Preckwinkle unveils COVID-19 recovery plan for Cook County
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle unveiled her plan Thursday for the economic recovery of the county in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The response plan is focused on what Preckwinkle said was an “equitable recovery” for all communities, specifically those hit hardest by the virus.
“Our recovery from this pandemic must include everyone,” she said in a live-streamed speech hosted by the City Club of Chicago. “It must include our black and Latinx communities, because we’ve already seen that with COVID-19, as is true of every other crisis, our black and brown communities are hit the hardest.”
The proposal forms a council to help increase high-speed internet access in the county’s southwest and west sides. It also creates a recovery fund to offer up to $20,000 in zero-interest loans to small businesses, nonprofits and independent contractors.
A coalition of community leaders and advocates will review each of these efforts before giving feedback to the county.
Preckwinkle also told reporters that the county will follow the governor’s reopening plan. The city of Chicago announced last week its own five-phase plan for reopening its economy.
Dr. Kiran Joshi, a co-director of the county’s Department of Public Health, joined Preckwinkle and said Cook County’s number of COVID-19 cases, among the highest in the country, can partially be attributed to it having the second-highest number of completed tests.
“As you can imagine, the number of cases we have is a function of the number of tests,” he said.
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