AllVax portal to get notified about when it is their turn to schedule an appointment to receive a vaccine from the Lake County Health Department.  Thank you for your patience as vaccine supply is currently still very limited.  If you haven’t already done so, please register on the Allvax portal to be sure you get notified about when you can schedule your appointment. People who are already registered can log on at any time to update their registration information. 


Phase 1a: As of this week, our Health Department is still currently vaccinating only those who are in Phase 1a, including healthcare workers. No AllVax
appointments are available to people in later phases yet. While some pharmacies and healthcare systems have begun to provide Phase 1b vaccinations, Lake County has a large population of frontline healthcare workers. There are still thousands of individuals in Phase 1a who have not yet received vaccines, and we continue to focus our efforts there until 85% of that population has been vaccinated. 

Phase 1b: Depending on vaccine supply, wmay begin vaccinating people in Phase 1b in early February. This includes all individuals age 65 and older, as well as essential frontline workers Some area providers may begin providing Phase 1b vaccinations sooner. If you are contacted by a local hospital or pharmacy and can get an appointment for your first does of the COVID-19 vaccine from them, please take advantage of that opportunity. There is no need to remove your account from the AllVax system if you are are vaccinated elsewhere. Learn more about who's eligible in Phase 1b. 

Scheduling an appointment If you have registered in the AllVax portal, you will receive an email when you become eligible to receive the vaccine. The email will come from However, not everyone in the eligible group will receive an email at the same time. For example, if there are 30,000 people eligible, but the Health Department receives a shipment of just 1,200 doses, the AllVax system may notify the next 1,500 people who are eligible to allow them to schedule, and then notify more people if appointments do not fill up. Please be sure to check your spam folders too! 

Please be patient: Our vaccine supply is currently very limited. We expect supply to increase over the coming weeks and months, so our Health Department is working to build a network of local providers to give vaccinations. As supply increases and more providers are set up to administer vaccines, the number of people getting vaccinated will increase. Your turn will come!  

Stay safe! It’s been a long haul, but we will get there. Meanwhile, while we are all waiting for the vaccine, please continue to remain vigilant.  By following the 3 W’s: Wash your hands, Wear a mask and Watch your distance, you can help ensure that you and your loved ones will be healthy when we finally can start to resume our normal lives. 

Sharing Information With Underserved Communities 

Our Health Department has been working with two community partnership groups—Asociacion Communitaria Latina (ACL) and the African American Community Partnership Group (AACPG) to address COVID-19 disparities along racial and ethnic lines.  This includes developing culturally tailored outreach materials, including materials in Spanish. Learn more at  


Lake County Moves into Tier 1 

Coronavirus restrictions in Lake County have been loosened as our region has been moved from the more restrictive Tier 2
mitigations up to Tier 1, effective Jan. 26Under Tier 1:  

  • Restaurants and bars may offer indoor service limited to the lesser of 25 guests or 25% room capacity. 
  • Sports should follow the mitigation measures set forth in the All Sports Policy. 
  • Meetings and social events, including weddings and funerals, are limited to a lesser of 25 guests or 25% of overall room capacity both indoors and outdoors. 
  • Cultural institutions and gaming establishments are permitted to open under Phase 4 rules.  
  • Movie theaters may operate at 50% capacity.  

To move into Phase 4, Region 9 must meet:

Testing positivity rate averages less than or equal to 6.5% over a 3-day period (7-day average), AND
Staffed ICU bed availability ≥ 20% for three consecutive days (7-day average), AND
The region has no sustained increase in COVID-19 patients in the hospital (7-day average for 7 of 10 days).

Please continue to follow the 3W’s  Wear a mask, Wash your hands, Watch your distance  and stay home as much as possible.  

data hub lake county

Case Count Update  

The Lake County Health Department continues to monitor COVID-19 cases in Lake County. As of Jan. 25there are 
51,201 Lake County residents who have tested positive for COVID-19, including 850 deaths. View the Lake County Coronavirus Datahub         

As of Jan. 23, the rolling 7-day average testing positivity rate in North Suburban Region 9, which includes Lake and McHenry Counties, was 7.2 percent. View the Region 9 current information. 

COVID Testing

COVID-19 Testing Locations    

The state of Illinois operates the following testing sites, open seven days a week from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Testing at these sites is free.     

  • Waukegan, 102 W. Water Street   
  • Arlington Heights, 2000 W. Euclid Ave.   

For more information, visit the IDPH website at covid-19-testing-sites.     

Many healthcare providers in Lake County also have COVID-19 testing available. Please contact your provider or the facility to ask about testing criteria and appointment availability. Residents without a healthcare provider or insurance can contact the Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center for an appointment at (847) 377-8800.     

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Lake County Government News  

senior freeze tax exemption

Senior Citizen Assessment Freeze Information  

Property owners age 65 and older who have total household incomes of $65,000 or less are encouraged to apply for the Senior Citizen’s Assessment Freeze.  While applications were not required for this program in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, applications WILL BE REQUIRED in 2021. All applications must be submitted online by July 31, 2021 through the Chief County Assessment Office Smart E-Filing Portal. 

Where to Get Help Completing the Online Application: 

  • Call or visit the Chief County Assessment Office Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., 847-377-2050; 18 N. County St., Waukegan, 7th Floor 
  • Call or visit your local township assessor’s office  Calling ahead for hours of operation is recommended. 
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Get Help 

Call 211 to Get Connected to the Help You Need     

If you need help finding food, shelter, rent or utility assistance, or other essential services, call 211 or TEXT your zip code to 898211 to speak with someone who can help 24/7. To receive general COVID-19 information via text message, text "COVID19" to 211211. For more information, visit 

Lake County Forward

Get Help Paying Rent and Utilities

If you're a Lake County resident and need help paying rent or utility bills because you've lost income due to COVID-19, you are encouraged to apply for the Lake County COVID Housing Relief Program (CHRP).  

Applying is easy—simply dial 211 from your phone or text your zip code to 898211, and you will be connected with someone who can help.  Learn more about the Lake County COVID Housing Relief Program. 

Get Assistance With ComEd Bills    
Commonwealth Edison offers several different programs for individuals and small businesses experiencing financial hardship to receive assistance with their electric bill payments. To learn more, visit  

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Now Accepting New Loan Applications 

To provide continued support to small businesses, the second round of the Paycheck Protection Program has reopened and is accepting applications. First-time applicants can apply here and second-time applicants can apply at this link. Learn more 

Earlier this week, Lake County Partners hosted a webinar with more information about the PPP program. View the presentation 

food donations

Mobile Food Pantries and Pop-Up Food Markets 

The Northern Illinois Food Bank maintains a list of mobile food pantries and pop-up food markets planned for Lake County. Families in need of food are invited to come to attend any of the markets to receive free groceries. No ID or registration is required. For a complete calendar, visit 


Employment Resources      

Are you looking for a job during this challenging time of layoffs, furloughs, and hiring freezes? Here are some helpful resources:    

  • Census Bureau Field Representatives: The U.S. Census Bureau is seeking field representatives in Lake County to work on surveys and special censuses. To learn more or request an application, call 800-865-6384 Ext. 15, or email 
    chicago.recruiting@census.govView the flyer
  • Four vital Virtual Tools for Job Seekers.          
  • View February Calendar of online events.   
  • Schedule time to use the Job Center of Lake County resource room computers for your job search by calling 847-377-3450. Face coverings are required and social distancing guidelines will be followed. For more information, visit the Job Center website.      
  • Get Hired IllinoisGet Hired Illinois is a single portal where individuals can access virtual job fairs, free online training, and current job listings.     


Mental Health Crisis Care 

The Lake County Health Department offers mental health support through its Crisis Care hotline, available 24/7 at (847) 377-8088. Services are free and confidential. Learn more   

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Forest Preserves Logo 2020 Redesign

Forest Preserve News 


Virtual Event: Profiles in Excellence 

Join us virtually for the 38th annual Profiles in Excellence event for inspiring presentations and performances in honor of Black History Month.  

The free event takes place from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 6. The virtual event theme, Our Voice is Black History, features students and faculty from the College of Lake County sharing their experiences through stories collected from Lake County's African American community. The project is the foundation of an exciting new exhibition opening virtually in February at the Dunn Museum in Libertyville.  


You must get your free ticket in advance online at to join this virtual event. A Zoom link will be sent before the event only to those with tickets. Questions? Email Follow on Facebook @LCFPD for live streaming and for links to the recorded event. Learn more » 


Virtual Program: Hibernation or Migration 

Have you ever wondered where some of Lake County's animals go during the winter season? Join in for a virtual program, “Hibernation or Migration,”  to learn which animals hibernate locally and which ones migrate once the temperature starts to drop. The program, designed for families with children ages 12 and under, takes place virtually from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Sunday, Feb. 7. Tickets are required. The cost is $3. A Zoom link will be emailed to registered participants no later than one hour prior to the start of the program. Learn more and get ticket to attend»  


Give, Naturally 

Through his role as president of the 
Preservation Foundation, Nels 
Leutwiler spends a great deal of his time advocating for the Lake County Forest Preserves. “Through private philanthropy, the Foundation is able to accelerate the agency’s strategic goals and priorities,” he said. "Donations to the Foundation help to preserve and restore Lake County's natural lands and cultural resources in perpetuity.” 

Last year, forest preserves across Lake County experienced record high usage levels as people turned to nature as an escape. Leutwiler, who grew up in Lake Forest enjoying Captain Daniel Wright Woods, has been interested in environmental protection for years and is a lifelong supporter of open lands. Learn more about Nels Leutiwiler and giving opportunities at 


19 Donations Added to Museum 

The Dunn Museum in Libertyville has accepted 19 new donations to its collections, including a 1927 plaster architectural remnant from the balcony of Waukegan's Genesee Theater and watercolor paintings depicting everyday scenes in Libertyville and Lake Forest in the 1980s. Every item tells a story. 

The nationally accredited Dunn Museum is frequently contacted by individuals and organizations with items they wish to donate. “When someone offers to donate an item to our collections, it goes through a thoughtful review process before a decision is made,” said Dunn Museum Curator Diana Dretske. Learn more » 

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Wetland Restoration and Preservation Plan 

Lake County Stormwater Management Commission Planning Supervisor Mike Prusila and Principal Wetland Specialists  Juli Crane, and Glenn Westman discussed the Wetland
Restoration and Preservation Plan (WRAPP) with the managing editor of Storm Water Solutions Magazine.

The WRAPP assesses wetland functions and identifies opportunities for preserving, restoring, and enhancing wetlands in the County. The goal of the WRAPP is to provide a wide audience of end-users with the decision-making support to help prioritize wetland restoration and preservation efforts using an on-line decision support tool, both of which are available through the SMC 

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Treasurer’s Office News 

Free Classes to Help You Meet Your Financial Health Goals 


The Treasurer’s Office is hosting "Fiscally Fit in 2021" with local community banks in Lake County. These convenient and free zoom lessons help you meet your financial health goals.  Upcoming classes include: 

  • Fraud is Broad: Don't Get Scammed; Wednesday Feb. 3, 5 p.m. 
  • Unclaimed Property: Leave no Stone Unturned; Wednesday, March 17, 11 a.m. 
  • Increasing Endurance: Borrowing Basics; Monday, April 12, 9 a.m. 
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Sheriff’s Office News  

Sheriff Invites Students to Apply for $1,000 College Scholarship 

Sheriff John D. Idleburg is partnering with the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association to award a $1,000 school scholarship to a Lake County resident, for an institution of higher learning.  The scholarship is to be applied to tuition, books and fees only. The student must be enrolled full-time at a certified institution of higher learning within the State of Illinois, full-time online learning is acceptable. The application deadline is March 15. 

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Community Events and News


United Way of Illinois Launches ‘21 Week Equity Challenge’ 

United Way of Lake County joins United Way organizations across the state in the United Way of Illinois Equity ChallengeThis free 21-week online program is designed to encourage residents to engage in racial equity conversations to gain a deeper understanding about the impact systemic racism and inequality have on our state and in our local communities. Participants will complete weekly learning assignmentsincluding readings, videos, and questions for participants to consider. Read more


Metra to Purchase New Modern Railcars    

Metra approved the purchase of up to 500 state-of-the-art railcars that will be more comfortable, accessible, reliable and safe than the outdated gallery cars they will replace. The railcars will improve passenger flow, increase safety and reduce time spent boarding and deboarding at each station. The new cars will feature stainless steel bodies and be compatible with Metra’s existing fleet, which means they can be coupled to current cars. Learn more           

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Watch All County Board and Committee Meetings 


All Lake County board and committee meetings are continuing to be conducted remotely. Meetings are live-streamed at
and on cable television (Comcast channels 18 or 30, depending on where you live, and AT&T U-Verse Channel 99). The public is also welcome to view the livestream of all meetings in-person at 18 N. County Street, Waukegan, 10th Floor Assembly Room. 

The public can also offer "live" public comments during the Zoom meetings from the comfort of their own home or submit comments by email and phone call.  Learn more   

To see a current schedule of board and committee meetings, click here.   

All meetings are recorded, and are posted on the Lake County website. Here are links to the most recent board and committee meetings, including video recordings and agendas:   

Financial and Administrative Committee: Jan. 28 

Law and Judicial: Feb. 2

Health and Community Services: Feb. 2

Public Works, Planning, and Transportation: Feb. 3

Energy and Environment Committee: Feb. 3

Financial and Administrative Committee: Feb. 4

Committee of the Whole: Feb. 5