See the CDC’s list of coronavirus FAQs. Evanston-specific FAQs are below.
Residents are encouraged to complete all City business online or by phone, when possible.
The City’s 311 Service Center will be open for normal hours, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Residents can contact 311 by calling/texting 847-448-4311, online at cityofevanston.org/311, or using the Evanston 311 mobile app.
Police, Fire and 911 Dispatch emergency services will continue to be available. In-person, walk-in police reports are not being accepted at the police station. Community members should call the Police Service Desk non-emergency number, 847-866-5000, to file a police report over the phone. Always dial 911 in an emergency.
Morton Civic Center
The Morton Civic Center will be closed to the public beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 20 until further notice. Residents should call/text 847-448-4311 or visit the City's website for questions and information.
Refuse and recycling pickup
Weekly trash and recycling collections will continue to occur. In order to protect the health and welfare of employees, no loose, bulk items will be picked up. Residents should place all items in their trash or recycling cart.
In addition, spring bulk trash pickup has been canceled. Bulk pickup collections will occur in the fall, as scheduled.
Street cleaning operations will continue as normal. Through April 12, only warning citations will be issued. No fines will be issued.
City Collector's Office
The City Collector's Office will be closed to in-person transactions until further notice. Residents are encouraged to make payments online at cityofevanston.org/how-to/make-a-payment, or may contact the Collector's Office Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., to receive assistance. To contact the Collector's Office, residents should call/text 847-448-4311. A payment drop box is also located just west of the Morton Civic Center.
Nonpayment penalties and delayed enforcement
The City will eliminate nonpayment penalties for certain bills due to the City between March 16 and April 30 for the next 60 days. This includes water, sewer and sanitation bills; parking and compliance citations; liquor taxes; and amusement taxes. The City will pause the enforcement of certain enforcement measures for 60 days, from March 16 through May 16, including water service shutoffs and vehicle immobilizations.
The City has suspended parking enforcement for non-safety related issues through the end of March. Parking enforcement officers will continue to issue fines for public safety violations, such as blocking a fire hydrant, stop sign, bike lane, or alleyway, or parking in a “No Parking” zone.
Building Permits and Inspections
Effective March 23, all permitting and building inspection activities have been suspended until April 7. All previously scheduled inspections will be held until the Stay at Home Order is lifted. To request an inspection, call 311 to be placed on the list to be contacted once inspections resume. Plan review and permit applications will continue to be received digitally by the City at email@example.com; however, no new permits will be issued until the Stay at Home Order is lifted. More information.
General and Emergency Assistance
General and Emergency Assistance services are available by calling 847-448-8112.
Property Tax Assessment
The City’s Property Tax Assessment Review Office has canceled all scheduled one-on-one meetings, but can assist residents over the phone or online. Residents who need assistance should contact 847-448-4311.
Are recreation facilities open?
All Parks, Recreation and Community Services programs, including preschool programs, have been canceled through Sunday, April 12. All recreation community centers will be closed until further notice beginning Monday, March 16; however, facilities will remain open for food distribution programs only. The Levy Center and Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center's Congregate Meal Program will continue to provide meals to seniors in to-go containers for pickup only.
Are parks and playgrounds open?
Evanston parks and trails remain open for exercise during the Governor's Stay at Home Order. Residents may use these spaces, but should practice social distancing, maintaining a distance of at least six feet from others. Playgrounds, basketball and tennis courts, and other park facilities are closed to the public to help limit the spread of COVID-19, and to protect the health and safety of the community.
Are libraries open?
All locations of the Evanston Public Library will remain closed through at least April 12. Any materials checked out from the Library currently, including Most Wanted books and WiFi Hotspots, have a new due date of April 13. Staff are working and questions may be sent to the library at epl.org/ask-a-librarian or by calling 847-448-8630. The Library's digital collection is always available to you at epl.org. If you are an Evanston resident and do not have a library card, you can get a temporary card by filling out this form.
Non-essential City meetings will be postponed until further notice. Please see the City’s website calendar, cityofevanston.org/events, for the latest status of City meetings and events.
Declaring a local state of emergency is a proactive measure to enhance the City’s ability to respond to COVID-19.
The City has activated it’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), which allows for greater coordination and management of its COVID-19 response. The EOC is led by a Unified Command Team, consisting of Mayor Hagerty, the Acting City Manager, the Health and Human Services Director, the City’s Emergency Manager, and the Police and Fire Chiefs.
The City has also assembled an Evanston Coronavirus Task Force comprised of key members of the education, government, business, faith, nonprofit, health, and senior communities. The role of the members of this task force will be to disseminate information to their respective communities, as well as share needs and concerns with the Unified Command Team.
Social distancing is a public health practice that aims to prevent sick people from coming in close contact with healthy people in order to reduce the spread of the disease. It can include large-scale measures like canceling group events or closing public spaces, or small scale measures like individuals avoiding larger groups of people. At this time it is recommended that individuals maintain at least a six-foot distance between themselves and others and practice self-isolation if they show symptoms of being ill.
The goal of social distancing right now is to slow down the outbreak in order to reduce the chance of infection among high-risk populations and to reduce the burden on healthcare systems and workers.
Yes, there is currently a shortage of COVID-19 test kits available. The federal government is working diligently with manufacturers to produce more tests. There is also a shortage of testing centers; however, more testing centers/labs will be added in the coming weeks. In order to give the supply chain more time to catch up, it is important to help “flatten the curve” and slow the spread of the virus by practicing preventative measures like social distancing, self-isolating when sick, and washing hands frequently.
Yes, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends to continue to use and drink tap water as usual. Boiling your water is not required as a precaution against Coronavirus (COVID-19). The EPA has already established regulations with treatment requirements for public water that prevent waterborne pathogens, such as viruses, from contaminating drinking water and wastewater. According to the EPA, the coronavirus (COVID-19) is particularly susceptible to disinfection. Standard treatment and disinfection processes are expected to be effective.
Watch the video below to learn about health and safety measures implemented by the City's Water Production Bureau.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has provided guidelines to food service establishments that remain open for delivery and pickup, as well as guidelines for establishments that are closed.
The City of Evanston, Evanston/Skokie School District 65, and ETHS District 202 are partnering to provide food distribution services to assist those affected by school closures.
Free, cold breakfasts and lunches will be served to youth ages 1 to 18 years old at locations throughout the city through March 30. There are no residency or income-based restrictions to participate in the program. Free meals are available to all youth. Meals will be grab-and-go; no meals will be eaten on site.
All five weekdays worth of breakfasts and lunches may be picked up between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Monday, March 30 at the following locations:
Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center, 1655 Foster St.
Robert Crown Community Center, 1801 Main St.
Kamen Park David Wood Fieldhouse, 1111 South Blvd.
Mason Park, Church Street and Florence Avenue
The City is investigating options for spring break.
At a special meeting March 17, the City Council approved the following measures to help small businesses in the immediate term:
- Delay the due date for the payment to the City of certain items by sixty days and to pause the application of penalties for late payments to the City for the period of March 16 to April 13, 2020 or later, depending on the changing circumstances surrounding the recently declared federal and local disaster declarations. This includes liquor tax and amusement tax.
- Waive business registration fees for 2020, but will mandate businesses to register online in order to be able to deliver important COVID19 messages and post outbreak economic recovery information.
- Allow liquor carry-out and delivery with food orders from local restaurants.
While we understand these measures will not solve the enormous economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, we believe they will help improve cash flow for our smallest businesses.
City staff will continue to monitor resources provided by Federal and State officials in addition to additional local resources. Some businesses resources are listed below.
Federal Level Assistance
- US Small Business Administration Loans
- US Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Program
- US Small Business Administration Lender Match Program
Lender Match is a free online referral tool that connects small business with participating SBA-approved lenders
State of Illinois Level Assistance
- IDES Unemployment Benefits for employees
- State of Illinois COVID-19 Small Business Impact Survey
- IDES Unemployment Insurance
Residents can subscribe to the City's coronavirus (COVID-19) e-Newsletter for the latest Evanston updates.
On March 16, all Illinois restaurants and bars were ordered to close for dining in until the end of March.
Here are a few small ways that those who are able to can help their favorite small businesses stay afloat through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Carry out: Order ahead or get take-out from your favorite local restaurant while you practice social distancing. Many are offering curbside delivery. The City's Economic Development Department has assembled a list of local businesses that will remain open for carry out and delivery.
Order in: Many independently owned restaurants and food businesses have a delivery service already in place. Some that haven't previously done so are now joining delivery platforms like Uber Eats.
Buy a gift card: If you usually frequent a business, buy a gift card that covers what you would normally spend. The use of this gift card can be spread out over time or can be given away later.
Keep your subscription: If you have a subscription or membership to a gym or class, keep it! Many small businesses rely on their monthly membership or subscriptions to stay in business.
Contribute to a fundraising campaign: Many businesses have had GoFundMe fundraiser campaigns started for them. By contributing to these campaigns, you can help businesses raise funds so that they can continue to pay their staff and bills.
On Friday, March 20, Governor Pritzker issued Executive Order 2020-10 requiring all Illinoisans to stay in their homes to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. The order prohibits things like visiting the homes of friends and holding gatherings of any size and closes all nonessential establishments, including most retail, recreation and entertainment businesses. It does NOT prohibit essential activities like going to the grocery store, receiving medical care, or taking your pet for a walk. For more information on what this order means for you, please see the Stay at Home FAQs.
Companies can call the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity's helpline at 1-800-252-2923 or email CEO.firstname.lastname@example.org to determine whether their business is deemed essential or if they must comply with Executive Order 10.