Chicago Department of Public Health Weekly Media Brief

March 8, 2023

CDPH Media

For Immediate Release
March 8, 2023
Chicago Department of Public Health 
Weekly Media Brief 

Stay safe on St. Patrick's Day

Things that should be green on St. Patricks Day - the River, your beer, your hair, NOT YOU. The parade and other festivities kick off this weekend but keep in mind that COVID is still with us and other viruses are circulating. Here are a few things you can do to keep yourself healthy this St. Patrick's Day:

  • Stay home if you're sick
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Carry a mask in case you find yourself in a crowd...or next to a coughing leprechaun
  • Stay hydrated (with water, not beer!)

Watch Dr. Arwady Live (skip to 1:08:06) to hear her talk about the circulating stomach virus and what you can do to protect yourself.

Opioid Settlement Program Plans

Did you know that opioid-related overdose fatalities in Chicago are now higher than the number of traffic fatalities and homicides combined? CDPH and the City of Chicago are launching new initiatives to combat the opioid epidemic using $78 million from settlements with pharmaceutical companies. 

Change in Rock Crushing Rules

CDPH announced new rules this week for rock-crushing facilities designed to reduce dust and improve air quality in communities surrounding these facilities, implement continuous monitoring, and enhance CDPH oversight through greater reporting and record-keeping requirements. Rock-crushers take concrete, bricks, rock, stone and paving asphalt and process them into smaller, more manageable pieces that can then be used as fill material at construction sites and in road projects.

Visit to learn more.

Ask Dr. Arwady: Facebook Live Recap


On Tuesday, Executive Director of West Side United (WSU), Ayesha Jaco, and Executive Director of Garfield Park Rite to Wellness Collaborative (GPRWC), Theodore Crawford, joined Dr. Arwady’s weekly Facebook Live show where they spoke about community-driven approaches to address root causes of health inequities and improve the life expectancy for Chicagoans living on the West Side.

Jaco talks about West Side United’s evolving work from the beginning days of COVID when they were asked to join the Racial Equity Rapid Response Team to today, where WSU is the west region’s lead organization for the Healthy Chicago Equity Zones.  

Crawford discusses the organization’s mission to cultivate Black Culture Wellness and how this drives the work of GPRWC’s five focus areas including but not limited to neighborhood activation and working with the Community Safety Coordination Center.  

You can view all previous recordings and presentations of Ask Dr. Arwady on our website.  

Dr. Arwady will be back next Tuesday, March 14 at 11am on Facebook and Twitter to answer your questions on COVID and other items related to public health.

COVID-19 Update

Cook County and Chicago remain in the Low COVID-19 Community Level based on metrics from the CDC. 

CDPH updates COVID-19 data on its dashboard every Wednesday at 5:30pm if you want to follow along.

The CDC’s COVID-19 Community Levels are updated every Thursday after 5pm CT.

The omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 now makes up the majority of cases in our region and the nation. You can track variants on CDPH’s website.

Quick Hits!

Happy International Women's Day! Visit the CDC site for information and resources on women's health and CDPH's


Connect to social services: Dial 2-1-1 or visit

Find mental health resources: Visit UnSpoken Chicago to learn more and find mental health providers in all Chicago neighborhoods.