Vaccine Eligibility, Reopening Update
Governor J.B. Pritzker announced that starting Monday, April 12, anyone 16 or older will be eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine. That move has been made possible due to an anticipated increase in supply. The state also plans to open up vaccination to additional at-risk populations prior to April 12. The governor also revealed a plan to begin moving closer to Phase 5. Once 70% of state residents 65 or older have received at least one dose of the vaccine, the state will allow higher capacity limits for businesses and gatherings, in what’s known as the “bridge phase.” Currently 58% of our state’s seniors meet that criterion. Metrics will be tracked for 28 days in the bridge phase, and barring any significant changes, Illinois can then resume normal business operations, as long as at least 50% of state residents 16 and older have received at least one dose of vaccine. As of this morning, 28% meet that qualification. Masks will continue to be required in public situations where safe social distancing cannot be maintained, until the CDC changes its recommendations.
Naper Commons P&Z Approval
Pulte Homes’ proposed residential development at the former Nokia site at Naperville and Warrenville Roads got the nod last night at Naperville’s Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. Commissioners supported the Naper Commons project because of the revisions made to the proposed development, which include a reduction in residential units from 239 to 227, creating buffer areas between adjacent neighborhoods, and addressing concerns raised by the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County at the previous Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. There was pushback from some community members, with their main concern being the density of the project. However Pulte argued their project is now below Naperville’s “medium-density” and just above Naperville’s “low-density” classifications. The matter will now go to Naperville’s City Council.
Safety Town Returns
After taking a year off due to the pandemic in 2020, Safety Town will return this summer with some new policies to adapt to COVID-19. Classes usually include about 60 children, but that number will drop to about 20 with fewer teen volunteers as well. And while a normal Safety Town course is 90 minutes a day for five days, this year’s groups will experience a single three-hour session. Though Safety Town is normally open to just kindergarteners and first-graders, second-graders are also eligible this year because of the lack of classes in 2020. The Naperville Junior Woman’s Club, which manages Safety Town, expects to get a little more than half the normal amount of children through the course this year. Registration opens up April 16.
Eliminating Overdue Fines
The Naperville Public Library Board of Trustees unanimously approved the elimination of overdue fines at a meeting last night. Instead, if an item is seven days overdue, a block will be put on the card used to check out the materials until they are returned. After 45 more days, the user will be charged for the materials. Executive Director Dave Della Terza said fines can create barriers for low-income families and students and that a quarter of library cards with blocks belong to children under age 14. He also said about 70% of public libraries have successfully implemented similar policies. This policy is likely to go into effect on June 1 to coincide with the library’s Summer Reading Program.
Neuqua Grad Lands CBS2 Job
A Neuqua Valley High School graduate has been hired as the newest meteorologist at CBS2 Chicago. Naperville native Laura Bannon has been brought on as the station’s weekday morning meteorologist. She returns to the area after most recently working for the NBC affiliate in Nashville. She starts her new job on April 5.
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