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Chicago has a dozen committees to respond to coronavirus

The Lightfoot administration has activated Chicago’s emergency operations center inside the 911 center.

Chicago City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St.
The Lightfoot administration has established several committees to address city operations amid coronavirus concerns.
Sun-Times file

Chicago Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady has served as the public face of the city’s coronavirus response.

But she is not alone. Far from it.

In fact, the Lightfoot administration has activated Chicago’s emergency operations center inside the 911 center and established several committees to address what it calls “essential areas of operations.”

The committees are meeting regularly to plan in the event “the situation escalates to the point where we have a number of cases … and a prolonged response” is required, City Hall sources said. Each is run by senior management in city departments.

The “organizing task force” — the equivalent of a board of directors — is led by Lightfoot and includes Arwady and Rich Guidice, executive director of the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications.

Here are the other committees and their point people:

CONTINUITY OF GOVERNMENT — Mayor’s office of operations, Paul Stewart. Prior to the outbreak, Stewart had been running point on the city rollout of recreational marijuana sales.

CITYWIDE WORKFORCE — Department of Human Resources, First Deputy Commissioner Chris Owen.

COMMAND AND CONTROL — OEMC and Chicago Fire Department, OEMC Deputy Director Tom Sivak and Fire Commissioner Richard Ford II.

PUBLIC SAFETY — Eric Carter, Chicago Police Department’s chief of counterterrorism.

MESSAGING AND MEDIA — Mayor’s press office, OEMC, Health Department, Communications director Michael Crowley; OEMC spokesperson Melissa Stratton; Health Department spokesman Andy Buchanan.

PROCUREMENT — Chief Procurement Officer Shannon Andrews.

FINANCE — Office of Budget and Management, Budget Director Susie Park.

INTELLIGENCE AND PLANNING — Health and OEMC; Griffin Byer, OEMC; Emily Zaran, Health Department senior emergency management coordinator.

SPECIAL EVENTS AND HOSPITALITY — Cultural Affairs and Special Events Commissioner Mark Kelly.

HOUSING AND WRAP-AROUND SERVICES — Department of Housing, Managing Deputy Commissioner Anthony Simpkins.

EDUCATION, PARKS AND LIBRARIES — Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson.

PUBLIC/PRIVATE TASK FORCE — Steve Caluris, Chicago First.

The Lightfoot administration said it is too soon to talk about the potential for a financial crisis triggered by lost tourism revenues and increased costs.

“The city is tracking all costs associated with the COVID-19 response and will be working with our public and private partners to understand and assess the financial impacts,” the mayor’s office said in a statement.

“We have a diverse stream of revenues to protect against downside economic risks and include various financial scenarios in our budget forecast that account for events like this.”