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. Visit the City's Safe Reopening web page for the status of City facilities, programs and services.
The City’s 311 Service Center will be open for normal hours, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. 311 may open for extended hours depending on anticipated call volume. 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 is closed to the public 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, recycling and food and yard waste 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, recycling or food and yard waste cart.
Street cleaning operations and enforcement have resumed.
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 by calling/texting 847-448-4311. A payment drop box is also located just west of the Morton Civic Center.
Parking enforcement has resumed. Posted signage designating temporary free parking spaces to facilitate pick-up at local restaurants and retail establishments will be honored through August 3.
Building Permits and Inspections
All permit types are now being accepted and issued. Plan review and permit applications can be submitted in pdf format only at email@example.com. All required documents must be sent in a single email or the permit will not be processed. Permits shall be issued with recommended COVID-19 procedures and all workers must wear face coverings while performing work in Evanston.
Building inspection requests can be scheduled by calling or texting 847-448-4311. Most inspections will be performed remotely via photo/video. Inspectors will provide the resident or contractor direction on what is acceptable to show code compliance.
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.
Visit the City's Safe Reopening page for the status of City recreation and library facilities.
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.
Residents can subscribe to the City's coronavirus (COVID-19) e-Newsletter for the latest Evanston updates.
The City of Evanston has been working diligently and proactively to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Evanston.
Beginning in February 2020, the Evanston Health and Human Services Department – one of only four certified municipal health departments in Illinois – formed an internal response team to begin planning and preparation as the disease began to spread around the world. On March 15, Mayor Hagerty declared a Local State of Emergency to enhance the City’s response after two Evanston residents tested positive for COVID-19. Following the declaration, the City established an Incident Command System to organize its emergency response and activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to provide centralized coordination of information and resources with local, county, state, and federal agencies and private and nonprofit entities.
To facilitate an effective community-wide response effort, Mayor Hagerty also assembled a Coronavirus Task Force comprised of key members of the education, government, business, faith, nonprofit, health, and senior communities. The Task Force meets twice weekly to discuss community updates, share information, and identify community priorities. (View Task Force updates.)
The City of Evanston has followed a nationally recognized framework to organize its emergency response and recovery efforts. At the core of the City’s COVID-19 response is a Unified Command Team led by the mayor, city manager, Police and Fire Chiefs, and Health and Human Services and Public Works directors. Unified Command determines objectives for four sections: Operations, Planning, Logistics, and Finance/Administration.
Although the City’s operations and objectives continue to evolve, focus areas have included:
Disease Surveillance: The City’s Health and Human Services Department works with the Illinois Department of Public Health and local, state and federal health partners to help limit the spread of the virus. The City monitors all confirmed COVID-19 cases among Evanston residents while also conducting investigations of all those who were in direct contact with the confirmed cases.
Supplies/PPE: The City continues to gather and disburse Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other materials to ensure that first responders, City staff, and essential workers have the supplies they need to help fight COVID-19. (Donate PPE.)
Seniors and Vulnerable Populations: The City is actively working with long-term care facilities and congregate living facilities to ensure that recommended health and safety measures are implemented to avoid cluster scenarios. City social services staff also work with those who may be isolated or food insecure.
Food Insecurity: In response to Evanston schools closing, the City began offering free, cold breakfasts and lunches to youth ages 1to 18 while continuing to provide meals for seniors enrolled in the City’s Congregate Meal Program. Thousands of meals have been provided through the programs. In early April, the City assembled a list of community food resources and partnered with Northwestern University and Valli Produce to establish a weekly emergency food pantry at James Park.
Housing/Transportation: The City has worked with the Evanston Community Foundation, Connections for the Homeless, YWCA Evanston/North Shore, Curt's Cafe, and Interfaith Action of Evanston to fund, staff and coordinate temporary shelter for Evanston’s housing insecure neighbors. The City has provided more than 100 beds for homeless residents at local hotels, as well as installed portable toilets and hand washing stations throughout Evanston. Staff have also worked to provide temporary housing and transportation for those who must self-isolate and cannot do so at home.
Volunteering: The City launched a “COVID-19 Response” volunteer portal, which connects Evanston organizations responding to the COVID-19 pandemic with volunteers willing to lend their assistance and expertise.
Additional City Response
The City’s Economic Development Department continues to work with local businesses to provide information on available local, state and federal resources, including small business loan and grant assistance programs. Communication efforts have included a business-focused Coronavirus Live Q&A, co-hosting a webinar with the Small Business Association, developing a list of resources and materials, and launching a “Keep Calm and Carry Out” campaign to encourage residents to support local businesses.
The City also waived nonpayment penalties for certain bills, eliminated 2020 business registration fees, and paused non-safety related parking enforcement.
The City has developed a dedicated COVID-19 webpage housing a wide range of information, including daily updates on the number of confirmed cases, virus-specific information, FAQs, and resources. The City continues to send frequent e-newsletters to the community with the latest information and resources and hosts weekly Coronavirus Q&A sessions.
As the City continues to work to “flatten the curve” and limit the spread of COVID-19 while connecting residents with important resources, residents are encouraged to do their part by following the CDC’s recommended measures and abiding by Gov. Pritzker’s Stay at Home Order. Together, we can help save lives.
Health and Safety
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.
Evanston Health and Human Services Director Ike Ogbo has issued a COVID-19 Face Covering Order requiring all persons working in or patronizing "essential businesses and operations" to wear cloth face coverings. Community members must wear cloth face coverings in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Help reCOVERevanston by wearing a cloth face covering.
View this video for a guide on how to make your own mask at home.
Gatherings of 50 people or fewer are allowed during Phase 4 of the State's Restore Illinois recovery plan. This limit is subject to change based on latest data and guidance.
Residents can reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 at gatherings by following these guidelines:
- Remind guests to stay home if they are sick
- Encourage distancing by arranging tables and chairs six feet apart
- Host gatherings outdoors, when possible; ensure indoor spaces are well ventilated
- Avoid hugs, handshakes, elbow bumps, and other close contact
- Wear a cloth face covering indoors, or within six feet of others
- Wash hands thoroughly and often, including when arriving and leaving
- Limit the number of people preparing, handling or serving food; bring your own food and drink, when possible
- Limit contact with frequently touched surfaces and items
State Community-based Testing Locations
The State has opened its community-based testing sites to all people, regardless of symptoms.
No appointment, doctor referral, or insurance is needed at state-operated drive-thru sites, and testing is available at no cost to the individual. View a list of testing sites in Illinois.
Testing Offered by Health Care Providers
Please call or visit the websites below for testing guidelines and requirements.
Erie Health Center
1285 Hartrey Ave., Evanston
Amita Health, St. Francis
355 Ridge Ave., Evanston
Northshore Immediate Care - Old Orchard
9977 Woods Dr., Skokie
What is contact tracing?
Contact tracing is a public health process which involves identifying individuals who have been in close contact with an individual with a suspected or confirmed infection while they might have been contagious. Throughout this process, public health staff work with the infected individual to determine everyone they had contact with during the time of possible contagion. They are also educated and informed about the infection so that they understand their risks.
Why is it important?
Contact tracing is important because it helps prevent the spread of diseases in the community. It is a way to determine who may have been infected and therefore needs to stay home and monitor themselves to see if symptoms or an illness develop. This helps limit the spread of the infection to others. Some individuals may not have known about their exposure until public health officials reach out to them.
What is the City's process?
When a contact is identified, the City's public health staff reach out to the individual to inform them about their exposure and talk to them about the disease, importance of quarantining (staying at home and going nowhere else) and monitoring his/her symptoms. In the case of COVID-19, the persons will monitor themselves by checking their temperature twice daily and watching for symptoms indicative of COVID-19. The quarantine period for COVID-19 is 14 days after their last exposure to a contagious individual. Contacts who develop symptoms should promptly isolate themselves and notify Evanston's public health staff. These individuals should also speak with their doctor regarding concerns about symptoms or to discuss a need for testing.
What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?
Isolation and quarantine help protect the public by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease. Isolation separates an individual with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of those who are not sick but who were exposed to a contagious disease to determine if they become sick.
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, guidelines for establishments that are closed, and guidelines for restaurants open to outdoor dining.
The IDPH has also issued guidance for grocery stores.
Beginning on Monday, July 6, the Youth Food Distribution Program will transition to the Summer Youth Food Program. As in previous years, free cold breakfasts and lunches will be served on a first-come, first-served basis daily, Monday through Friday, to youth ages 1 to 18 years old.
New this year, all meals will be grab and go and no congregating will be allowed. Breakfasts will be served from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and lunches will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the following four locations through Friday, August 14:
- 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
View the City's COVID-19 Resources page.
Economic and Business Impacts
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.
Strategic Consulting Support
Northwestern University and its Kellogg School of Management are partnering with the City of Evanston to provide strategic consulting support to local business owners. The initiative allows Evanston business owners to set up a profile on Startup Tree, a software provider that facilitates university entrepreneurship. Local business owners can browse the Kellogg network of volunteers across functions and industries and schedule meetings to discuss their business challenges. They also can work with student volunteers on short-term projects, such as cash flow analysis.
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
- Business Interruption Grants Program (BIG)
- IDES Unemployment Benefits for employees
- State of Illinois COVID-19 Small Business Impact Survey
- IDES Unemployment Insurance
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.
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.
The City's Economic Development Division and the Evanston Chamber of Commerce recently hosted a live Q&A covering ways to support Evanston businesses and available resources. Watch the video below.
See the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity website for the latest information and guidelines for businesses.
For additional information, companies can call the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity's helpline at 1-800-252-2923 or email CEO.firstname.lastname@example.org.
The federal government recently enacted legislation to address the dramatic economic crisis brought on by COVID-19, including an unemployment benefits expansion. While this will financially help unemployed Illinoisans in the months to come, not everyone will be eligible for all the benefits contained in the package, and some benefits will not begin immediately.
The Illinois Department of Employment Security provides a fact sheet on federal stimulus unemployment benefits.
Visit Northwestern University's COVID-19 and Campus Updates page for information.
The City of Evanston's Health and Human Services Department is coordinating with Northwestern to put protocols in place to protect the health of students and staff. This includes use of personal protective equipment (PPE), disinfection and distancing protocols. Northwestern is part of Mayor Hagerty's COVID-19 Task Force, which meets regularly to share information and coordinate response.
Visit District 65's COVID-19 Response web page for information.
Visit the ETHS coronavirus information page for updates.