COVID-19

December 23, 2020 Update from the Mayor

MAYOR-Coronavirus

Illinois recently logged its lowest number of daily COVID-19 infections in nearly two months, with 4,669 new confirmed and probably cases.  Officials also announced 98 additional fatalities.

Meanwhile, a week after the first shipment of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine arrived in Illinois, about 63,000 health care workers across the state have received their first of two doses of the immunization.  Hickory Hills now has 852 confirmed cumulative cases of COVID and 16 COVID related deaths.  A breakdown of the deaths by ethnicity is provided immediately below.

Vaccine Distribution Summary

The CDC published the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ latest recommendations regarding the allocation of the COVID-19 vaccine today.  A copy of the report in which they appear is attached.  The report breaks down the recommended allocations into four phases.  Below is a summary of each phase:

Finally, to put things into perspective, the number of vaccines that will be needed nationwide for each phase are:

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Phase                           #Vaccines

1a                                 48 million

1b                                 98 million

1c                                 258 million

2                                   260 million

Total                            664 million

Mary Ann Anifer, a Local Treasure

Congratulations to Conrady School Cross Guard and long time Election Judge, Mary Ann Anifer, on receiving a Certificate of Meritorious Service Award.  Mary Ann has served as an Election Judge for 59 years and counting is something to be proud of.   She also has served as a Conrady Junior High School crossing guard along Roberts Road for more than 10 years.   She is beloved by the students and a few years ago was struck by a speeding vehicle as she tried to protect the kids in the crosswalk.  Amazingly, Mary Ann recovered fully and returned to her important duties of keeping our children safe on their way to and from school.    

Our community and all of Cook County is lucky to have someone like Mary Ann who cares enough about the needs of the students and their families and also is an active participant in ensuring free and fair elections.  Below is an article about Mary Ann that appeared in the Daily Southtown on Thursday December 17, 2020

    Energy Efficiency and Emergency Assistance Programs  
Energy efficiency and emergency assistance tips to help save money and energy during these difficult times may be viewed by clicking this link:webpage.  The below rebates and programs expire on Dec. 31st, so please review and act quickly.   
ComEd Appliance Rebates
Residents who purchase the following ENERGY STAR appliances through 12/31/20 can receive a $50 rebate from ComEd: air purifier, clothes washer, dehumidifier (stand-alone units only), electric clothes dryer (≥ 4.4 cubic feet), freezer (≥ 7.75 cubic feet) or refrigerator (≥ 7.75 cubic feet). Rebate applications must be submitted within 60 days of the purchase or by Feb. 28, 2021, whichever comes first. For more details and to apply, please go to the ComEd Appliance Rebates webpage. The application is available in English or Spanish.    
ComEd Smart Thermostat Rebates
Residents who purchase an ENERGY STAR smart thermostat through 12/31/20 can receive a $75 rebate from ComEd. Smart thermostats connect to a home’s Wi-Fi and allow users to control the temperature from web-enabled devices, whether they’re in another room or not at home. For more information on receiving this rebate, go to the ComEd Smart Thermostat Rebates page.   For free installation of a smart thermostat, residents may want to consider scheduling a free in-home energy assessment through ComEd.    
ComEd Bill Assistance for Eligible Limited Income Customers Residential customers who are past due on their ComEd accounts may be able to receive assistance to pay off the balances through Dec. 31, 2020, or when funds are exhausted. Households that earn up to 200% of the federal poverty level are eligible to receive this one-time bill assistance of up to $500 for past due balances. To apply for the funds, residential customers must be Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) qualified, which is an income-based program that provides energy assistance to households at or below the 200% federal poverty level.   If a residential household, whether documented or undocumented, has not applied for LIHEAP yet, the household can go to HelpIllinoisFamilies.com or call 877-411-9276 to start a LIHEAP pre-application. Once approved for LIHEAP funds, then apply for one-time ComEd bill assistance at the ComEd Apply for Bill Assistance webpage or by calling 1-800-EDISON-1 (1-800-334-7661).      

ILLINOIS TOLLWAY EXTENDS POPULAR TOLL VIOLATION RELIEF PROGRAM THROUGH JUNE 30, 2021

The Illinois Tollway is extending its popular toll violation relief program through June 30, 2021, providing drivers with an additional six months to take advantage of the TOLLING 2020 reforms that reduced all existing $20 and $50 violation fines to $3 fee per toll. Drivers already have taken advantage of the relief program to clear nearly 160,000 outstanding violation notices at the reduced $3 rate. This reduction is available to any drivers previously sent to collections for outstanding toll violations. In the first 60 days following the launch in June, the Tollway cleared about 65,000 outstanding violation notices–about 7 times the number cleared during a similar time period in a 2009 amnesty program and nearly 6 times as many notices as were resolved during a 2005 amnesty. Drivers with unpaid toll violations who do not take advantage of the violation relief program will see their outstanding tolls and original fees reinstated after the relief program ends. The cost reductions offered by the violation relief program bring the cost of outstanding violation notices in line with the new fee structure in TOLLING 2020, which will continue to assess drivers a $3 fee for each unpaid toll on a passenger vehicle.   Drivers can continue to avoid paying any fees by paying any unpaid toll within 14 days. Customers looking to pay unpaid tolls and violations or wanting to learn more about TOLLING 2020, including the new notice guidelines, should visit the Illinois Tollway’s website at www.illinoistollway.com.

Some Fairies Are Real

https://www.cbsnews.com/video/spreading-some-fairy-magic/

Winter Wonderland…2 Minutes of Nature

https://www.cbsnews.com/video/nature-winter-scenes-in-minnesota/

Please enjoy the holidays safely!

Mayor Mike