September 6, 2020: Although the Highland Park Senior Center building remains closed, the Medical Equipment Loan Closet has reopened and virtual programs are available via Zoom. For more information, contact: 847.432.4110.
March 11, 2020: The City of Highland Park is in close communication with the Lake County Health Department and federal and state agencies to actively monitor developments regarding COVID-19. Public health and safety are the City’s highest priorities. The City is taking proactive steps to protect all residents with a focus on most vulnerable residents at this time.
As of Wednesday, March 11, the Highland Park Senior Center will be closed until further notice. All programs have been canceled, including offsite programming at various locations throughout the City. Non-essential public meetings have been canceled until further notice. Cancellation notices will be published to the City’s website. Meetings have not been rescheduled; notice of rescheduled meetings will be posted to the City’s agenda and minute center. The City’s approach to limit these unnecessary public gatherings is in line with best practices from other area governments, including the City of Chicago.
No changes are planned to the Connector Bus, which provides free and essential transportation on a fixed route within Highland Park for seniors and people with disabilities to Highland Park Hospital, grocery stores, pharmacy stores, and other locations throughout the City. No operational changes are planned at this time to the route or schedule. The City has increased cleaning and disinfecting of the Connector Bus to reduce the spread of illness.
City Manager Ghida Neukirch stated, “this is a difficult decision for the City, but one made in the best interest of public health, as data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that seniors are at greatest risk for developing severe symptoms and serious complications due to COVID-19.”
“It is important to emphasize that the current risk to residents of Highland Park remains low,” said Mayor Nancy Rotering. “These pre-emptive cancellations are in response to expert advice to help keep our community healthy and protect our most vulnerable citizens.”
The City of Highland Park is working collaboratively with partners to ensure a prompt, proactive response. On Tuesday, March 10, the City hosted a meeting to discuss strategies for collaboration, communication, and emergency preparedness, and invited partners from the City of Highwood, Village of Deerfield, NorthShore University HealthSystem, the Lake County Health Department, Moraine Township, the Park District of Highland Park, the Highland Park Public Library and School Districts 109, 112 and 113. The group will continue to meet weekly to facilitate the flow of information, share resources, and avoid duplication of efforts.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes coronavirus disease, the illness caused by COVID-19, as an upper respiratory illness characterized by high fever, cough, and shortness of breath. These symptoms range from mild to severe, and may appear two to fourteen days after exposure. Individuals experiencing these symptoms are encouraged to call their healthcare provider or the Illinois Department of Public Health’s dedicated COVID-19 hotline at 800.889.3931 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The CDC continues to promote the following best practices to limit the spread of disease: frequent handwashing, disinfecting of frequently-used spaces, avoiding touching the eyes, nose, and mouth, and staying home when sick. If hand washing is not available, use a 60% alcohol hand sanitizer. Additional information about proactive steps individuals can take can be found at cdc.gov/coronavirus.
The City of Highland Park encourages residents to stay informed about COVID-19 by following resources and updates from the Lake County Health Department, Illinois Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The City will continue to post updates through its electronic newsletter, on its social media accounts and website (www.cityhpil.com) as information becomes available. As this is a developing situation, the Lake County Health Department’s COVID-19 hub, lakecountyil.gov/coronavirus, is the preferred local source for news and updates regarding the coronavirus disease in Lake County.