COVID-19 Resources and Response

Banner with the COVID-19 molecule

COVID-19 Resources and Response

COVID-19 Resources

CMAP has compiled a list of resources to aid our partners in this uncertain time. 


 

COVID-19 Response

Region’s strong freight network remains critical during pandemic

As toilet paper and sanitizers flew off store shelves at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, northeastern Illinois’ status as the preeminent freight hub in North America played a critical role in maintaining the flow of goods to different parts of the region and country. Despite COVID-19 slowing most of the nation’s economic activity, the pandemic has reiterated the importance the region plays to the national supply chain.

Freight activity, however, can lead to road-related and air quality issues. At CMAP, we’ve been making strides to mitigate many of those issues, working with different stakeholders on a variety of improvements designed to benefit businesses and residents, and reduce emissions. Read more on our website.

 

COVID-19 shows need for more adaptable public spaces and streets

From empty highways to quiet train stations, all transportation modes in the Chicago metropolitan region have seen huge declines because of COVID-19. As travel patterns shift in response to the coronavirus, community leaders have an opportunity to promote safe, active mobility as an alternative to single-occupancy vehicles.

CMAP offers numerous resources that can encourage more people to walk and ride bikes, and help communities rethink public spaces that are accessible for everyone, regardless of age, ability, or transportation mode. Read more on our website.

 

Construction season in full swing as pandemic keeps more cars at home

Since road construction was deemed an essential activity, many of CMAP’s partners have said they’ve been able to keep construction on schedule without having to stop, suspend, or accelerate projects. With fewer people and cars on streets, road construction season in northeastern Illinois this year has been like none other in the recent past. Read more.

Recovery must include investment in our region’s exporting industries as well as local businesses

As northern Illinois begins to reopen and recover from the coronavirus pandemic, we must not lose sight of the region’s longstanding economic challenges. Our past economic drivers have been declining without being replaced by new sources of growth. Our traded industry clusters — groups of firms that together produce products and services for markets beyond our region — had already not been faring well.

The economic crisis demands a swift and multifaceted policy response. Strengthening our regional economy will take a balanced approach that invests in jobs at local businesses and industries that export beyond our borders. Local and regional leaders must engage in coordinated economic development planning, develop strategies to bolster our traded clusters, and enhance equitable access to high quality employment. Read more.

 

COVID-19 underscores how your zip code can impact your health

COVID-19 has emphasized the need to support positive health outcomes for the most vulnerable communities in northeastern Illinois. An ON TO 2050 strategy paper, Health Equity, provides guidance on how reinvestment in these areas can advance the well-being of all residents, leading to more livable communities with the equitable resources and opportunities to support public health.

In marginalized communities, a number of factors can lead to increased health risks. As one example, sidewalks that are narrow or disjointed can make social distancing more challenging and discourage residents from being active while sheltering in place. Climate change will also make these neighborhoods more at risk for flooding and cause subsequent damage to sidewalks, streets, and other infrastructure. Stress and health problems like asthma that develop from these conditions could make people more susceptible to complications from COVID-19.

To address current health inequities, strategies will need to focus on expanding access to transportation services, providing more affordable housing, and reforming state and local tax policies to increase revenue. Our recommendations can lead to stronger, longer periods of economic growth for the entire region. Read the strategy paper.

 

Coronavirus amplifying climate change impacts on vulnerable communities

Early research shows that COVID-19 is causing the greatest harm to our most vulnerable and disadvantaged communities. At the same time, climate change in northeastern Illinois results in more frequent and severe storms, extreme heat, and prolonged drought. Just this week, flooding has led to street closures, power loss, property damage, and contamination. Chicago has already received 8.3 inches of rainfall this month, breaking last year’s record rainfall for May.

While the region grapples with the inequities made more visible by the pandemic, we must also consider how COVID-19 is further exacerbating the impacts of climate change on these communities. Read more.

 

We work and move as one region

Our region’s economy is interconnected, with individual communities part of a larger economic ecosystem. Prior to the stay-at-home orders, most workers in the Chicago region (56 percent) commuted across county boundaries every day, knitting our communities together into a metropolitan economy.

As state and local governments determine how to safely reopen workplaces through the Restore Illinois plan, data can provide context on where our residents live and work in order to make safe, informed decisions. Read more.

 

The region can't afford to postpone investment in our water systems

Throughout this pandemic, the region’s drinking water and wastewater utilities have continued to provide essential services even as their staffing is reduced to maintain social distancing. Despite an ability to rise to the immediate challenge, utilities face an array of issues, some of which are just beginning to emerge.

The public health crisis makes upgrading infrastructure and replacing drinking water and wastewater utilities all the more urgent, even as many utilities are pausing non-essential maintenance work or on extensive capital projects. Read more on our website.

 

Regional impacts of COVID-19 webinar

Watch a recording of our recent webinar, which covered the regional impact of COVID-19 on municipal revenue, transportation, and climate.

 

Are you prepared to respond to a flood or severe storms with social distancing?

While the world is focused on addressing the impacts of the pandemic, communities in our region still face serious risk from floods and severe storms. Investing the time to reassess emergency response plans and how your community will respond during social distancing will help your community be better prepared in the event of a flood or severe storm this season. Read more.

CMAP estimates show improved regional air quality due to recent transportation shifts

The COVID-19 pandemic has radically altered our lives. However, some of the recent changes may help to mitigate causes of climate change: fewer miles being driven by cars and trucks, less time spent idling on congested roads, and reduced pollution emitted by diesel- and gasoline-powered vehicles. 

Around the world, air quality in major cities improved in March and April as carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and ozone formation fell due to stay-at-home orders. Chicago region planners and transportation experts have expressed curiosity about how the recent drop in transportation volumes has affected air quality and emissions in our region. Did the region experience the same drop as other major cities? Learn more about air quality and COVID-19 impact.

 

Impact of the pandemic on municipal revenues

Our nation and the world are experiencing an unprecedented event with the coronavirus pandemic. Illinois’ stay at home order, starting March 21, 2020, caused an immediate reduction in demand by cutting off supply of nonessential goods and services – driving down employment, sales, income, and more.

The region does not yet know what “normal” will look like after the global pandemic. While the current economic situation is not parallel, CMAP looked at the data from the 2007-2009 recession as a comparison, and during this recession overall state revenues dropped 16 percent before they started growing again in 2011.

It is clear that the pandemic will have an immediate impact on state, county, and municipal revenues. This Policy Brief will provide context and considerations as to how municipalities may be impacted by changes in revenue as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, particularly looking at sales tax, the Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF), and property tax.

 

Metropolitan Chicago’s essential workers disproportionately low-income, people of color

Due to Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order 20-10, CMAP looked at the 12 broad occupations classified as essential workers in metropolitan Chicago to identify who these workers are and where they live. CMAP research shows that essential workers from disadvantaged communities – particularly people of color and those who live in low-income communities – are playing critical roles in providing healthcare and keeping the transportation, food supply, and other essentials systems functioning during this crisis. Understanding these trends highlights the need for collaborative efforts to address disparities in economic opportunity.

ON TO 2050, metropolitan Chicago’s comprehensive regional plan, calls for inclusive growth that draws on greater local economic and workforce development, infrastructure investment, and community building in different and diverse parts of the region. Learn more about essential workers in the Chicago metropolitan region.

 

How can federal relief and stimulus funds best help the region?

As the COVID-19 pandemic and associated stay at home order continues to impact our region and nation, federal relief in addition to the CARES ACT funding must play a key role. Federal policymakers are also considering the possibility of providing stimulus funds to combat the economic downturn. As Congress considers providing this assistance, CMAP has worked with a number of its partners to establish five principles that should guide any such relief or stimulus funds.

Because metropolitan regions such as Chicago are both vital to the nation’s economic success and most impacted by the pandemic, resources should be targeted to these areas. The principles focus on general fiscal relief for impacted public entities, noting the importance of flexibility in this time of uncertainty. The principles also discuss the importance of transit, investments that are both strategic and timely, and investments that support resilience and climate mitigation.

 

COVID-19 federal legislation and transportation system impacts

UPDATED 6/11/20

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Congress has enacted four bills: the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, Economic Security Act (CARES Act), and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. Together, these bills focus primarily on responding to the pandemic, providing immediate relief to those impacted by mandatory and voluntary closures. The latest version of CMAP staff’s interpretation of the legislation’s programs is available, and is meant to be used by local governments for informational purposes.

What we have learned
Since the start of the COVID response and stay at home order, transit and transportation use has significantly changed. While there is a lot of speculation about what is occurring, we would like to share with you what we have learned so far. This includes data and analysis of movement on our roadways, safety, transit ridership, and freight rail movements. 

Transportation funding impacts
Vehicle travel in 2020 will experience unprecedented declines due to both the statewide order to limit travel and the pandemic’s resulting economic impacts.

Staff looked at two different scenarios for motor fuel tax revenues for 2020, and how they could change previous forecasts. CMAP staff will continue to monitor these trends and review and share data as it becomes available.

What is still unknown
The COVID-19 pandemic presents unprecedented challenges to our nation and world. CMAP understands that the true impact of this situation is beyond the information we have today. As data becomes available, CMAP will continue to provide analysis and reflection. In coming weeks, staff will look at municipal revenue impacts, environmental impacts, stimulus principles to strategically guide our region, and the continued roll out of state and federal relief programs. 

Transformation through intentional change

The global COVID-19 pandemic is shining a light on the strength of the people in our region – from essential workers to first responders to those of us who are staying at home to do our part. However, it is also exposing underlying problems in our region in ways we haven’t seen before.

For example, it’s not a coincidence that minorities, often the essential workers, make up 70% of COVID-19 deaths in Chicago. The region’s long-range plan, ON TO 2050, identified economically disconnected areas, communities left behind and lacking investment, as being directly tied to lower health outcomes. Without intentional investment and reinvestment strategies these areas will continue to be left behind.

As we start to prepare for a new normal, this provides an opportunity for us to intentionally shape our region’s future, rather than let it shape us. If we are truly #inthistogether we must capitalize on this opportunity to double down on the goals we have set as a region: inclusive growth, resiliency, and prioritized investment.

Our local leaders have stood strong through this unfolding crisis. However, transportation, housing, public health, climate, water, and our economic future stretches beyond municipal boundaries. As a regional convener, CMAP will continue to support local governments to meet our region’s most pressing needs.

This is our once in a lifetime opportunity to come back stronger. As I look to what the future could hold, I am reminded of our region’s history. Renowned urban designer Daniel Burnham’s 1909 Plan of Chicago provided much of the structure we have come to know and love – from the free and open lakefront, to the boulevards and forest preserves. Now is the time to hone our planning skills, to redefine a 21st century transportation system, protect our natural resources and climate, and grow our economy for the next century.

After all, addressing the region’s biggest challenges is what the ON TO 2050 plan was built on.

Erin Aleman signature

Erin Aleman, CMAP executive director

We start today by providing you information on the federal legislation recently passed, data on the impacts to our transportation system, and its effects on anticipated revenues. We will be bringing you more information and analysis to help shape decision making in the weeks to come.

To Top

COVID-19 Resources

CMAP has compiled a list of resources to aid our partners in this uncertain time. 


 

COVID-19 Response

Region’s strong freight network remains critical during pandemic

As toilet paper and sanitizers flew off store shelves at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, northeastern Illinois’ status as the preeminent freight hub in North America played a critical role in maintaining the flow of goods to different parts of the region and country. Despite COVID-19 slowing most of the nation’s economic activity, the pandemic has reiterated the importance the region plays to the national supply chain.

Freight activity, however, can lead to road-related and air quality issues. At CMAP, we’ve been making strides to mitigate many of those issues, working with different stakeholders on a variety of improvements designed to benefit businesses and residents, and reduce emissions. Read more on our website.

 

COVID-19 shows need for more adaptable public spaces and streets

From empty highways to quiet train stations, all transportation modes in the Chicago metropolitan region have seen huge declines because of COVID-19. As travel patterns shift in response to the coronavirus, community leaders have an opportunity to promote safe, active mobility as an alternative to single-occupancy vehicles.

CMAP offers numerous resources that can encourage more people to walk and ride bikes, and help communities rethink public spaces that are accessible for everyone, regardless of age, ability, or transportation mode. Read more on our website.

 

Construction season in full swing as pandemic keeps more cars at home

Since road construction was deemed an essential activity, many of CMAP’s partners have said they’ve been able to keep construction on schedule without having to stop, suspend, or accelerate projects. With fewer people and cars on streets, road construction season in northeastern Illinois this year has been like none other in the recent past. Read more.

Recovery must include investment in our region’s exporting industries as well as local businesses

As northern Illinois begins to reopen and recover from the coronavirus pandemic, we must not lose sight of the region’s longstanding economic challenges. Our past economic drivers have been declining without being replaced by new sources of growth. Our traded industry clusters — groups of firms that together produce products and services for markets beyond our region — had already not been faring well.

The economic crisis demands a swift and multifaceted policy response. Strengthening our regional economy will take a balanced approach that invests in jobs at local businesses and industries that export beyond our borders. Local and regional leaders must engage in coordinated economic development planning, develop strategies to bolster our traded clusters, and enhance equitable access to high quality employment. Read more.

 

COVID-19 underscores how your zip code can impact your health

COVID-19 has emphasized the need to support positive health outcomes for the most vulnerable communities in northeastern Illinois. An ON TO 2050 strategy paper, Health Equity, provides guidance on how reinvestment in these areas can advance the well-being of all residents, leading to more livable communities with the equitable resources and opportunities to support public health.

In marginalized communities, a number of factors can lead to increased health risks. As one example, sidewalks that are narrow or disjointed can make social distancing more challenging and discourage residents from being active while sheltering in place. Climate change will also make these neighborhoods more at risk for flooding and cause subsequent damage to sidewalks, streets, and other infrastructure. Stress and health problems like asthma that develop from these conditions could make people more susceptible to complications from COVID-19.

To address current health inequities, strategies will need to focus on expanding access to transportation services, providing more affordable housing, and reforming state and local tax policies to increase revenue. Our recommendations can lead to stronger, longer periods of economic growth for the entire region. Read the strategy paper.

 

Coronavirus amplifying climate change impacts on vulnerable communities

Early research shows that COVID-19 is causing the greatest harm to our most vulnerable and disadvantaged communities. At the same time, climate change in northeastern Illinois results in more frequent and severe storms, extreme heat, and prolonged drought. Just this week, flooding has led to street closures, power loss, property damage, and contamination. Chicago has already received 8.3 inches of rainfall this month, breaking last year’s record rainfall for May.

While the region grapples with the inequities made more visible by the pandemic, we must also consider how COVID-19 is further exacerbating the impacts of climate change on these communities. Read more.

 

We work and move as one region

Our region’s economy is interconnected, with individual communities part of a larger economic ecosystem. Prior to the stay-at-home orders, most workers in the Chicago region (56 percent) commuted across county boundaries every day, knitting our communities together into a metropolitan economy.

As state and local governments determine how to safely reopen workplaces through the Restore Illinois plan, data can provide context on where our residents live and work in order to make safe, informed decisions. Read more.

 

The region can't afford to postpone investment in our water systems

Throughout this pandemic, the region’s drinking water and wastewater utilities have continued to provide essential services even as their staffing is reduced to maintain social distancing. Despite an ability to rise to the immediate challenge, utilities face an array of issues, some of which are just beginning to emerge.

The public health crisis makes upgrading infrastructure and replacing drinking water and wastewater utilities all the more urgent, even as many utilities are pausing non-essential maintenance work or on extensive capital projects. Read more on our website.

 

Regional impacts of COVID-19 webinar

Watch a recording of our recent webinar, which covered the regional impact of COVID-19 on municipal revenue, transportation, and climate.

 

Are you prepared to respond to a flood or severe storms with social distancing?

While the world is focused on addressing the impacts of the pandemic, communities in our region still face serious risk from floods and severe storms. Investing the time to reassess emergency response plans and how your community will respond during social distancing will help your community be better prepared in the event of a flood or severe storm this season. Read more.

CMAP estimates show improved regional air quality due to recent transportation shifts

The COVID-19 pandemic has radically altered our lives. However, some of the recent changes may help to mitigate causes of climate change: fewer miles being driven by cars and trucks, less time spent idling on congested roads, and reduced pollution emitted by diesel- and gasoline-powered vehicles. 

Around the world, air quality in major cities improved in March and April as carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and ozone formation fell due to stay-at-home orders. Chicago region planners and transportation experts have expressed curiosity about how the recent drop in transportation volumes has affected air quality and emissions in our region. Did the region experience the same drop as other major cities? Learn more about air quality and COVID-19 impact.

 

Impact of the pandemic on municipal revenues

Our nation and the world are experiencing an unprecedented event with the coronavirus pandemic. Illinois’ stay at home order, starting March 21, 2020, caused an immediate reduction in demand by cutting off supply of nonessential goods and services – driving down employment, sales, income, and more.

The region does not yet know what “normal” will look like after the global pandemic. While the current economic situation is not parallel, CMAP looked at the data from the 2007-2009 recession as a comparison, and during this recession overall state revenues dropped 16 percent before they started growing again in 2011.

It is clear that the pandemic will have an immediate impact on state, county, and municipal revenues. This Policy Brief will provide context and considerations as to how municipalities may be impacted by changes in revenue as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, particularly looking at sales tax, the Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF), and property tax.

 

Metropolitan Chicago’s essential workers disproportionately low-income, people of color

Due to Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order 20-10, CMAP looked at the 12 broad occupations classified as essential workers in metropolitan Chicago to identify who these workers are and where they live. CMAP research shows that essential workers from disadvantaged communities – particularly people of color and those who live in low-income communities – are playing critical roles in providing healthcare and keeping the transportation, food supply, and other essentials systems functioning during this crisis. Understanding these trends highlights the need for collaborative efforts to address disparities in economic opportunity.

ON TO 2050, metropolitan Chicago’s comprehensive regional plan, calls for inclusive growth that draws on greater local economic and workforce development, infrastructure investment, and community building in different and diverse parts of the region. Learn more about essential workers in the Chicago metropolitan region.

 

How can federal relief and stimulus funds best help the region?

As the COVID-19 pandemic and associated stay at home order continues to impact our region and nation, federal relief in addition to the CARES ACT funding must play a key role. Federal policymakers are also considering the possibility of providing stimulus funds to combat the economic downturn. As Congress considers providing this assistance, CMAP has worked with a number of its partners to establish five principles that should guide any such relief or stimulus funds.

Because metropolitan regions such as Chicago are both vital to the nation’s economic success and most impacted by the pandemic, resources should be targeted to these areas. The principles focus on general fiscal relief for impacted public entities, noting the importance of flexibility in this time of uncertainty. The principles also discuss the importance of transit, investments that are both strategic and timely, and investments that support resilience and climate mitigation.

 

COVID-19 federal legislation and transportation system impacts

UPDATED 6/11/20

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Congress has enacted four bills: the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, Economic Security Act (CARES Act), and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. Together, these bills focus primarily on responding to the pandemic, providing immediate relief to those impacted by mandatory and voluntary closures. The latest version of CMAP staff’s interpretation of the legislation’s programs is available, and is meant to be used by local governments for informational purposes.

What we have learned
Since the start of the COVID response and stay at home order, transit and transportation use has significantly changed. While there is a lot of speculation about what is occurring, we would like to share with you what we have learned so far. This includes data and analysis of movement on our roadways, safety, transit ridership, and freight rail movements. 

Transportation funding impacts
Vehicle travel in 2020 will experience unprecedented declines due to both the statewide order to limit travel and the pandemic’s resulting economic impacts.

Staff looked at two different scenarios for motor fuel tax revenues for 2020, and how they could change previous forecasts. CMAP staff will continue to monitor these trends and review and share data as it becomes available.

What is still unknown
The COVID-19 pandemic presents unprecedented challenges to our nation and world. CMAP understands that the true impact of this situation is beyond the information we have today. As data becomes available, CMAP will continue to provide analysis and reflection. In coming weeks, staff will look at municipal revenue impacts, environmental impacts, stimulus principles to strategically guide our region, and the continued roll out of state and federal relief programs. 

Transformation through intentional change

The global COVID-19 pandemic is shining a light on the strength of the people in our region – from essential workers to first responders to those of us who are staying at home to do our part. However, it is also exposing underlying problems in our region in ways we haven’t seen before.

For example, it’s not a coincidence that minorities, often the essential workers, make up 70% of COVID-19 deaths in Chicago. The region’s long-range plan, ON TO 2050, identified economically disconnected areas, communities left behind and lacking investment, as being directly tied to lower health outcomes. Without intentional investment and reinvestment strategies these areas will continue to be left behind.

As we start to prepare for a new normal, this provides an opportunity for us to intentionally shape our region’s future, rather than let it shape us. If we are truly #inthistogether we must capitalize on this opportunity to double down on the goals we have set as a region: inclusive growth, resiliency, and prioritized investment.

Our local leaders have stood strong through this unfolding crisis. However, transportation, housing, public health, climate, water, and our economic future stretches beyond municipal boundaries. As a regional convener, CMAP will continue to support local governments to meet our region’s most pressing needs.

This is our once in a lifetime opportunity to come back stronger. As I look to what the future could hold, I am reminded of our region’s history. Renowned urban designer Daniel Burnham’s 1909 Plan of Chicago provided much of the structure we have come to know and love – from the free and open lakefront, to the boulevards and forest preserves. Now is the time to hone our planning skills, to redefine a 21st century transportation system, protect our natural resources and climate, and grow our economy for the next century.

After all, addressing the region’s biggest challenges is what the ON TO 2050 plan was built on.

Erin Aleman signature

Erin Aleman, CMAP executive director

We start today by providing you information on the federal legislation recently passed, data on the impacts to our transportation system, and its effects on anticipated revenues. We will be bringing you more information and analysis to help shape decision making in the weeks to come.

To Top