West Chicago’s efforts in the fight against COVID-19 continue and recently expanded to include regional strategies to help mitigate the
health and economic impact of the pandemic on individuals hardest hit in DuPage County.
In coordination with Mayor Richard Veenstra of the Village of Addison, I was part of a coalition of Mayors and municipal leaders of DuPage County to collaborate on ways in which to tackle the rising number of COVID-19 cases in our communities.
We all agreed that in the short-term, a targeted approach is necessary to bring down the disproportionately large number of infections and positive
tests in the Latino population of DuPage County. Improving the socioeconomic and health status of our communities was identified as a long-term goal.
Contributing factors related to economic issues of unemployment, sick pay, childcare, food insecurity, and access to healthcare were discussed, as were the social, mental and educational concerns of isolation, substance abuse, domestic abuse and the need to return students to school safely.
A coordinated program of education to slow the spread through preventative measures and testing was outlined, and various means of dissemination of materials were explored.
The resulting recommendations include consistent, coordinated communications throughout partnering communities via print materials distributed at essential businesses and organizations such as supermarkets,
food pantries, schools (through backpack programs), daycare facilities and other appropriate distribution points.
An enhanced literature dissemination program like the one we began over the summer, which provides reminders about basic health and safety measure during COVID-19, will be expanded through the support of the DuPage County Health Department in each participating community.
The virus knows no community boundaries. We must all work together, washing hands frequently, social distancing, and wearing masks if we
want to continue to reduce our case