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Coronavirus/COVID-19

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The Village of River Forest is working with local officials and community partners to monitor the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Coronavirus is a new respiratory virus identified in December 2019. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, that include the common cold to more serious diseases such as pneumonia. The goal of the ongoing public health response is to detect new cases quickly and prevent community spread of COVID-19.

Please read below for information about Phase 3 of Restore Illinois, which takes effect May 29, 2020: 

The State of Illinois continues to provide information regarding Governor Pritzker’s reopening plan, Restore Illinois. The week of May 18, Governor Pritzker provided updates to Phase 3 of the plan that will take effect state-wide May 29. The Village of River Forest is required to follow the Governor’s order and therefore we will be allowing the following:

Phase 3 includes:

  • Gatherings: All gatherings of 10 people or fewer are allowed indoors and outdoors while remaining six feet apart or wearing a face covering.
  • Health clubs, retail, and personal care services:  health clubs, gyms, and fitness studios can provide one-on-one personal training in indoor facilities and outdoor fitness classes of up to ten people. Personal care services, like nail salons,  hair braiders, spas and barbershops, can open with Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) safety precautions and capacity limits. 
  • All retail stores can open their doors to in-person shopping with IDPH safety precautions and capacity limits in place.
  • Bars and restaurants: Bars and restaurants will have the option to resume operations for outdoor seating only. Tables must be six feet apart and away from the sidewalks, masks and distancing measures for staff must continue to be followed, and other precautions and guidance will be issued.
  • Outdoor activities:  All remaining state parks will reopen on May 29.  All concessions will reopen under the guidelines set for our retail and food service businesses. Illinois will permit the re-opening of indoor and outdoor tennis facilities with IDPH safety precautions and capacity limits. Single play only. For golf, courses can allow foursomes out on the same tee times. Carts will also be permitted with one person per cart, or one immediate household per cart. With the new 10 person gathering limit for all activities, boating or camping with up to ten people will be permitted. The River Forest Park District’s open space and walkways/pathways are open.  All facilities such as playgrounds, hut, and drinking fountains are closed.  Please check the Park District’s website here for further information regarding other outdoor activities. 
  • “Non-essential” businesses: Employees of “non-essential” businesses are allowed to return to work with IDPH approved safety guidance depending upon risk level, tele-work strongly encouraged wherever possible; Employers are encouraged to provide accommodations for COVID-19-vulnerable employees.

Please remember to continue to wash your hands, stay home if you are sick, and wear a face covering in public areas where you cannot maintain a six foot distance from one another, including grocery stores. Sustained rises in positive cases, increases in hospital admissions, reduction in hospital capacity, and significant outbreaks could result in moving back to Phase 2.

Click here for Stay at Home Guidance 


Health Information

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

People who get sick with COVID-19 develop mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms including fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Illness can begin 2 to 14 days after an exposure. Although this virus likely emerged from an animal source, it can also spread from person-to-person. Spread from one person to another is thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Typically, with most respiratory viruses, people are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic.

What are preventative measures that can be taken?

We ask for your continued partnership in preventing the spread of coronavirus by following these safety tips:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing and certainly if your commute includes public transit.
  • Stay home when you are sick and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Are there additional resources available?

You can find more facts, updates, and information on COVID-19, including symptoms and transmission of the virus, at the following links:

Coronavirus hotlines:

  • Cook County: 708-633-3319
  • Rush Hosptial: 1-888-285-RUSH (7874)

Thrive Counseling Center Services

If you are feeling overwhelmed about Covid-19, you are not alone. Thrive Counseling Center is offering phone-based counseling and medication management to address the community’s needs during the COVID-19 crisis. Their Crisis Intervention Services are still available by dialing (708) 383-7500. Their Front Desk team is ready to assist you Monday-Friday, 9am - 2pm, with requests for referrals or new services and to reschedule or cancel an appointment. Thrive is also now a proud partner of the Illinois Call4Calm Text Line Service. Text “TALK” TO 552020 (or “HABLAR) for Spanish. The Illinois "Call4Calm" Text Line is not a crisis hotline, but is a source of support for anyone experiencing stress and in need of a listening ear. Thrive is here to serve you.


Cloth Face Coverings

As of May 1, 2020, Governor Pritzker has required that individuals wear a face-covering or a mask when in a public place where they can't maintain a six-foot social distance, including all stores. This requirement applies to all individuals over the age of two who are able to medically tolerate a face-covering or a mask. This requirement applies to the entire State of Illinois and supersedes previous face covering requirements in River Forest. 

In addition to practicing social distancing, cloth face coverings help slow the spread of COVID-19 and help those who may unknowingly have the virus from transmitting it to others. Individuals should wear a mask or face covering when they must leave their home.

  • The covering can be a scarf, a bandana, or a mask you make at home.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth when removing the mask. Make sure to wash your hands immediately after removing it. Clean the mask frequently by using a washing machine.
  • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age two, anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

Cloth face coverings should:

  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face and be secured with ties or ear loops
  • include multiple layers of fabric and allow for breathing without restriction
  • be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

The Village of River Forest remains committed to providing high-quality, compassionate customer service to its residents and visitors and working to make River Forest a safe place to live, work, and do business during, and after, the COVID-19 pandemic.  To be successful in doing so, the Village will adhere to the protocol below to assist the public in creating and obtaining necessary resources to comply with the Executive Orders by President Adduci (effective April 24, 2020) and Governor Pritzker (effective May 1, 2020) which require the use of cloth face coverings. This document is also being shared with local River Forest businesses to help partner in this effort. Please click here to read the protocol.

If you are in need of a cloth face covering and unable to make your own, please contact the River Forest COVID-19 Senior Citizen Response Program at 708-613-1642 or rfseniorhelp@gmail.com.


Village Action

On March 16, 2020, Village President Catherine Adduci declared a State of Emergency in the Village of River Forest. Please click here to read Declaration 20-1.  On March 30,  2020, that declaration expired and Village President Catherine Adduci declared a continued State of Emergency in the Village of River Forest. Click here to read the Declaration 20-2. On April 13, 2020, Declaration 20-2 expired and Village President Catherine Adduci declared a continued State of Emergency in the Village of River Forest. Click here to read Declaration 20-3. On April 27, 2020, Declaration 20-3 expired and Village President Catherine Adduci declared a continued State of Emergency in the Village of River Forest. Click here to read Declaration 20-4.

Click below for Executive Orders issued during this State of Emergency. 

  • Executive Order 20-04 - This Executive Order requires the use of face coverings in certain public places, including employees at essential businesses.
  • Executive Order 20-03This Executive Order makes the violation of an Executive Order of the Governor a public nuisance in the Village of River Forest and subject to a fine.
  • Executiver Order 20-02 - This Executive Order provides certain financial relief for residents and businesses with regard to: utility bills, business licenses, parking passes, building department requirements, and tickets. Administrative adjudication matters shall be continued as outlined in the Order. 
  • Executive Order 20-01 - This Executive Order suspends the Village’s normal restrictions on hours of delivery of goods to grocery stores, supermarkets, pharmacies, and other similar places of business during this declared State of Emergency.

Click below for special newsletters containing more information about the Village's response to coronavirus. 

  • April 7, 2020 - Please listen to this important statement from Village President Cathy Adduci. Do your part and support our River Forest Stays Home campaign - #RiverForestStaysHome 

  • May 22, 2020 - Phase Three of Restore Illinois, Flooding, Waste Reminders, and Memorial Day
  • May 15, 2020 - Local Businesses, Restore Illinois Plan, Reminders, Upcoming Meetings, National Police Week, and A Special Thank You
  • May 8, 2020 - Face Coverings, Recreation Options, Restore Illinois, Local Businesses, Armed Services Registry, and Thank You's
  • April 24, 2020 - Regarding Governor's Extension of the Stay at Home Order, Face Coverings
  • April 17, 2020 - Regarding Scams and Frauds, Small Business Spotlights, and Reminders
  • April 14, 2020 -  Regarding Stay at Home and Senior Citizen Response Program Reminders, Cloth Mask Guidance, Waste Disposal, and Support for Volunteer Groups
  • April 10, 2020 - Guidance on Cloth Face Coverings, Memorial Day Parade Cancellation, Landscaping Contractors, Eggsecutive Action 20-EGG, General Reminders
  • April 6, 2020 - Executive Order 20-03, Thrive Counseling Center Virtual Town Halls
  • March 31, 2020 - Extension of Stay at Home Order, Extension of State of Emergency Declaration, CCDPH Confirmed Cases Map, and Senior Citizens Response Program
  • March 30, 2020 - Stay at Home Order, Senior Citizen Response Program, and Certain Financial Relief for Residents and Businesses
  • March 27, 2020 - Explanation of Case Reporting
  • March 26, 2020 - Message from River Forest Government Officials
  • March 25, 2020 - Details of Executive Order 20-02
  • March 24, 2020 - Executive Order 20-02, Changes to Non-Emergency Police Calls, Changes to Waste Pickup, and Small Business Assistance
  • March 20, 2020 - State of Illinois Stay at Home Order, Senior Citizen Response Program
  • March 18, 2020 - Village of Oak Park Issues Shelter in Place Order
  • March 17, 2020 - Executive Order 20-01, Virtual Village Hall, Concordia Track Closure
  • March 16, 2020 - Operations Update
  • March 12, 2020 - First Newsletter

Operational Updates:

  • Please check the Village's calendar for information on public meetings or contact Staff with questions. 
  • The Village will conduct Village Hall operations only online or over the phone.  Please see Virtual Village Hall below for more information. 
  • The Police Department is utilizing alternative procedures to handle non-emergency calls and reports. 

Community leaders, healthcare professionals, public agencies and others, from the federal to the local levels, have all come together to keep our communities safe.   We are also working together with other River Forest taxing bodies (D90, Library, Township, Park District) and our first responders to continue to monitor this situation and are prepared to respond if needed.  The Village’s first responders and leaders participate in training within River Forest and with surrounding agencies on a regular basis and have emergency operations plans in place. 

River Forest Stays Home

Please do your part and support our River Forest Stays Home campaign. 

Here’s what #RiverForestStaysHome means:

  • Do stay home
  • Do exercise in your home or work in your yard
  • Do clean your home
  • Do read a book. Check out our library's digital books.
  • Do call and check in on friends, family and neighbors
  • Do essential tasks only if you need (see grocery guidelines)
  • Do play River Forest Stays Home BINGO!
  • ⊗ Don’t walk or exercise with groups - even if you are 6 feet apart
  • ⊗ Don’t gather with others or allow a party in your home
  • ⊗ Don’t play in the park. The PARKS AND ALL FIELDS are CLOSED.
  • ⊗ Don’t have play dates and gather with other children or young adults

Birthday Gram

The Village of River Forest Police and Fire Departments took a moment on April 7 to give Elliot a very special happy birthday parade! If your child (or anyone) has a birthday coming up, let us know! We’ll send over a police or fire truck to do a “drive by” wave. Parents should call 708-366-7629 and we’ll handle the rest.


COVID-19 Senior Citizen Response Program

During this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, we at the Village of River Forest, River Forest Township, and Township Senior Services want to support the health and safety of you, our older adult residents regardless of health conditions.  Township Senior Services is continuing to provide services to seniors in River Forest, even though offices are closed to the public.

If you are an older adult needing services, please contact the River Forest COVID-19 Senior Citizen Response Program at 708-613-1642.

Although on-site dining and group activities are suspended, Township Senior Services (708-383-8060) is continuing the following

  • Lunch program meals, available for pickup in the parking lot at the 130 S. Oak Park Avenue building,  
  • Home delivered meals, with delivery modifications to protect workers, volunteers and clients,
  • Senior bus transportation, by appointment, for dialysis and medical appointments, with verbal health pre-screening,
  • Care management team to help the most vulnerable seniors, and Information team to assist with info requests and referrals.

             **Please note: these services are subject to change.

In addition to the Township Senior Services, we have created a River Forest COVID-19 Senior Task Force to support our existing services and provide volunteers to our community members.  This new team can help support you by assisting with:

  • Grocery and prescription pickup,
  • Dog walking,
  • Snow removal and other non-direct contact needs.

We understand that COVID-19 has created extraordinary times, and please know that we are here to support your needs.  If you do not need to go out, then don’t.  Just call us and we will help you!

  • Read the letter sent to all River Forest seniors here

Send an email to rfseniorhelp@gmail.com to volunteer. 

Senior citizens will be invited to grocery shop at the following stores and times to limit their exposure:

  • Fresh Thyme: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays: 6AM-8AM
  • Jewel: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7AM-9AM
  • Whole Foods: every day from 8AM-9AM 

All residents, including seniors, are encouraged to review necessary paperwork including a Illinois Medical Power of Attorney form.  The Villlage has provided a sample document below, but always encourages individuals to contact their own attorney for more advice and counsel.  


Virtual Village Hall - How to Pay and Apply Online or Over the Phone

Beginning Wednesday, March 18, 2020, the Village of River Forest will conduct Village Hall operations only online or over the phone.  Although there have been no suspected or confirmed cases among our staff, for the safety of our staff and customers and to prevent the spread of viruses, in-person access with Staff will not be allowed. Essential operations and services offered through the Police, Fire and Public Works will continue.  The Village is committed to serving its residents, and staff will be available virtually via phone and email.  We ask for your patience during this time as Staff works to respond to your inquiries and non-emergency needs as quickly as possible as some may be working alternating or modified work schedules.

The Village strongly encourages residents and customers to use the convenient online or phone payment systems to transact Village business. Please see the links below for more information. If you must submit paper documents or to pay by check, please utilize the green drop-box in front of Village Hall or the drop-off bin in the second floor lobby. Please note, a customer service representative will still be available during normal business hours to answer your calls.  To speak with staff, please dial 708-366-8500. Please note that notary services will be unavailable until further notice.

Click here for Building Department Operations

Click here for Real Estate Transfer Tax Operations

Click here for Business License Operations

Click here to Pay a Utility Bill

Click here to Pay a Ticket

Click here for all Other Business

Click here for Staff Contact Info


Other Topics 

Water Infrastructure

The Chicago Department of Water Management (DWM) treats and distributes drinking water, and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) manages stormwater and treats wastewater for much of the Chicago regional area. Both agencies are continuing operations during the COVID-19 pandemic and all facilities are operating normally. For important facts and tips, please click here

ComEd

ComEd is suspending disconnects for customers unable to pay their bills and waiving new late payments charges through at least June 1st. ComEd will be working with customers on a case-by-case basis to establish payment arrangements and identify energy assistance options to address their specific needs. To learn more, click here

Business Resources

The Oak Park River Forest Chamber of Commerce continues to update their Covid 19 Information and Resources page for the latest news for area businesses. 

Unemployment Benefits

Please click here for information from the Illinois Department of Employment Security regarding the federal stimulus package and unemployment benefits. 

Landscape Contractors

The Village has received inquiries from concerned residents regarding landscape contractors operating in the community. Under the Governor’s Executive Order landscape contractors are allowed to operate in order to maintain private residents and businesses. However, the Village has asked these contractors to ensure that they are abiding by social distancing guidelines, providing hand sanitizer and handwashing abilities for their employees, and to utilize face coverings within the CDC’s guidelines if employees are unable to maintain social distances. The Village has informed landscape contractors that failure to comply with the Governor’s Executive Order could result in consequences including fines and the possible revocation of their contractor’s license.

Grocery Stores

The Village of River Forest is committed to partnering with its residents and business community to provide a safe and healthy environment for all. The following guidance is intended to provide recommendations for doing essential shopping, such as at grocery stores. 

Please click here for COVID-19 Guidance for Grocery Shopping

Waste Collection Information

Disposing of Medical Equipment and Personal Protective Equipment: Please remember that plastic gloves, masks, and medical tubing cannot be put in the recycling bin at home. Please dispose of medical equipment appropriately, by placing items directly into the garbage. Maintenance workers, particularly at shopping centers, will be exposed to unnecessary dangers when having to clean up medical litter.

Wipes and Paper Towels: Please do not flush any kind of wipes (even flushable) or paper towels down the toilet. These materials clog sewer lines and could lead to backups.

Strom: In order to protect all waste collection workers and help to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Roy Strom will enact the following changes in effect until the further notice.

  • For residents with refuse collected by Roy Strom Collection Company and billed by the Village, any items that exceed the allowable capacity that are placed in a garbage bag will be picked up and not require a “yellow tag” for pickup. Large bulk items that cannot fit into a garbage bag such as a couch or refrigerator, will not be picked up at this time. All items must be placed in a bag.
  • All items must be placed in a bag and no loose items will be picked up. Bulk items that do not fit inside a container such as loose construction material, couches, mattresses, etc. will not be collected.
  • Recycling will only be collected inside a Village issued container with handles (32 gallon container, wheeledalley cart, or a legacy green plastic crate).
  • Yard waste began as scheduled on Tuesday, April 7, 2020.

Electronics Recycling: The Village of Burr Ridge and eWorks Electronics Collection Facility drop off location is located at the Burr Ridge Public Works Facility, 451 Commerce Street, and its hours are Monday – Friday, 7 AM to 3 PM. To assist municipalities, residents and business with their electronics recycling needs, eWorks has opened up their facility in Elk Grove Village to collect electronics. eWorks is located at 1201 Estes Street, Elk Grove Village. As in Burr Ridge, there is a fee for televisions and monitors. You can also pay online in advance to avoid contact. Both locations will also be accepting clothing/textiles.  Items such as: clothing, sheets, bedding, towels and other household textiles are accepted.  No wet or heavily soiled items please.  All clothing/textile items must be bagged. For more information please visit: http://recycle.eworksesi.org/

Scams and Fraud

Stay alert to scams and fraud. Unfortunately, scammers are trying to take advantage of consumers during this challenging time using scam emails, hoax text message campaigns, and scam robocalls. Some of these messages are offering free home COVID-19 testing kits, promoting cures, selling health insurance and preying on virus-related fears. Others are related to the IRS requesting banking information related to federal stimulus checks. Click here for information from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) about federal stimulus checks.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers the following tips to help you protect yourself from scams, including coronavirus scams: 

  • Do not respond to calls or texts from unknown numbers, or any others that appear suspicious.
  • Never share your personal or financial information via email, text messages, or over the phone.
  • Scammers often spoof phone numbers to trick you into answering or responding.  Remember that government agencies will never call you to ask for personal information or money.
  • Always check on a charity (for example, by calling or looking at its actual website) before donating.

Tennis

On April 30, 2020, Governor JB Pritzker issued a continued stay-at-home order. In further review of the order and feedback received, the Village of River Forest is offering the following revised guidance as it relates to tennis play:

  1. Tennis may be played outdoors in the Village, provided the property owner allows it and so long as guidelines from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Illinois Department of Public Health are followed.
  2. Play may only include singles games with total participants at a facility, or each facility in the case of the Park District, limited to no more than ten people.
  3. Indoor facilities such as locker rooms, club houses, social gathering areas, etc, are to remain closed per the Governor’s stay-at-home order.

Please note that this is the Village’s interpretation of the Governor’s stay-at-home order as of May 5, 2020. Should the Governor’s office, a State agency or the Cook County Department of Public Health issue additional guidance or clarification regarding this matter, the Village will share that information. Additionally, the United States Tennis Association offers tips and suggestions for playing in the current COID-19 environment.



Cook County Department of Public Health Confirmed Cases

The Cook County Department of Public Health has made available data representing reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 in suburban Cook County. Its jurisdiction excludes the following municipalities, which have their own state-certified local health departments:  Chicago, Evanston, Oak Park, Skokie, and Stickney Township. Click here to view the data about River Forest by clicking on the map and hovering your mouse over River Forest.


Violation Reporting Form

Click here for the COVID-19 Violation Reporting Form

If you are experiencing an emergency, please do not use this form.
Please call 9-1-1.

If you believe a business in River Forest is not complying with the cloth face covering and/or social distancing requirements, you are encouraged to report your concerns to the business owner or manager. You may also report completing the form below. Examples of Executive Order violations include:

  • A business located in River Forest that is not implementing or requiring compliance with cloth face covering or social distancing requirements
  • A contractor working in River Forest whose employees are not adhering to social distancing or cloth face covering requirements
  • An individual or group of people who are not wearing cloth face coverings or practicing social distancing as required
  • A prohibited gathering of people

If you submit a violation form, rest assured we will follow up on your complaint with an email or phone call.


Restore Illinois

On Tuesday May 5, Governor Pritzker announced “Restore Illinois: A Public Health Approach To Safely Reopen Our State”.  This plan includes a five-phased approach to re-opening the State of Illinois. The plan divides the State into four regions and allows for each region to move through the phases of the plan independently from the other regions. River Forest, as a part of Cook County, is in the Northeast Region which includes Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties. All regions in Illinois are currently in Phase Two and will move into Phase Three on May 29, 2020. 

Click here for the Restore Illinois Graph.