Week Ending March 13, 2020
Meetings scheduled for next week:
- Monday, March 16:
- Village Board Regular Meeting, 7:30 p.m., Council Chamber
- Tuesday, March 17:
- Wednesday, March 18:
- Thursday, March 19:
- Friday, March 20:
Virtual Village Hall – As calls increase for social distancing due to the COVID-19 coronavirus illness, staff has increased efforts to promote the online availability of municipal services to help reduce the number of visitors to Village Hall. The Village has long maintained a links page for services via the simple web address www.oak-park.us/onlineservices and has periodically reminded the community of the alternatives to coming to Village Hall. As more emphasis has been placed the VillageView portal services over the past year, visitors to Village Hall have declined noticeably at the permits counter. The current situation may convince a broader audience to access services online.
Public Health Department COVID-19 outreach – In addition to creating a webpage www.oak-park.us/covid19 to consolidate links to important local, state and federal information, Public Health Director Mike Charlie has corresponded directly with organizations that have extensive contact with residents, including school districts, restaurants, businesses, long-term care operations and adult and child care facilities. Village Manager Pavlicek also met Wed., March 11, with both school superintendents, the township manager and the executive directors of the park district and library. The local strategy continues to focus on making sure information comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Illinois Department of Public Health, the organizations managing a coordinated local, state and national response. For questions beyond the information posted via links on the Village website, individuals are being urged to use the state’s COVID-19 Hotline 1.800.889.3931 or email email@example.com.
Parking restrictions eased – On-street, overnight and daytime parking restrictions except for weekly street cleaning will not be enforced on most Oak Park residential streets from 2:30 a.m., Sat., March 14 through Tue., March 31. Restrictions will resume at 2:30 a.m., Wed., April 1. Please keep in mind restrictions are not lifted in metered or pay station spaces, paid overnight permit areas, including posted on-street zones and lots. All other parking regulations related to traffic and public safety such as no parking here to corner or between signs remain in effect.
Adjudication hearings suspended – As a way to further reduce visits to Village Hall, all Adjudication hearings have been suspended until May. The Office of Adjudication hears a wide range of cases involving violations of municipal ordinances that were once heard in the Cook County Circuit Court. Letters are being sent to all individuals who have appeals scheduled. Individuals who file new appeals during the suspension period will be notified of the temporary suspension of activities. Signs also will be posted in Village Hall.
First responders top priority – Keeping Fire and Police personnel healthy and on the job is critical as we face the likely spread of COVID-19 into our community. Both Fire and Police have strict protocols in place for interacting with the public in emergency situations, and tours, classes and nonessential interactions have been canceled. The departments also have plans in place should their ranks be affected by the illness and support from traditional local and regional backup network be limited given the geographically broad reach of the health crisis.
Temporary staffing assignments – Firefighter/Paramedic Joseph Terry has been appointed as Interim Deputy Fire Chief for Infectious Disease thru May 1, 2020. DC Terry will work directly with Public Health staff as the Village focuses operations in support the public health response to COVID-19. In addition, up to a dozen non-essential staff across all operations are being identified and trained to assist the Public Health Department nurse should monitoring of quarantined individuals be required. Monitoring procedures are labor intensive and require telephone interaction with each individual who is under quarantined and those with whom they may have come into contact. The number of individual contacts related to a single patient can be extensive.