April 9, 2020

Mayor Lightfoot Thanks Companies, Organizations and Volunteers for Helping in the Fight Against COVID-19

To Date, Nearly 2 Million Pieces of Personal Protective Equipment Have Been Donated or Pledged and Over 1,700 Volunteers Have Signed Up to Join the Chicago Medical Reserve Corps

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

CHICAGO – Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today thanked businesses, organizations and individuals for stepping up to support the City in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, nearly 2 Million Pieces of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has been donated to the City and over 1,700 Chicagoans have joined the Chicago Medical Reserve Corps.

“I am overwhelmed and inspired every day by the selflessness, sacrifice and grace exhibited by our city throughout this crisis,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “In ways both big and small, residents, leaders, businesses, and other organizations have shown the true mettle of our city and the character of our communities. Their actions have not only supported countless Chicagoans working day and night to fight this disease, but they have also helped lay the foundation for our strong recovery from this crisis. We are truly all in this together, and on behalf of myself and a grateful city, I thank all of them from the bottom of my heart for their support.”

Through the City’s emergency preparedness planning, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) maintains a local stockpile of emergency equipment to supplement regular hospital supply chains, including PPE and ventilators. CDPH is monitoring the availability of PPE at hospitals, acute care facilities, long-term care facilities and safety net organizations such as community health centers and homeless shelters. Given the disruption of supply chains and surge of patients with COVID-19, CDPH has distributed significant amounts of PPE from its own stockpile to Chicago hospitals. While the City is delivering PPE to healthcare facilities and has available supplies in its stockpile, the demand for PPE continues to grow, making PPE donations critical to the City’s overall response to this emergency.

“Our company has been doing business in Chicago for 26 years. As part of the community, we applaud Mayor Lightfoot’s efforts to counter COVID-19, and we will give the city 250,000 disposable protective masks and 30,000 face shields as part of that effort. We are confident that, with Mayor Lightfoot’s leadership, and with everyone working together, we are not far from the dawn,” said Pin Ni, President of Wanxiang America Corp.

The City has nearly 2 million pieces of donated PPE in hand or pledged from numerous businesses, nonprofits, public organizations and individuals. The donated PPE includes N-95 respirators, surgical masks, face shields, gloves, gowns, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes that will be distributed to hospitals, healthcare facilities and other facilities. CDPH expects to receive hundreds of thousands of additional donations in the coming weeks, some on an ongoing basis, and will distribute accordingly.

“Making face shields with our UAW partners and being able to contribute them is an honor for us at Ford. We’re grateful to help support our Chicago medical professionals and first responders on the front lines in our communities,” said Adrian Price, Director, Global Core Engineering, Ford Motor Company.

CDPH plans to utilize the donated PPE to support health centers, homeless shelters and other organizations in urgent need of supplies. Many smaller organizations are not able to procure large stockpiles of PPE, and these donations will help them continue to safely provide the essential services our residents rely on. CDPH has been partnering with Rush University Medical Center, All Chicago, the Illinois Primary Health Care Association, the Illinois Public Health Institute, Health & Medicine Policy Research Group and others to coordinate PPE donation efforts and ensure delivery to the organizations that need it most.

Companies and organizations that have made or pledged donations include Wanxiang America Corporation, Project HOPE, Americares, BMO, Ford Motor Company, Facebook, McDonald’s, a collaborative led by DePaul University, the Goodman Theatre and League of Chicago Theatres, Chicago Park District, Koval Distillery, People’s Gas, Project CURE, Stencil Ease, Columbia College Chicago, Social Security Administration, and numerous others.

“Supporting Chicago’s frontline workers is a top priority. We are proud to have partnered with Americares to donate over three tons of critically needed supplies, from surgical masks to isolation gowns, to support the city’s COVID-19 response efforts,” said Project HOPE President and CEO Rabih Torbay.

Organizations that wish to donate can do so at chi.gov/donatePPE. The biggest needs include N-95 masks, surgical masks, gowns, nitrile gloves, eye protection, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. In many cases, CDPH will not be accepting products that are homemade or not federally approved, but exceptions may be made for products on a case-by-case basis. CDPH will be accepting donated cloth face coverings. CDPH will be focused on processing large offers to maximize staff time spent managing, reviewing and coordinating supplies.

On top of requesting PPE donations, Mayor Lightfoot and Dr. Allison Arwady, M.D., Commissioner of CDPH, have called for the medical community to assist by joining the Chicago Medical Reserve Corps. This group of volunteers is registered via Illinois HELPS (Healthcare Professional Emergency Volunteer Program) and may be contacted to work in a hospital surge or alternative housing setting. The Chicago Medical Reserve Corps has more than doubled in recent weeks to over 1,700 volunteers. These volunteers are a subset of the over 40,000 Chicagoans and residents across Illinois who volunteered to support State and City responses to COVID-19 through Illinois HELPs.

"We are so grateful for those who have stepped up and signed up to support our Chicago Medical Reserve Corps. We hope not to need volunteers, but if we do, we will be prepared with the very best Chicago has to offer,” said CDPH Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady.

Residents with medical experience as well as those interested in working in the medical or public health setting can sign up to volunteer at www.chicago.gov/coronavirus.

For more information and updates on the City’s response to COVID-19, text COVID19 to 78015, email coronavirus@chicago.gov or visit Chicago.gov/coronavirus.