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UPDATED: Friday, March 13 at 2:52 p.m.
 
Composting forum postponed
 
The village-sponsored composting forum scheduled for Sunday, March 15 at 1 p.m. at the Forest Park Public Library is being postponed until further notice. 
 
Park District of Forest Park announces closure
 
The Park District of Forest Park announced that effective March 13 at 6 p.m. it is “planning to postpone, reschedule, or cancel all programming and close all facilities to the public.” The park district will remain closed through Sunday, March 29 and will re-evaluate the situation on March 26.
 
Outdoor facilities will remain open, including the outdoor bathrooms behind the Roos Recreation Center and around the corner from the pool entrance.
 
Park district service staff will be available by phone at 708-366-7500 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
 
Maria Maxham
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UPDATED: Friday, March 13 at 2:30 p.m.

Proviso School District 209 closes schools beginning March 16

On Friday, School District 209 officials announced that they are closing schools beginning Monday, March 16 with a tentative return date of Monday, March 30. This time-frame includes spring break, which is scheduled from Monday, March 23 through Friday, March 27. This closure includes Proviso Math and Science Academy, Proviso East and Proviso West. Click here for the full announcement. 

District 91 cancels school effective March 16

District 91 announced Friday that it has canceled school from March 16 through at least the end of spring break on March 30 “in an abundance of caution and in response to the social distancing guidance recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).”

According to the memo, “the Park District of Forest Park, Forest Park Public Library and Howard Mohr Community Center will also be closed as we practice social distancing.” The memo encourages parents and guardians to “begin to plan for childcare for the next two weeks and have a contingency plan in place in the event that schools close for an extended period of time.”

Students will be following an online learning plan and are required to work on assignments at home. Teachers will communicate with parents and children about how to access the daily online learning activities and will be available via Google Classroom or email daily during the closure between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.

District 91’s food service provider is providing boxed lunches for a drive-up or walk-up “grab and go” lunch for students. Lunches will be free for all currently enrolled students in D91.

Two sites will be available to pick up lunches between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Monday through Friday next week. Students living on the north side of town, regardless of grade level or attendance center, may pick up at the lobby entrance of Garfield Elementary School, 543 Hannah Ave. Students who reside on the south side of town may pick up at the gymnasium vestibule entrance of Forest Park Middle School on the Ferdinand Ave. side of the building.

Maria Maxham and Michael Romain
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UPDATED: Friday, March 13 at 7:34 a.m.
 
D91 schools still open
 
At a board of education meeting on Thursday night, District 91 Superintendent Lou Cavallo announced that he has not yet made the decision to close the district’s schools, although he said he is constantly monitoring the situation. 
 
“We have a plan in place if we have to close,” said Cavallo, a plan that involves making sure district children who depend on school lunches still have access to food in the event of closings. Cavallo mentioned that he’s talked to the food service provider for the district, who will provide bagged lunches for pick up to ensure all kids get fed.
 
He added that if schools close, the park district and the community center will not be able to provide care for children during the day.
 
River Forest’s District 90 and Oak Park’s District 97 both announced that they are canceling classes.
 
Maria Maxham
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UPDATED: Thursday, March 12 at 5:34 p.m.
 
Walmart running low on cleaning supplies, staples
 
On March 12, Walmart at 1300 Desplaines Ave. was completely sold out of toilet paper, bleach and hand sanitizer. Hand soap was almost all gone. Pasta, rice and dry beans were in low supply.
 
Park district taking preventative measures
 
The Park District of Forest Park said on March 12 that they are taking measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus. This includes frequently disinfecting doors, surfaces, equipment and public spaces. 

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Forest Park Village Administrator Tim Gillian said Thursday the village is keeping up to date on coronavirus and the spread of the illness through daily updates from state, county and city of Chicago health departments.

At the Monday, March 9 village council meeting, Mayor Rory Hoskins spoke at length about the measures the village is taking to try to keep the virus at bay.

Schools, parks, library, village confer on possible closings

On March 13, Gillian and village officials will meet with Pilar Shaker (director of the Forest Park Public Library), Scott Dunnell (Public Relations and Communications Manager from District 91), and Jackie Iovinelli (Executive Director of the Park District of Forest Park) to discuss “an overarching village plan” in the event that schools close.

Senior trips and nursing homes affected

According to Gillian, the village has suspended all senior gatherings and trips at the Howard Mohr Community Center.

The CDC has said older adults are particularly at risk of complications if they contract coronavirus, so at least one local nursing home is putting restrictions on visiting residents. Aperion Care, 8200 Roosevelt Rd., said in a statement that although at this time there are no cases in any of their facilities, they are putting procedures into place to protect the community.

“At this time, we are requesting that all visits to our facilities be suspended until further notice,” read the statement. “Exceptions may apply such as visiting someone in end-of-life situations.  We understand that connecting with family members is incredibly important and there are a variety of other ways you might consider connecting with them.  These may include telephone, email, text, or through Skype or Facebook.  We do know that technology for some of our residents may be difficult, so we are happy to assist in facilitating the residents do this.  Please, if you feel you meet an exception to visiting the facility, call us ahead of time and we are happy to discuss this with you.”

Illinois universities suspend in-person classes

In Illinois, according to NBC 5 Chicago, officials of Illinois, Southern Illinois, DePaul, Northwestern and Illinois State universities announced that in-person classes are being suspended.

Trump addresses nation, NBA suspends season, Tom Hanks diagnosed

On Wednesday night, President Donald Trump announced that travel from most of Europe would be suspended for the next 30 days. The same night, the NBA suspended the season “until further notice” and Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson announced they had been diagnosed with coronavirus in Australia.