COVID-19, Local, Science

Here’s What Park Forest Is Doing as Coronavirus Concerns Rise

novel (new) coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.
The CDC is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Infections with 2019-nCoV also are being reported in a growing number of countries internationally, including the United States. (CDC)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The Village of Park Forest is taking measures to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Several events have been canceled and efforts are underway to ensure that services remain available to Village residents. The Village also provides the following information to help residents remain healthy.

Based on new information from the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control, the Village of Park Forest will be canceling the following programs and events:

  • Basketball programming: Canceled through March 14
  • Teen Zone: Canceled through March 17
  • Business Breakfast: March 18 event canceled
  • Alex Cuba at Freedom Hall: March 20 show canceled
  • Ella Fitzgerald tribute at Freedom Hall: March 24 show canceled
  • Neighborhood Meeting: March 24 meeting canceled
  • Veterans Closet and Resource Center: Closed through March 31

Park Forest officials will continue to monitor the situation in the coming days and will evaluate the status of other programs and events as needed. Residents with questions about other village-sponsored programs and events not noted above should contact Village Hall to confirm their status.

As precautionary measures, the village is ramping up the cleaning of door handles and window counters at village facilities. Additionally, village employees are being advised to stay home should they experience any flu-like symptoms.

Though Park Forest has no confirmed cases of the coronavirus, officials with School District 163 announced Thursday that three students were recently in contact with a person who tested positive for the virus. The students were tested for the coronavirus and will remain home until their status is confirmed.

District 163 has canceled classes through Wednesday, March 18, for cleaning and disinfecting as a precaution.

Residents with questions or concerns about the coronavirus may contact Park Forest’s Community Health Coordinator Margaret Lewis at or by calling 708-748-2005.

The below information is being provided courtesy of the Center for Disease control to help residents understand how they can protect themselves and others against the coronavirus.

Steps to Prevent Illness

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. Please consult with your health care provider about additional steps you may be able to take to protect yourself.

Take Steps To Protect Yourself

Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact

Take steps to protect others

Stay home if you’re sick

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Wear a facemask if you are sick

  • If you are sick:  You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
  • If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.

Clean and disinfect

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

Source: VOPF