48th Ward Update
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March 15, 2020

Dear Neighbor:

Thank you to the nearly 200 neighbors who have signed up to volunteer for our Community Response Team. This is a testament to what kind of community we are -- one that cares for our neighbors as much as we do for our own families. If you are interested in signing up, please visit

My staff and I continue to work to address and respond to the COVID-19 crisis on the community level. In the coming days and weeks there will be directives from City, State, and Federal governments that we will all have to abide by in the interest of public health and safety and containing the virus. We are going to get through this together as neighbors and by looking out for each other. 

There is a lot of information coming out about various issues related to COVID-19. My goal is to share information that is most helpful to our community about very local concerns. I will continue to share information from the Chicago Department of Public Health, Illinois Department of Public Health, and other government agencies.

School Closures and Contingency Plans

All schools in Illinois - public and private - will be closed Tuesday, March 17 through Monday, March 30. 

Chicago Public Schools will be providing two meals per day per student, with the ability to pick up three days' worth at once. Parents can visit their neighborhood school, even if your children are not enrolled at that school, between 9am and 1pm daily, Monday through Friday. If you have additional questions about CPS closures, please visit

Chicago Park District will keep most facilities open for basic services, but all programming has been cancelled. The exception is 18 super sites that will offer enhanced programming for students who need childcare. The local site for 48th Ward families is Margate Park, 4921 N. Marine. Click here to register your child to participate and for more information.

Early Voting & Election Day

Many neighbors have emailed me asking to postpone Primary Day, which is not something I have the authority to do. Governor Pritzker announced today that he will not postpone Primary Day. Early Voting has been extended through tomorrow, Monday, March 16, and I strongly encourage you to vote early. The 48th Ward Early Voting Site is the Edgewater Branch Chicago Public Library, 6000 N. Broadway. Click here to view Early Voting hours and more information.

We expect there may be a shortage of election judges on Tuesday. People under the age of 45 who are in good health and are interested in helping as a non-partisan election judge are encouraged to watch the online training videos and sign up as a "Stand-By Election Judge".

Care for Real Update

Today Care for Real Executive Director Lyle Allen made an announcement about changes to their procedures to protect staff, clients, and volunteers during the COVID-19 outbreak. Please click here to view this update, and consider a donation to Care for Real.

I will have more information to share with you in the coming days about ways to support neighbors with donations of goods and money.

Bars & Restaurants

Today Chicago Public Health Department Commissioner Alison Arwady issued a directive that effective immediately, bars in the City of Chicago can operate only at 50% of their licensed capacity, with a cap of 100 people total. Please heed the call, and make the sacrifice to adjust your typical St. Patrick's Day celebrations and celebrate at home.

In his daily press conference today, Governor JB Pritzker announced that by close of business tomorrow, Monday, March 16, all bars and dine-in restaurants must close operations through Monday, March 30. City and State leadership are working to determine how restaurants can continue to safely operate and serve food. Right now delivery, drive-through, and curbside pickup is still allowable.

Moving Forward

I will continue to share updates with you as they are available. Please follow recommendations to maintain social distance and encourage your friends and loved ones to do the same, wash hands and sanitize high touch surfaces, and stay home if you are not feeling well. We are all in this together and we will get through this difficult time as a community.

I encourage you to visit the CDPH website -- -- to get the most up to date information and guidance about COVID-19.

Be well.


Harry Osterman
Alderman, 48th Ward
Copyright © 2020 Harry Osterman - 48th Ward Alderman, All rights reserved.

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