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:
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. Register here.
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. Interested persons can register here.
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:
- 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].
- 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:
- For those who sew: www.joann.com/make-to-give-response
- For those who don’t sew, view this link from the CDC that includes instructions on making a no-sew 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.