Mayor Lori Lightfoot Briefing On City's Coronavirus Response
Breaking. News from cbs2. Folks. Good afternoon i'm erika Sargent we are breaking into the talk to bring you a special, news conference. Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaking. Now she will, be joined by CEO, of public scorers Janice Jackson let's, listen tomorrow I want to thank dr. Jackson, and her team all, the CPS teachers support, staff nurses. And janitors. This. Is really uncharted. Territory, for all of us but, I am incredibly, pleased at. The level of responses, that we've had from, all the people within the CPS family and across, city government to make sure that we're, doing everything that we can to really support CPS. In. This time. As. A governor announced on Friday the schools across the state will be closed for, at least two weeks since. That announcement has been made people. Have been working literally. Around the, clock and throughout the weekend and I should emphasize the. CPS. Always. Has a contingency. Plan we. Started thinking about this over a week ago and making, sure that we had that contingency, plan, ready, so, while, there was work that needed. To be done over, the course of the weekend after the governor's announcement the. Plan that was in place is one that. Is being actually. Implemented. Now. We. Have to make sure that we are fulfilling, our promises, to our our, children and our families regardless. Of how long our students are, out of the classroom, as you, know CPS, serves, approximately 40 million lunches, and 20, million, breakfasts, annually. Every, student can see receive these meals during, the closure and dr.. Jackson will talk more about the specifics, families. Will be able to pick up meals and. Making, sure that we are doing what we can to provide, parents. And families with food security as one of our top priorities, we, are partnering with the Greater Chicago, Food Depository and, we're looking at other ways in which we can really make food pickup. And delivery as, seamless. As possible, the. Chicago Park District will provide enhanced, programming. For at 18 designated, parts throughout the city from, nine to five and they will also be, part, of the food delivery, system to, find out location, visit, WWE. App. Our district comm. Do. Not send your children to schools because they will be closed the only things that schools will be open for is to, provide delivery of, food services, I encourage. People also not, to vote early this, is the last day for voting early there's. Very, limited lines, but, I want to make sure that our election, goes, off without a hitch we, have a lot of additional, support for polling places for, additional. Election. Day judges, there. Is a team of people that will be working from. The mayor's office to, help support the Board of Elections, in, this challenging, time. And. While. We, are also working to make sure that we are as. A city government, again. Providing, people with additional, supports, and hands sick leave as well, as teleworking, we're, going to be comparing. Down to. Most. Essential services, over, the course this week but everything that we do we want to do it driven, by the science and the data we, want to do it in a thoughtful way that, provides the, relevant, stakeholders are going to be affected, the opportunity, to, absorb the information and then make whatever, accommodations. They need to. Their daily daily work life and at this point I will turn the podium over to dr. Jackson. Oh I'm. Sorry I didn't realize there are other folks here. Dr.. McDade our chief Education, Officer civil, Madison deputy. Mayor for education and, Human Services and the medical officer for CPS dr., Ken Fox so. With, that dr. Jackson Thank, You mayor. Good. Afternoon today. I'd like to provide some additional updates, as we are on the brink of school school, closure tomorrow, first, and foremost as you just saw the CPS command center is open for business this, command center will be open from 8 a.m. to, 5 p.m. daily, Monday, through Friday and people. Can reach the command center by dialing seven. Seven three five, five three kids, again. At seven seven three five five, kids or, by using the email that we've set up Family, Services at CPS, edu. As you. Know all of our schools will be closed starting tomorrow, as well as our offices, throughout the district, we, want to make sure that families understand, that they should not send, their children to school it, is important, to note that this scenario is unprecedented this, is not like, the strike, there will be no adult supervision at the, schools to support the students so we are employing families not to send their children to school the. District will however be, providing, food at all of our sites and families. Will be able to go starting, tomorrow March. 17th, at 9:00 a.m. through. 1:00 p.m. each day we. Will be able to supply, up to three days worth of food breakfast, and a lunch for every, child that lives in the household, we, will also have safe passage workers.
On Duty during this time to, ensure that families, and students are safe as they travel, to and from their, homes to the schools to pick up meals starting. Today students, will also be able to access great, level enrichment, activities, at school I. Want, to thank our teachers many of them who worked over the weekend to prepare packets, to distribute, to students today we'll. Also make sure that all of that information is, available online, at, their schools for. Families still looking for more information about coronavirus. Please visit our website at CPS, edu. Forward. Slash coronavirus. Finally. I want to briefly address the new cases related, to schools I understand. That people have additional, questions but. We are entering a new phase of this pandemic which. Is why our schools, are closing tomorrow, people. Need to stay healthy and follow, the guidance that they are receiving from CDP, h c, d ph and health care workers will ensure that individuals. With new cases understand. What they need to do to keep themselves as, well as the people who have interacted, with them healthy, we, need to look ahead to the future and ensure, that we do not stigmatize. Members, of the community, by, revealing their identity, nothing. Is gained by outing, people in identifying, them as potential, patients, we, cannot threaten your vile privacy. We must protect their privacy. And we have to ensure that they don't lose more, as a result, of us disclosing, too much information I want. To thank the dedicated staff working. Here in CPS especially. This emergency, team as well as the individuals, working in our command centers we, have people who are working every, single day on behalf of the children, and families in our school system, to make sure that they are safe and fed, throughout this crisis, again. I want to thank mayor Lightfoot, for her leadership who, brought this city together, to make sure that we are coordinated, in our response, to the corona epidemic. I mean pandemic, as a parent, and leader of this district, I understand. That this is a very, difficult time for all of our parents and families which is why we're committed to keeping people updated throughout, this crisis, at, this time we will take your questions I.
Think. We've shared all that we can say about that we, did notify, our families, yesterday, that, there was a case we made the move to close the school today in order, to you. Know ensure that we did not continue with the spread but one of the things that I want to note is that by, all accounts and I'm no medical expert, here we. Know that we will continue to see more cases rise and I think it's important, that people, understand, that there is a shift with, all of our schools closing there's, no need to identify individuals. And try to track people down and figure out who they're contacting, we've taken this unprecedented step, to ask people to stay home and anybody, with, symptoms, should follow the guidance that CD pH and CDC, has put out with, regard to coronavirus. I mean, let me if I can't just clarify. So. What, the normal protocol, had been when. We saw cases. Affecting CPS was, to close the school do. A deep cleaning, and then, CD pH would perform. Its investigation. To, make sure that they understood, the. Possibilities. For exposure. To the virus now, obviously, CPS. Will. Be closed through March 30th, in, the event that somebody else in the school community closes. All these schools are going to be cleaned. Over the course of his time but. The normal investigation. Who what where and when of how somebody came in contact with the virus that of course will continue. Heavy. Sigh. We. Yesterday, was a better day. Definitely. In part because, we. Had a contract. With DHS. That, they activated, and sign and that allowed for, CFD. EMTs. To be on site but, there's still a lot more resources. That need to come my, understanding is that the vice president had, committed to the governor that they would double the amount of resources, that, were at O'Hare yesterday, I don't believe that happened, yet but. We, certainly, I think everybody, understood. That what happened Saturday night could never be repeated again. The feds control, that, side that side of the the. Sterile, area. So, we have pushed, them and I, think they've been a responsive, our, Airport Authority our Commissioner, has a great, relationship with, people that are on the ground here, I think they understood, and they were very candid when, I was out over here yesterday and saying that, they dropped the ball but, they understood, and have learned from that so our expectation. Is that we will continue to work cooperatively, and, better, than, what we saw on Saturday night but we still need additional, screeners. At the airport, I don't. Think the federal authorities. Understood. That, when they added the UK, to. The level of countries that we're going to have to be screened that the volume would jump exponentially. What we also saw my understanding, is some, people were leaving Europe flying, in Canada, and then coming into Chicago so, that was another source. Of the. Large number of people that were coming in mass well, we've asked the FAA to do and I believe that they've activated. This as of yesterday was. To, obviously, be mindful of how. Many people are coming what the flights are what the timing are and regulate. That but also not to just let, people to plane and to be standing, and these big concourses, waiting, to be screened, we've asked let's keep them on the plane they're comfortable on the plane they can't get access to bathrooms water, they can sit so, bring. Them off when, they're actually ready to be screened and yesterday. I think the lines were no more than about 30 minutes as opposed, to you, know three plus, hours, that we saw on, Friday on Saturday night. Well. If. You look at the CDC guidance it actually has exceptions. To it one of which is for schools, so. We're. Looking at the guidance we're talk our folks are on the phone literally every day there's a standing call with, the CDC, to make sure we, understand, that, they we are also giving.
Them Feedback about what we're experiencing, here in Chicago, so I think we've got a good working relationship with the CDC, this. Is an incredibly, fluid situation. Which is a understatement. Even, over the course of the weekend, literally, hour by hour things, are changing, so I don't want to get ahead of myself and predict, what may be happening in April, because, as, a matter, of fact it's hard for us to predict. What's going to happen one. Or two days in advance, I think we've now kind of reached a good, place where we shut down a lot of activities, but, if we need to we'll go further but, I think we need to let, people really. Socialize, the, changes that have already been made even, since Friday closing, the schools closing, the bars and restaurants, this, is a big big deal and, I also want to be mindful the fact that we, have an economy that is really, being. Hit from a lot of different sources. So, we need to ease, into this and let people understand, what. The new reality, is for their lives but certainly we're, literally moderating. This on an hour-by-hour basis. Looking, at and looking at the modeling, and, some predictions of what we think the, arc of this virus is going to be and will be as with, everything will be driven by, the data in the science. Graded, and I was wondering what you guys think about that if you think it there might be some exceptions, if she was really wanted, great for Sarah, I saw your tweet so are you asking for yourself, or for the public. It's. Important, to note that what we have stood up with our e-learning czar. Platform. Is really enrichment. We cannot mandate that those assignments be, graded. And incorporated. Into a student grade however I, do think. That teachers will be using, all of the tools tools, at their disposal to. Encourage students to do it as a parent, I will say this I'm not popular in my house but they should be doing it anyway, and, there's a lot of talk about learning for the sake of learning so this is really an opportunity for, people to apply. That in their homes and. I would also just add to that I, got, a an email from a friend over the course of the weekend. Who's set up kind of a daily plan for. Her daughter to make sure that there's no slippage, and that's it that's a real thing, to the extent that parents, and guardians, have. The ability, to do that having. A goal for, each day while, the students are out makes, a lot of sense to me and unfortunately. For Vivian, Lightfoot we're going to be imposing. That in our household. Yes. Are there closings. Things like movie theaters things, like theaters and, you, know there's different towns different cities are doing different things we. Haven't gone that far yet where are you I'm looking at things like that in like City Hall well I. Would, say this a lot, of the, theaters, for example both movie theaters as well as. Cultural. Theaters a lot, of those places have actually closed down for. Some period of time you, know that last, week Broadway, went, on hiatus for a period of time our, great theater. Culture. Here in. Chicago. Is also kind of think taking some our lead them unaware, of some several some of the museums are also closing down look, I think people. Recognize this. Is a highly, unusual time. And that, the best thing that we can do in, the short term is follow, the guidance that we've been given we obviously announced closures, of any, events that are thousand or above and.
Really. Trying to place limits on 250, above as well people, recognize, that, we. Are taking these. Seemingly, drastic. Measures, in order, to save lives we, have looked at, the. Arc of this virus in. Terms of what happened, in other countries, we. Were a lot, of walking. Along the same path for example as countries. Like Italy and, that's why looking, at that data and to see in the number of cases on a day-by-day basis. Where we were at. The same time as where Italy was at. The beginning of this, virus. Really taking hold there we, knew we had to take some very drastic measures and we're not going to hesitate to to do more if it's necessary, but as I said this. Is a big shock, to the system for, a lot of folks and what we need to do is make sure that, we're continuing, to be consistent, in our messaging, consistent. In what, individuals, can do to, help themselves help their families, really. Reduce the spread and we'll, keep looking at other things that we may be doing to support this effort but I think we're in a pretty good place right now, but again, as I said we're going to be assessing this on a daily. And, really an hourly basis, and if we need to take additional steps oh we will. Considering. Relaxing. We. Already announced, some relaxing. Of that over the weekend for, night. Deliveries, to grocery stores that were really, struggling to get. Deliveries. And make, sure that their shelves are restocked. We're, looking at actually a range of different things that. We're putting some finer touches, on and we'll be announcing those later, this week we've, got to do everything that we can to make sure that one. The public is protected that. We relieve, the burden of city, government on, folks at this time in particular and, that we do everything that we can to support businesses, and particularly. That, we support healthcare workers Fran. Had a question. Let. Me just go ahead. Don't. Come watch, it's Wednesday, oh the, committee meetings they shouldn't come we, allowed a lot of the, City Council committees and City, Council itself our livestream. There's, 77. Libraries, that are open and lots of other opportunities for people to view them on the livestream we, really, want, to limit the amount of people that, are in the building on a day to day basis, but particularly, for City Council where as I mentioned last week we're going to be putting some seating, restrictions, in on. The second floor as well as the third floor to limit the amount of people that can be in there and so that we are practicing, social, distancing, we. Have some important, things that, we need to get accomplished. Related. To the, city response, to Corona vilas which is why we're going forward, on. Wednesday but we're going to go forward in a very streamlined. Fashion. So, folks, who are interested please stay. Home watching. On the livestream we're. Gonna be making provisions, and people want to make statements they. Can do that and submit their their testimony, in writing, but we really, really encourage people to view, the city councilperson proceedings. Through, the livestream, and not to physically, come to the, building on Wednesday go ahead. At what point. Very. Difficult I'm five. Yes. Well, let me take the last part of your question first regarding, the restaurants, we've been in conversation. With. A number, of different restaurant tours up with all sizes and. The. Illinois Restaurant, Association. To. Address, precisely, that. Question and we. Are looking at ways in which we can provide some supports, to, these workers. Because. I do live paycheck to paycheck particularly. The workers that are. Relying. Upon tipped. Wages we know that this time is a particular, hardship on them and so we're going to be working not. Only to put city resources to, help them but, look to the. Business community and others to provide some support so, we. Need to put some finer points on this but this is something that I'm hoping that we'll be able to announce, in concert. With the, Illinois Restaurant, Association, later. This week regarding. Public, transit it's, still critically important in propping public transport it's up and running on the CTA and I know I believe that this is also true of Metro, and pace we're, taking, additional. Measures. To make sure that. Public. Transportation is, clean. That. We are providing, additional. Personal. Sanitation. Devices. And equipment at. The various stations but, we have, to keep the public transit system going I'm not aware of any public, transit system in the United States and I, think only one in the world that's actually shut down during.
The Course of this pandemic people. Need to be able to get to work lots, of folks depend upon public transportation. To get to and from and again you're gonna hear me talk a lot about our health care workers many, of those workers depend on public transportation so, we got to keep it going and functioning. Now part, of the reason I think you're seeing diminished. Capacity perhaps. And Metro, is because a lot of employers are doing, what we're doing to do be doing in the city which is encouraging workers to. Work from home to. Make sure that we're setting up IT systems, that can accommodate a teleworking, and that's, a good thing we do want people to limit their. Their. Movement to info but, for some folks that's just not an option, they've got to go to work and our health care workers in particularly for me are at the top of that list as well, as our. First responders, whether it's police fire, EMT. Call. Takers dispatchers, those, folks are on the front lines and we're doing as much as we possibly can to support them as well yes ma'am. Yes. Oh of, course of course yeah. We've. Set this up so that it is grabing though so that's gonna limit, interaction. And touching between, the individuals, picking up in those that prepare the food we're, also stationing. These. Pickup. And gold spots right outside of the school so we think that that's an additional precaution so we feel pretty confident, about that and we're limiting social interaction, as much as possible and. Keep, keep, in mind, how. This. Virus is spread it's, not airborne it's, not casual. Association, this is, spread. Through droplets, through, sneezing, or coughing and, you've, got to have some really up close and personal, contact, with somebody who, is symptomatic in order, for that to be spread so I want to make, sure that we're continuing to. Disabuse, people of the notion that you can get the virus through casual, contact, you cannot that's not the way in which is spread it's, somebody. Sneezes somebody, coughs, you're in immediate proximity of, them when that happens, or they don't wash, their hands, or, otherwise, coffin.
To An elbow, as we teach our toddlers. To do so people, are exercising, good. Hygiene, and if, they're washing, their hands if they're using alcohol, base, sanitation. Devices that is going to significantly, limit. The spread but, it's not airborne like, measles so I want, to make sure because there's a lot of there continues to be I think a lot of misinformation about, how, the virus is spread. So, we just need to be clear about that thank, you guys okay. Did you have one question okay. I'll give you you'll get the last question go ahead. Is there any district, effort, that, is being considered. Yeah. So right now we have a pretty good handle, obviously, tomorrow will be our first day to see, if we need additional volunteers. And support for food distribution, and to distribute the homework, packets, as far, as devices, many of our schools already have, devices, that they allow students to take home so I would imagine today some, of those would be distributed, although that's not you. Know ubiquitous, throughout the district we have reached out to the philanthropic community, to identify ways in which they can support and some, of the ways that we have identified, is to provide devices, for students to have not, just during this crisis, but indefinitely. So, we're waiting to hear back from folks on that and we're also looking for a help support, with our more vulnerable populations. In particular our students and temporary, live in situations. You. Have been listening in on a press conference a joint press conference with, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the CPS CEO Janice, Jackson they've been discussing, specifically. The impact, on schools the CPS schools will be closed tomorrow /, the governor and now, they've been preparing to do that we have a number on your screen here this is coming from the command center seven, seven three five five three kids, that, is available for, parents and anyone with questions about how this will work as they, go forward with closing, those schools tomorrow, one. Of the top priorities, Janice, Jackson and Mayor Lightfoot, said was, to emphasize do, not send, your kids to school tomorrow this is an unprecedented, situation this coronavirus. Pandemic, so it will not be like school strikes before, teachers, strikes there will not be administrators. And teachers, and other staff there that can take care of the kids but they said that they are making, arrangements, for. Kids to, come to the schools they're actually the parents, to come to the schools and get meals for their children, now this, emphasize. The. Cps schools they were talking about but one of the other highlights, that the mayor mentioned was the, change in resources, at O'Hare Airport those, three-hour lines that they were seeing now she said, many of them are down to 30 minutes but it's not enough she is still asking the federal government to, double, the resources, at O'Hare. And so many other things that the. Mayor, and many, other leaders are looking at as, we deal with this pandemic now we, will have a press conference from governor JB Pritzker, that is coming up at 2:30 so we will bring that to you live as it happens in all other developments, you can find that as well on cbschicago.com. For. Now we return you to the, talk, this. Has been breaking news from, CBS, 2.