Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Erikson updates vaccine mandate

To be consistent with the executive order issued by the State of Illinois, Erikson is moving up the deadline for our vaccine mandate for all students and employees (including contracted employees) to return to on-campus activities. The new policy requires employees and students coming to Erikson or resuming on-campus activities of any nature to have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by September 19, and to be fully vaccinated by October 19. Online students who are not visiting Erikson’s campus and employees with an approved fully remote work schedule will not be required to comply. Any online student visiting campus must have proof of vaccination. Medical and religious exemptions will be allowed. All current safety protocols, including mask-wearing, remain in place.

2021 Updates

8/3/21 Erikson Update

In response to recent trends in COVID-19 cases, Erikson is returning to a previous safety protocol: effective immediately, all persons on the Erikson campus must wear a mask in public areas (lobby, elevators, hallways, bathrooms, kitchens, classrooms, and any other common areas).

6/23/21 Erikson Update

Beginning the week of August 9, the lobby will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Security and housekeeping will be provided during this timeframe. Coverage will expand as necessary to meet the needs of classes and other activities. Other issues such as masking and classroom capacity are still being determined, and decisions will be announced in future communications.

5/19/21 Erikson Update

As Chicago and Illinois near the final phase of a full reopening, Erikson has made the decision to resume in-person courses for on-campus programs this Fall while continuing to offer students flexibility where possible on a course-by-course basis if a remote option is available.

Our first (and hopefully only) virtual commencement was a resounding success. You can view a recording of the event at this link. Congratulations to the Classes of 2020 and 2021!

4/20/21 Erikson Update

The City of Chicago moved to Phase 2 of COVID-19 vaccine eligibility on April 19, meaning all Chicagoans age 16 or older are eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19. To date, more than 1 million Chicago residents have received at least one dose of vaccine—nearly half of the City’s adult population. Read more form the City of Chicago about the move to Phase 2 here.

3/24/21 Erikson Update

As the vaccine rollout expands in Illinois, Phase 1C is about to launch. This phase includes Chicagoans age 16-64 with underlying medical conditions and all essential workers.

We are excited to announce that Erikson has launched a new Online Master of Social Work program. Learn more about this brand-new program, which will begin this Fall. Our Online MSW program is starting with one concentration, Children, Adolescents, and Adults, and will feature all the same content as our on-campus program.

At this point, we are just about six weeks away from our very first virtual Commencement ceremony. The event is scheduled to stream live from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, May 10, so please save the date. The ceremony will feature traditional elements as well as some innovations to personalize the experience for our combined group of 2020 and 2021 grads.

2/24/21 Erikson Update

While we are making progress across the nation with access to COVID-19 vaccines, the pandemic remains a serious public health threat. All Erikson courses will be held remote for the Summer. Similar to Fall 2019, students and faculty who prefer to meet in-person will have the option to do so in accordance with the city and state Phase 4 guidance, which includes limited capacity, required masks, and social distancing. Faculty will coordinate with students to determine the best structure for the group on a course-by-course basis, and all students will have the option to stay remote.

2/2/21 Erikson Update

We are still following the rollout of COVID vaccinations closely and remain hopeful the number of cases, hospitalizations, and especially death rates continue to decline in Illinois. The health and safety of students, staff, and clients remains our top priority. We plan to announce a decision by March 1, 2021 about whether options for in-person learning for the Summer term will be available.

1/13/21 Erikson Update

Given current city and state COVID-restrictions, access to Erikson’s building remains limited. However, the lobby will be staffed on Tuesdays from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Erikson also will be closed on Monday, January 18 in observance of Martin Luther King Day.

2020 Updates

12/30/20 Erikson Update

Spring term begins the week of January 4 and our building operations remain limited. CCF diagnostic services have been switched to remote services where possible during the holidays. Information about resuming in-person CCF diagnostic services will be available after January 1.

We hope you will enjoy the holiday weekend—as a reminder, Erikson will be closed December 31 and Friday, January 1.  We wish everyone a peaceful start to 2021. Please stay safe and remember that Erikson is here for you.

12/2/20 Erikson Update

Because Chicago remains under a stay-at-home advisory to fight the rise in virus cases, Erikson is adjusting our building operations and has suspended in-person classes that were scheduled for the rest of Fall term. Please note the following changes:

  • Our building is only open on Tuesdays, between 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., for CCF diagnostic services which are considered an essential healthcare service.
  • Information about building hours during the Spring term will be available after January 1.

Read more about current COVID-19 regulations in Chicago.

11/18/20 Erikson Update

Unfortunately, the pandemic has significantly worsened over the past two weeks across the U.S. and in Illinois, where we are nearing 600,000 positive cases, and more than 11,000 deaths from COVID-19. Yesterday, Governor Pritzker announced that the entire state of Illinois will move into Tier 3 mitigation on Friday, which aims to limit gatherings and encourage residents to stay home. The new restrictions close casinos, theaters, banquet halls, event spaces and cultural institutions, prohibit indoor fitness classes and group sporting activities, and call on all workplaces to have as many employees work from home as possible.

We urge everyone to exercise even more caution and self-protection with the holiday season approaching, as celebrations will look very different for many of us this year. Erikson will be closed on Thursday the 26th and Friday the 27th for the holiday.

11/12/20 Erikson Update

From the Coronavirus Response Center of Chicago:

Stay at Home Advisory
Beginning on Monday, November 16, 2020, the Mayor of the City of Chicago, Lori E. Lightfoot, as well as the Commissioner of Health for the City of Chicago, Dr. Allison Arwady, advise all residents of Chicago to stay at home in response to the rapid rise of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the city. Residents are advised to only leave home to go to work or school, or for essential needs such as seeking medical care, going to the grocery store or pharmacy, picking up food, or receiving deliveries.

Additionally, residents are strongly advised to:

  • Not have guests in their homes unless they are essential workers (e.g., home healthcare providers or childcare workers)
  • Cancel traditional Thanksgiving celebrations
  • Avoid travel

This advisory shall remain in place for 30 days or until such time as the Commissioner of Health determines a change to the guidance is appropriate.

11/4/20 Erikson Update

Chicago and much of Illinois is under heightened COVID-19 restrictions due to spikes in new cases this week. As a reminder, here are some of the current restrictions in Chicago:

  • No indoor dining or service at bars or restaurants. Outdoor dining/drinking is still allowed, including tables within eight feet of a wall that is at least 50% open.
  • Non-essential businesses must be closed to the public between the hours of 11:00 PM and 6:00 AM.
  • Impact on liquor sales: Bars, restaurants and other establishments with a Tavern or Consumption on Premises-Incidental Activity license can sell alcohol on-site or to-go until 11:00 PM. Liquor stores, grocery stores and other establishments with a Package Goods license must still cease alcohol sales at 9:00 pm.
  • Restaurants may continue to sell food via delivery, takeout, or curbside pickup at all hours.
  • Meetings, social events, and gatherings limited to 25 guests or 25% capacity, whichever is fewer (both indoors and outdoors). This capacity limit applies to events (e.g., banquet halls, weddings, birthday parties, business dinners/social events, funerals). The capacity limit does not supersede industries that have specified capacity guidelines in place (i.e., fitness clubs, retail stores, personal services, movie theaters, places of worship). These establishments can still operate at Phase IV capacity (generally, 40%/ 50 individuals max., whichever is fewer).
  • Per the City’s Public Health Order 2020-9, indoor gatherings within private residences still cannot exceed six non-household members.
  • Face coverings are mandated in all indoor and outdoor public settings.

Stay up to date with Chicago Reopening plans and restrictions at Chicago’s Coronavirus Response Center.

10/28/20 Erikson Update

COVID-19 continues to dominate the news, with alarmingly high numbers of new cases each day and overwhelmed hospitals in some parts. Yesterday, Governor J.B. Pritzker announced new restrictions for the city of Chicago that go into effect on Friday, including an indoor dining and bar service ban, and a limit of 25 people for gatherings. Suburban Cook County is also seeing renewed restrictions for public areas including restaurants, retail establishments and other settings.

Next Tuesday is Election Day. We hope all of our Erikson community members are registered to vote. For ready reference, please note this important voting information:


Vote Early at the Loop Super Site now through Tuesday, Nov. 3
Vote Early at Early Voting Sites from Wednesday, Oct. 14 through Tuesday, Nov. 3
Vote on Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 3

10/7/20 Erikson Update

Erikson Institute has decided to continue offering classes remotely for the Spring 2021 term. This decision was made after careful consideration of the evolving situation with COVID-19. As always, the top priority in our decision-making continues to be the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and their family members.

9/23/20 Erikson Update

Today, we are thinking about the more than 200,000 people in the United States who have tragically lost their lives to COVID-19 and their families. With more deaths than any nation in the world, we must continue to be vigilant in following public health and safety guidelines.

Getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever
during 2020-2021 to protect yourself and the people around you from the flu, and to help reduce the strain on healthcare systems responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every season with rare exceptions. Vaccination is particularly important for People at High Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications. For more information, please visit this CDC webpage.

We are also proud to share that the National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement (NAFSCE) will partner with Erikson’s Early Math Collaborative to create and lead a national center on family math. The project is an initiative of families, researchers, practitioners, advocates, and philanthropy intended to close opportunity and achievement gaps. Learn more here.

9/9/20 Erikson Update

Flu season is coming and the confirmed COVID-19 cases have exceeded 250,000 in Illinois. The medical community is raising heightened concerns about the convergence of COVID-19 and flu cases in the coming months. Since we will not be able to provide the Erikson on-site flu vaccines this year, please consider getting a flu shot. Health experts are suggesting that this year may be as important as ever to ensure that we do not overwhelm the nation’s health infrastructure at one time.

Chicago Public Schools started remote-learning mode yesterday, and many other districts and private schools started in the last few weeks in-person and online. Our thoughts are with all the children, parents and teachers who are navigating all of the changes and trying to balance so much in these incredibly stressful times. We are here to support you.

9/2/20 Erikson Update

As the Erikson community enters our seventh month of remote operation, Illinois has reached over 236,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and has trends of high positivity rates in some areas of the state. The Cook County Department of Public Health launched #MaskUp Cook County Campaign, a new public service campaign targeting 20-29 year olds, in an effort to slow down the spread of the virus.

We anticipate a limited number of courses—less than five—to be held on campus this Fall with no more than 10 people in each class. The courses will be spaced out over days and times to ensure we are following recommended health and safety protocols.

Our Center for Children and Families is seeking to serve more clients in need of neurodevelopmental assessments. If you or a parent you know is concerned about their child’s cognitive or social/emotional development, we encourage you to call CCF at: 312-709-0508 for English and 312-934-6446 for Spanish.

8/26/20 Erikson Update

We continue to see the COVID-19 numbers increasing in Illinois. Yesterday, Governor Pritzker announced a statewide policy requiring restaurant and bar patrons to wear masks any time they interact with wait staff and other employees. Read more here. Will and Kankakee counties have joined the East Metro area with increased restrictions due to high case positivity rates. COVID-19 cases overall in Illinois currently exceed 223,000, with almost 8,000 deaths to date.

Erikson remains committed to keeping the health and safety of our staff, students, and their families at the core of all decisions. With our Fall term underway, we will soon issue a set of safety protocols specifically for students who may have reason to come to campus.

8/19/20 Erikson Update

Illinois now has nearly 210,000 cases of COVID-19. Mayor Lightfoot removed Wisconsin and Nebraska from the city’s Emergency Travel Order, but put Iowa and Kansas back on. The Illinois Department of Public Health has now released its own advisory “hot spot” map to assist residents in planning their travel.

With one week until virtual orientations start for our Fall class, Erikson remains committed to keeping the health and safety of our staff, students and their families at the core of all decisions.

8/12/20 Erikson Update

It has been another challenging week, and it’s only Wednesday. COVID-19 cases have reached a global milestone of more than 20 million, with 5 million reported in the United States. Illinois has nearly 200,000 confirmed cases, and yesterday a panel of state lawmakers upheld Governor Pritzker’s emergency order penalizing businesses that do not enforce mandatory mask requirements. On a positive note, Chicago removed three states (Iowa, Kansas and Utah) from its Emergency Travel Order.

Erikson remains committed to keeping the health and safety of our staff, students and their families at the core of all decisions. Erikson’s remote working guidance will continue for the foreseeable future. As we head into the Fall term, please watch for updates to our current safety protocols (especially for Fall term building hours of operation) for anyone entering Erikson’s building at 451 N. LaSalle.

Temporary Food Assistance Benefit for Kids
There is a new temporary Pandemic SNAP benefit available for children who are enrolled in public schools and eligible for the National School Lunch program. The purpose of the benefit is to provide food assistance to children who would typically receive a meal at school, but will not have access during remote learning. You can learn more here.

8/5/20 Erikson Update

Illinois reports more than 184,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 today, and Gov. Pritzker launched a public service campaign about the importance of wearing masks with a focus on regions experiencing the highest increases in new cases and other metrics. Mayor Lightfoot announced today that Chicago Public Schools will begin the year remote, with in-person learning tabled until at least November. Chicago’s Emergency Travel Order remains in effect, reminding us that as a nation, we are far from beating the pandemic.

Erikson recognizes the challenges of the pandemic are dragging on and becoming increasingly stressful for families with children as the academic year gets closer.  We remain committed to keeping the health and safety of our staff, students, and their families at the core of all decisions.

We are in process of updating protocols and information about building operations and changes that we will implement for the start of the Fall term to accommodate a limited number of courses and student activities on-campus.

We’ve come a long way in the last six months, and we will continue to move forward, together.

7/22/20 Erikson Update

Yesterday during a press conference, Illinois health officials announced 955 new cases of COVID-19 and 23 additional fatalities, bringing the total number of positive cases in our state to 163,703 and the statewide death toll to 7,324 since the start of the pandemic. Mayor Lightfoot also shared updates to the city’s Emergency Travel Order, which requires people coming to Chicago from 15 states to quarantine for two weeks.

As COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the country, Mayor Lightfoot and Governor Pritzker have said they will “not hesitate” to take action on tightening restrictions if they see an upward swing in positive cases. Cook County continues to be in Phase 4 of recovery, but if we are moved back to Phase 3, the Executive Team will issue new guidelines concerning Erikson.

7/15/20 Erikson Update

As the U.S. continues to lead the world with more than 3.4 million COVID-19 cases and 136,000 deaths, cases in the south and west have dramatically increased over the last week. Illinois has seen both increases and decreases over the past week in the daily number of cases, many among young adults ages 20-29. Erikson’s Center for Children and Families re-opened at the River North location this week with very limited services. We also have established new guidelines and protocols for anyone entering our building.

Starting Monday, July 20, staff will only be able to enter 451 N. LaSalle Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. when our security guard, Linda Brown, is on duty to manage entry protocols. We will revisit the hours as the needs of staff and students evolve for the Fall semester.

7/8/20 Erikson Update

With nearly 3 million COVID-19 cases confirmed in the United States, the pandemic remains serious as we navigate the early days of the Illinois phase 4 re-opening plan. The number of daily confirmed cases and deaths in Chicago are far lower than prior months, and we will continue to make all decisions based on the health and safety of our staff, students and their families.

Erikson is on track, as planned, to begin offering very limited Center for Children and Families services that require on-site interaction on Monday, July 13. There will be no more than ten people, including staff, families and children, involved with services at any one time. Following is more information about the services that will be available.

  • Early Intervention Medical Diagnostic Evaluations will resume on Tuesdays, starting July 14. The interdisciplinary team will be evaluating two children a day from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., via in-person with social distancing and/or telehealth. The team will remain in the building afterwards to discuss their clinical impressions and produce their reports.
  • Neurodevelopmental Diagnostic Evaluation work will be conducted Monday through Friday, as the diagnostic team does various assessments and appointments at different times.

New Safety Protocols for 451 N. LaSalle
Erikson is implementing the following protocols for anyone coming into the building, beginning Monday, July 13. Everyone entering the building will be required to wear a face mask covering their nose and mouth, and complete a screening questionnaire, temperature check and hand sanitization. We also will ask people to maintain social distancing of at least 6-feet in the hallways and common areas, and no more than two people will be allowed in the elevator at one time.

7/1/20 Erikson Update

Chicago is nearly a week into Phase 4 of reopening, and cases in Illinois are slightly increasing. However, the majority of states across the nation are seeing surges with upwards of 40,000 new cases a day. As we move toward planning for the Fall, the health and safety of Erikson staff, students, and their families remain at the core of all decisions.

Remote Learning Continues for Fall
Given the continued increase of COVID-19 in parts of the United States, and predictions from medical experts that there will be additional resurgence later in 2020, we will continue remote learning for Erikson students this Fall with some new modifications to ensure a strong student experience. Faculty will collaborate with students on a course-by-course basis to determine the best meeting structure for the group. Students and faculty who would prefer to be in-person will have the option to meet on-campus while adhering to the city and state Phase 4 guidance.

6/24/20 Erikson Update

Erikson is halfway through week fifteen of remote operation, and Cook County continues to have more COVID-19 cases—87,000—than any other county in the nation. However, the rate of new cases continues to decrease, and the entire state of Illinois is expected to move to Phase 4 of re-opening this Friday, June 26.

Plans for a gradual return to on-site operations at Erikson are underway, and all decisions will be made based on the health and safety of staff, students, and clients. The Center for Children and Families (CCF) has specific services, including diagnostic assessments, that cannot be conducted remotely. Therefore, our re-opening plans will begin with these services that need to be on-site.

6/17/20 Erikson Update

Erikson is now in week fifteen of remote operation, and Chicago remains a hotspot for COVID-19 with more confirmed cases in Cook County (more than 85,000) than any other county in the nation. The number of new cases reported each day continues to decline, and the city is starting to reopen as we hopefully will move from Phase 3 to Phase 4 in late June.

Erikson continues to work on plans to re-enter the office, and we will begin with essential functions, including some services in the Center for Children and Families (CCF). Here are additional details regarding re-opening plans:

  • Some CCF staff will be working on-site starting the week of July 13.
  • We will re-enter in phases and with flexibility, and we continue to consider the health and safety, as well as family concerns, of our employees in all decisions.
  • We will announce a plan for fall classes by July 1.

We realize the uncertainty and stress this situation is causing everyone, especially parents managing the care and education of their children on top of work responsibilities. The Executive Team is moving as quickly as possible, guided by public health recommendations from the city and state. A new dashboard from the City of Chicago’s Department of Health, “COVID-19 Daily Summary by Race-Ethnicity, Age, & Gender” is a good way to keep up with metrics on a daily basis.

Additional updates:

Erikson will observe Juneteenth this Friday, and all staff are encouraged to take paid time off. You can learn more about Juneteenth and Erikson’s decision here.

The TEC Center’s new report, “Media Literacy in Early Childhood” is now available on the TEC website. The report, authored by Dr. Alexis Lauricella and Jenna Herdzina, MA, provides a framework to understand and support media literacy education for young children. The report was informed by national leadership and practitioner forums held at Erikson in 2019. The project and report were conducted in partnership with the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE), the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), and the Association of Children’s Museums, through a grant provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

6/3/20 Erikson Update

Today, we continue to grieve as the nation experiences widespread unrest, violence and destruction while so many people, including Erikson staff and students, stand united in supporting communities of color in equality and justice.

Early this week, Erikson’s President and CEO, Geoff Nagle, released a statement to staff, students, alumni, and the public. Releasing a statement is just the first step in developing a broader action plan and defining what role Erikson must play to provide stronger support for equality for all people in our city and across the nation. We have started a dialogue at Erikson and we’re committed to creating an action plan for Erikson to do more to confront structural inequities facing communities of color.

The COVID-19 statistics this week show Cook County still leads the nation with more than 78,000 virus cases, and we remain 3rd out of all U.S. counties in number of deaths (3,658). Though Chicago will now join “Phase 3” of Gov. Pritzker’s plan to reopen Illinois, those statistics continue to affirm our caution in planning a return of operations to Erikson. As previously mentioned, we will start by only bringing essential programs or services that require being in-person, and we will have a phased re-entry plan over time. We also will make an announcement regarding on-campus classes for Fall semester by July 1.

5/27/20 Erikson Update

Erikson is in week 11 of remote operation, and while the state is on track to enter Phase 3 of Gov. Pritzker’s plan to reopen Illinois, we are still waiting to hear when Mayor Lightfoot will similarly move Chicago to Phase 3. However, as Cook County still leads all U.S. counties with more than 74,000 confirmed cases, the Executive Team remains cautious in planning toward the return of our on-campus operations, which will include a phased-in approach prioritizing specific areas like our clinical services. With regard to the Fall semester of classes, we are planning to make an announcement no later than July 1.

5/20/20 Update from Erikson

It’s week 10 of remote operation for the Erikson community, and Chicago remains a COVID-19 hotspot, with Cook County now leading all U.S. counties with more than 66,000 confirmed cases. Though it appears the Chicago area is on track to move to the next phase of Gov. Pritzker’s reopening plan on May 29, we continue to take a cautious approach to our planning for Erikson.

As previously announced, we will make an announcement regarding Fall classes by July 1, and we will communicate as soon as possible about plans for bringing back to campus those areas of our operation which cannot function 100 percent remotely, like some of our clinical services.

5/13/20 Update from Erikson

It’s hard to believe that we are on week nine of remote working, a milestone few of us would have expected when we started work from home in mid-March. Back then, there were fewer than 20,000 COVID-19 cases nationwide, while today there are over 1.38 million cases. Two months ago, Illinois had fewer than 1,000 cases total, and today there are over 56,000 in Cook County alone, which is now #2 in the nation for cases, and #4 in deaths from the virus. The latest projection is that our state will not reach its peak of COVID-19 cases until mid-June.

Against this sobering backdrop, we have several updates for today.

  • Erikson “Re-Entry” — We know the topic of “re-entry” is top of mind for everyone.  We found this graphic from the Chicago Tribune to be very helpful in understanding the criteria needed for an area to move from one phase to the next in Governor Pritzker’s five-phase plan to reopen Illinois. Along with describing the regions and phases, the graphic includes indicators for when businesses, schools, and other organizations can move to in-person operations.
  • On-Campus Courses in the Fall — While the Governor’s re-entry plan suggests it is too early to make a decision regarding Erikson’s on-campus learning for the Fall semester, the Executive Team has set a target for announcing a decision and providing additional guidance no later than July 1.
  • Chicago Tribune Op-Ed — At Erikson, we all understand the importance of fostering good social and emotional health in children, especially during traumatic or uncertain times. To explore this topic and offer guidelines on what parents can do to help their children succeed academically, Erikson’s president and CEO Geoff Nagle wrote an op-ed for the Chicago Tribune. It can be accessed online here.

5/6/20 Update from Erikson

As the numbers of COVID-19 cases continued to rise yesterday, with 1,223,419 in the U.S. and 46,689 in Cook County, Governor Pritzker laid out a five-phase regional plan for reopening Illinois:

  • The plan divides the state into four regions: northeast Illinois, north central Illinois, central Illinois and southern Illinois, each of which could enter different phases of reopening at different times under the plan. Erikson is in the northeast region, which includes Cook, Lake, DuPage, Will, McHenry, Kane, Kendall, Grundy and Kankakee counties.
  • All regions in Illinois are currently in the second phase of the plan, labeled “flattening,” which has relaxed some restrictions that had been in place since March. The earliest a region can move from the second phase to a third “recovery” phase is May 29.
  • In order to move into the third, “recovery” phase of Pritzker’s plan, the state would have to see 20 percent or less of people testing positive for the Coronavirus, and no more than a 10 percent increase in new cases over a 14-day period. Hospital admissions for COVID-19-like illness would have to hold steady or decline for 28 days — and surge capacity of at least 14 percent of ICU beds, ventilators and surgical beds would have to be available.

5/4/20 Update from Erikson

Today, Cook County has climbed to the third highest county for COVID-19 cases in the nation with 43,715 confirmed cases and 1,802 deaths. The United States has 1.17M confirmed cases, nearly a third of the 3.57M cases worldwide. This is a continued reminder that we live in a “hotspot” for the COVID-19 outbreak and need to continue following government orders to stay-at-home as much as possible.

5/1/20 Update from Erikson

Today, the U.S. has 1,094,640 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 38,668 in Cook County. Illinois’ modified stay-at-home order is now in effect. State parks, golf courses, retail stores, and garden centers are some of the few places that are reopening with strict social measures. Also, anyone over the age of two who is medically able to tolerate a face mask must wear one in public areas where they can’t maintain a 6-foot social distance. As a reminder, the Centers for Disease Control has issued detailed guidance on making and wearing masks.

Our updates today center on Erikson’s expertise which remains in demand during this crisis:

  • Our TEC Center continues to reach more people–over 600 people joined the TEC Center yesterday for a webinar entitled, “How Young Children Learn From Screens”. Information from that webinar can be found here. TEC is also hosting two upcoming webinars that are now open for registration:
    • May 7 – How to Select Appropriate Tech Tools for PreK to 3rd Grade Students
    • May 14 – What’s love got to do with it? SEL and Trauma-Responsive Teaching
  • Adjunct professor Angela Nelson-Searcy appeared on Chicago’s WGN Morning News to discuss tips for parents and caregivers who are helping children navigate e-learning. Read Angela’s tips here.

4/29/20 Update from Erikson

The United States has surpassed 1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases (1,034,884). Cook County remains a top hotspot, after New York, with 34,880 cases today. The severity of the crisis in our area guides our daily Executive Team discussions.

4/27/20 Update from Erikson

The United States has 983,848 confirmed COVID-19 cases, and over 55,000 deaths due to the virus. Cook County now has 31,953 reported cases and 1,347 deaths. We will continue to make decisions on our working status based on the directives from the Governor and Mayor, and we thank you for your continued understanding and dedication.

Erikson’s TEC Center is hosting another free webinar this Thursday at 3 p.m. entitled, How Young Children Learn from Screens. Geared toward teachers, this event will explore what we know about how young children learn from and with screen-based devices, and resources for putting this information into practice when teaching young children remotely.

4/24/20 Update from Erikson

The United States has 889,661 confirmed COVID-19 cases, and over 50,000 deaths due to the virus. With 27,616 cases in Cook County, we remain one of the hot spots in the nation. As announced yesterday, Governor Pritzker extended the Illinois stay-at-home order through May 30 with some modifications.

Based on the Governor’s announcement yesterday, Erikson will not return to working “on site” any sooner than June 1. We will continue to make decisions on our working status based on the directives from the Governor and Mayor. Please also know that our decision about when to return to working at Erikson will be cautious and always be predicated on the health of all of our staff and the families we serve.

4/20/2020 Update from Erikson

The United States has 782,159 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 22,101 in Cook County—which remains in the number 7 spot in the ranking of U.S. counties with the most cases.

These figures underscore Governor Pritzker’s response over the weekend to protesters in Springfield that Illinois is “in the middle of an emergency” and public safety must dictate when and how social distancing is lifted. The Governor’s decision on Friday to keep all schools closed for the remainder of the school year signals that he will likely also issue an extended ”stay-at-home” order beyond April 30. We recognize this continues to be a time of unprecedented uncertainty.

Also, check out yet another example of Erikson’s expertise in action during this crisis, seen in two webinars created for emergency childcare providers through a partnership between Erikson Institute’s Policy and Leadership department, Illinois Department of Human Services, and the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development. One webinar focuses on Health Guidance, and the other on Child Development.

4/17/2020 Update from Erikson

Today, the United States has 686,991 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 19,391 in Cook County. While testing is reportedly becoming more accessible across the state, the numbers of cases and deaths are not yet declining.

Governor Pritzker announced today that all in-person learning for private and public schools will be suspended statewide through the end of the current academic year to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Illinois’ statewide stay-at-home order is in effect until the end of this month, and Pritzker has strongly hinted this week that the order will be extended.

Erikson will be extending remote working guidance beyond May 4. We are waiting for additional public health guidance before we set a revised date. We will provide more information next week. As a reminder, Erikson business travel is not permitted during this time.

Governor Pritzker also will waive a student teaching requirement for educator candidates who have finalized all other requirements needed to become licensed. We will provide more information to faculty, staff and students once the specifics are released.

4/15/2020 Update from Erikson

Today, the United States has 632,878 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 17,306 in Cook County. While the number of cases is still increasing, the rate of increase is slowing in Illinois, which indicates that our efforts to “shelter in place” are working. As the COVID-19 crisis enters a new phase, and we continue to keep the Erikson community informed, we are shifting the all-staff COVID-19 daily email updates to a new schedule of Monday-Wednesday-Friday. We will address breaking news impacting Erikson on an as needed basis.

4/14/2020 Update from Erikson

Today, the United States has 589,048 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 16,323 in Cook County—an increase locally of about 1,000 from yesterday. We want to remind everyone of some key supports that Erikson is providing to families and children at this time: Our Center for Children and Families is offering crisis counseling and consultation to support caregivers, first responders, and early childcare providers and teachers. Anyone interested should call the CCF intake line at 312-709-0508 for English and 312-934-6446 for Spanish. Our Fussy Baby Network is offering free services for any parent with a baby up to age 1 including: Warmline telephone support (call 888-431-2229 or email [email protected]), video home visits, parent web groups, and “Caregiver Corner” Zoom sessions.

Our TEC Center is hosting a second free webinar exploring how educators can support Pre-K to 3rd grade students during the COVID-19 outbreak, this Thursday, April 16, from 3-4 p.m. The Center will be highlighting ways teachers use technology to support social emotional learning including self-awareness and self-regulation, storytelling, collaboration, and relationship skills.

4/13/2020 Update from Erikson

Over the weekend, the United States became the world leader in deaths attributed to COVID-19. Today, the United States has 572,587 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 15,474 in Cook County—which ranks #5 for confirmed cases among all counties in the US. With many people wondering how to support the broader community during these unprecedented times, today we are highlighting two volunteer opportunities:

  1. Lakeview Pantry (LVP), the largest food pantry in Chicago, serves hungry people across the city and is seeking more volunteers to help fill food boxes at Wrigley Field, which provides enough space for social distancing. Interested in volunteering? Please email [email protected].
  2. Volunteers interested in supporting research are needed to use the COVID Symptom Tracker app. This app will be used to study the symptoms of COVID-19 and track the spread of the virus.

4/10/2020 Update from Erikson

The United States has 491,358 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 12,472 in Cook County. To date, we still have no confirmed cases of the virus among our staff, faculty or students. While social distancing has been difficult for us all, it’s important we find joy where we can. Please take care and remember, we will get through this together.

4/9/2020 Update from Erikson

Today, the US has 454,304 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 10,520 in Cook County. Continuing to work remotely, the Erikson community is staying connected in a variety of ways. Today, Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Chief Marketing Officer, Maura Daly, held a video “Unity Chat” with Erikson staff to share positive information and elicit creative suggestions from the group for coping during this crisis.

4/8/2020 Update from Erikson

We are halfway through a week where confirmed COVID-19 cases continue to climb nationally (423,135 in the US today) and locally (10,520 in Cook County). Despite these grim statistics, the Erikson community continues to cope. In response to feedback from graduating students, Erikson leadership will work toward the goal of rescheduling Commencement later this year, subject to updated public health guidance for group activities and the reopening of large venues. We also hope to resume normal business and instructional activities on campus prior to the start of the Fall semester, again, depending on federal, state and city public health guidance on social distancing.

4/7/2020 Update from Erikson

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is currently 386,817 in the US and 9,509 in Cook County. The CDC is currently advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. A CDC informational guide on mask usage can be found here.

4/6/2020 Update from Erikson

As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to climb to 356,942 in the US today and 8,728 in Cook County, the Erikson community begins week four of remote operations.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) now recommends wearing cloth face coverings (not surgical or N95 masks which are critically needed in medical settings) in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies). Below are some links that explain how to make a mask:

4/3/2020 Update from Erikson

As we end our third full week of remote work at Erikson, there are now 270,473 cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the United States with 6,473 in Cook County. As the magnitude of this crisis grows clearer, the Erikson community continues to pull together, and reach out with expertise that can help others. Yesterday, hundreds of parents and educators attended the “Supporting Families Virtually” webinar, presented by Erikson’s Technology in Early Childhood (TEC) Center.

4/2/2020 Update from Erikson

There are 236,339 cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the United States with 5,575 in Cook County. In case you are curious, our daily data come from Johns Hopkins’ interactive map which is “real-time” tracking COVID-19 confirmed cases, deaths and recoveries internationally, nationally and at the county level.

4/1/2020 Update from Erikson

Today, COVID-19 cases in the United States reached 190,740, with 4,496 in Cook County. Illinois’ extended stay-at-home order will hopefully “flatten the curve” of new cases, but we know that another 30 days of “shelter in place” will be a challenge for all of us. Thank you for all you are doing, and remember, we will get through this together.

In light of Governor Pritzker’s mandate to stay-at-home through April, and ongoing signals that “social distancing” is going to be recommended for some time, we recommend that all Erikson events and conferences scheduled for May be held remotely or cancelled. We will continue to evaluate the situation and provide guidance on Summer events.

3/31/2020 Update from Erikson

This afternoon, Governor Pritzker extended the stay-at-home order, including school closures, through April 30, bringing Illinois in line with the latest federal guidance in an attempt to stem the spread of the virus. COVID-19 cases continue to rise with 165,874 confirmed in the United States and 3,727 in Cook County. After careful consideration of the health and safety of our faculty, staff and students, we have decided to hold all summer classes remotely starting on May 11, as originally scheduled.

3/30/2020 Update from Erikson

Erikson hopes everyone is staying as well as possible—physically and emotionally—as we navigate these challenging times. COVID-19 cases in the United States continued to skyrocket this weekend with 143,532 confirmed cases nationwide and in Chicago, 3,445. We are in the process of analyzing the $2 trillion stimulus package President Trump signed into law on Friday, to identify potential relief for Erikson.

3/27/2020 Update from Erikson

Today, the United States has the largest number of cases in the world. The number of COVID-19 cases in the US has risen to 86,012, with 1,904 in Cook County. At present, there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported within the Erikson community, which is a bright light in midst of this crisis. Erikson continues to support staff and students with employee assistance and other resources.

3/26/2020 Update from Erikson

As Erikson approaches the end of our second full week of remote classes and work, the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States has risen to 69,246, with 1,418 in Cook County. To reinforce social distancing, the city of Chicago has now closed the lakefront with its adjoining parks to the public. In addition, all fieldhouses, all playlots, all school playgrounds, the Chicago Riverwalk, and the 606 Trail are also closed to the public. At present, there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported within the Erikson community, which is a bright light in the midst of this crisis.

Also, a few of Erikson’s experts have been sought out during these uncertain times. Here are two recent stories: a Rockford Star Register article, “Food, shelter, safety: A parent’s coronavirus checklist,” featuring Erikson President and CEO Geoff Nagle, and Chicago Parent’s article, “Boredom is OK! Here are 13 ways to help your kids embrace it,” featuring Senior Instructor Liz Tertell, MEd.

3/24/2020 Update from Erikson

As the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States has risen to 46,805 with 922 in Cook County, we are pleased to report there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported within the Erikson community. We will hold an all-staff call next week, and continue to share information to support people during this crisis, such as this “resource hub” from the New York Times with some great information on financial issues.

3/23/2020 Update from Erikson

As the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States has risen to 41,708, with 805 reported in Cook County, we are pleased to report there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported within the Erikson community. We continue to update policies to support our employees as they work remotely, and we have instituted a weekly conference call between all faculty and students, to provide a forum for discussion and support.

3/20/2020 Update from Erikson

Governor Pritzker just announced an Illinois statewide “stay-at-home” order, effective Saturday at 5 p.m. through April 7, to help curtail the continued spread in COVID-19 cases. All Chicago parks and libraries will be closed. Residents can still go to the grocery stores, put gas in their cars, take walks outside and make pharmacy runs. All local roads, including the interstate highways and tollways, will remain open to traffic, as well.

Additionally, yesterday, Mayor Lightfoot extended the closure of Chicago Public Schools through April 20. There are currently 16,605 cases nationwide with 585 in Illinois. There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Erikson staff or student community.

3/19/2020 Update from Erikson

As you likely have seen on the news, there was a spike of more than 40 percent in COVID-19 cases in the United States yesterday. There are currently 10,755 cases nationwide with 295 in Illinois. There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Erikson staff or student community.

In the City of Chicago today a Public Health Order went into effect requiring all city residents with confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) illness or who are exhibiting symptoms of the illness to stay home. Sick residents will be allowed to seek essential services, including necessary clinical care or evaluation, and life sustaining needs, such as obtaining medicine or food. Read more here.

We are preparing for a likely “shelter in place” mandate across Illinois. The rapid increase in COVID-19 has prompted some Illinois communities, like Oak Park, to move to “shelter in place.” We anticipate similar requirements will be implemented in Chicago and across Illinois in the next day.

3/18/2020 Update from Erikson

With reports of COVID-19 rapidly increasing in Illinois and the nation, here are today’s important updates:

  • We are amending travel restrictions: Erikson employees are not permitted to travel for business, effective at the end of day 3/18/20.
  • Erikson is extending staff remote working guidelines through the end of the semester—May 4. Staff are encouraged to work remotely through May 4.

3/17/2020 Update from Erikson

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to evolve, the Erikson Executive Team meets daily to assess how to keep our community safe while continuing to conduct our work. Today’s updates address academic items and a “soft close” of our offices at 451 N. LaSalle.

  • In response to the most recent CDC guidance for how to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19 infections, we will extend remote classes and students activities through the end of the semester — May 4.
  • We are also planning to extend staff working remotely beyond March 27.
  • We have postponed Commencement, which was set to be held on May 11, until a later date. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak and provide a new date in the coming weeks.
  • Although Erikson is still open and operating, our building at 451 N. Lasalle Street is closed to everyone except staff, effective Wednesday, March 18.

3/16/2020 Update from Erikson

Governor Pritzker announced on March 15 that all bars and restaurants in Illinois will be closed to the public, beginning at close of business today, through March 30. Delivery, drive-through, and curbside pick-up orders are still allowed. Today, the Governor ordered gatherings of more than 50 people be canceled in line with new CDC guidelines of cancelling or postponing events of 50+ people through at least eight weeks from now. There are no domestic travel restrictions at this time, but we will continue to monitor the CDC’s recommendations and expand our policy as needed.

Erikson remains open, with all classes, student activities and library services moved online and most staff working remotely through March 27.

3/13/2020 Update from Erikson

Erikson remains open, with all on-campus classes, student activities and library services remaining remote from March 16 through March 27. We have expanded our travel restrictions to include new countries as announced by the CDC. Please see the Erikson FAQ section below.

Erikson events have been cancelled for the next two weeks, and you can access a list of cancellations and additional information below.

Staff providing direct services for children and families will contact clients to make alternate arrangements as needed. In many cases, phone and video sessions will be utilized. The Fussy Baby Warmline remains open to families.

3/12/2020 Update from Erikson

Erikson remains open for the foreseeable future, in an effort to continue supporting our work, students and clients. All on-campus classes, student activities and library services remain remote from March 16 through March 27. We have expanded our travel restrictions to include cruise ships. Please see the Erikson FAQ section below.

3/11/2020 Update from Erikson

Given the increasing concerns about the spread of COVID-19, and the importance of distancing ourselves from crowds, all Erikson on-campus classes, student activities, and library services will be conducted remotely from March 16 through March 27.

3/10/2020 Update from Erikson

We are continuing to monitor the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and recognize the growing concerns around the world. Protecting the health and wellbeing of our staff, students, clients, and visitors is our top priority. We have formed a taskforce to assess the situation daily and develop our short-and-long term preparedness plan. This page will serve as a central point for information and updates on the situation.

While there is still a fair amount of uncertainty about how the virus will impact our community, our decisions will be guided with the most current and accurate information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) with the safety of our staff, students, clients, and broader Erikson community at the core. We encourage everyone in our community to stay calm and take preventive measures to help reduce the spread of the virus.