Vaccines required for DePaul staff, a potential citywide mask mandate and COVID-19 cases rise nationwide

Plus another can’t-miss TV recommendation 

Welcome back! It’s the summer newsletter team — Claire, Kate, Elly, Ally, Cam and Grace — bringing you news from DePaul, Chicago and beyond. We have another TV recommendation, some more resources and breaking DePaul news, so let’s get right into it!


Vaccines required for faculty, staff for Fall Quarter (and beyond)

DePaul University announced today that all employees must be vaccinated for COVID-19 by Friday, September 3, in the spirit of keeping the university safe and healthy. This news follows an April 21 announcement that all students must be vaccinated if returning to campus for the Fall Quarter. 

This requirement for university employees includes all full-time and part-time faculty and staff. College of Law employees will be expected to have at least one dose of the vaccine by August 23, the first day of classes for the college. 

While both students and employees are required to be vaccinated, the process of submitting the vaccination to the university is different between the two groups. 

“Employees will be asked to attest to their vaccination status and a randomly administered verification program will supplement the self-reporting requirement to ensure compliance,” according to the announcement from President A. Gabriel Esteban.  

Medical and religious exemption requests can be made by emailing employeerelations@depaul.edu. Employees are able to use paid time off to get the COVID-19 vaccine or to recover from the side effects. For vaccine resources, check out our resources section below or DePaul’s COVID-19 website. Employees can contact DePaulCommunityHealth@depaul.edu with any questions. 

Those who submit their COVID-19 vaccine records to Campus Connect by August 19 will be automatically entered to win a series of prizes ranging from Apple AirPods to $2,500 off attendance costs. More information can be found here

As a reminder, those who are not fully vaccinated are still required to wear a mask and social distance on campus.


Chicago Headlines

  •  A year-long effort by Chicago’s monument revitalization movement is in conversation regarding what to do with “problematic” statues across the city, including the Christopher Columbus statues that were removed during the height of the uprisings in Grant Park and Arriago Park last year. The city’s committee — the Chicago Monuments Project — is still seeking input from community members. Former 14 East Editor-In-Chief Francesca Mathewes has the details for Block Club Chicago.

  • The Fraternal Order of Police board recently approved an eight-year contract including 10 percent pay raises for CPD officers — adding up to $600 million as estimated by FOP president John Catanzara — Chicago Sun-Times Fran Spielman reports.

  • Over the weekend, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said a mask mandate could be reinstated if Chicago’s COVID-19 case surge continues, as covered by Block Club Chicago’s Kelly Bauer.

  • The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency issued an air quality alert for Chicago area residents through Tuesday due to unhealthy ozone levels for higher risk groups, recommending those with respiratory problems limit their outdoor time.


National Headlines

  • COVID-19 cases in the United States are on the rise again since the arrival of the Delta variant. States with low vaccination rates have seen an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations. Those who remain unvaccinated still represent the highest number of hospitalizations. While vaccinated individuals are still able to contract the virus, they seem to get less sick, Albert Sun and Amy Schoenfeld Walker of the New York Times report

  • After previously being banned from the Olympics during an investigation conducted by the World Anti-Doping Organization, Russian athletes have managed to compete in the Tokyo games regardless. With 335 Russian athletes participating this summer, there are still restrictions in place. Competing under the abbreviation “ROC” or Russian Olympic Committee, athletes who were cleared of any doping allegations are permitted to compete neutrally and are not allowed to don the Russian flag. Asha C. Gilbert of USA Today reports.  

  • The addition of Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger to the committee investigating the January 6 insurrection is receiving new scrutiny after being nominated by Speaker Nancy Pelosi. According to Olivia Beavers and Nicholas Wu of Politico, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy criticized Kinzinger and Congresswoman Liz Cheney for accepting the positions on the select committee. Both Cheney and Kinzinger are known as two of Trump’s most vocal Republican critics in Congress.

  • On Saturday, Alaa Elassar of CNN reported that the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency seized four pounds of cocaine disguised as cake in addition to $1,900 in cash. The suspects were charged with aggravated trafficking of a schedule W Drug (a Class “A” offense) which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

  • After an increase in anti-government protests, the president of Tunisia, Kais Saied, is attempting to fire Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi. Last week, Tunisia began to distribute its first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine when the disorganization prompted Saied to give all COVID-19 responsibility to the military. Some have  referred to these recent actions as a “coup.” Vivian Yee of the New York Times reports.

  • The search for victims in the Florida Champlain Towers South condo collapse has officially come to an end. Almost a month after the June 24 disaster, 98 people were confirmed dead, with the final victim identified today. The National Institute of Standards and Technology, the same federal agency that investigated the World Trade Center tragedy, will be investigating the causes of the disaster. Vanessa Romo of NPR has the story.


Recommendations

Last Friday didn't just bring the opening ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to screens across the world — it also brought a smaller, but just as anticipated, sports broadcast: season two of Ted Lasso, the soccer comedy on Apple TV starring Jason Sudekis. The show's first season introduced Sudekis as American football coach Ted Lasso, brought in to nurse a failing English soccer club to victory. Lasso's overwhelming Midwestern optimism and inability to cut his losses makes for a great first season that dovetails into a second where his optimism may not be the only thing that the team needs. | Cam Rodriguez, Managing Editor


Resources

Rental Assistance 

  • The Illinois Housing Development Authority periodically offers rental payment programs which send vouchers directly to landlords to subsidize rent costs. The program is currently closed to new applicants. However, housing stability service providers are offered year-round. Check out the resources here.

  • The City of Chicago’s Rental Assistance Program provides funding for Chicagoans who are at risk of becoming homeless. 

  • The Brave Space Alliance currently offers multiple housing resources. In order to distribute aid accordingly, they have a housing intake and assessment form that you can find here


COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Resources

All of these testing sites and vaccination sites can be accessed for free and without insurance. 

  • Howard Brown offers free, walk-in COVID-19 viral and antibody testing at multiple locations from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, in addition to mobile testing sites that are updated weekly. The organization also offers the Moderna vaccine for individuals 18 and older. You can check all of their current COVID-19 resources here

  • The Illinois Department of Public Health and the city of Chicago offer free COVID-19 testing sites in the city and surrounding counties, which are listed with more information here. IDPH also offers COVID-19 vaccines to all residents 12 years and older. Call 833-621-1284 to schedule an appointment. 

  • The city of Chicago partnered with the Community Organized Relief Effort to set up free drive-thru and walk-in testing sites in the city, primarily on the South and West sides, with appointments available Monday through Friday. Register here. 

  • The city has also updated its COVID-19 testing program with more mobile sites, which change weekly. More info here. 

  • Know someone 12 years of age or older who has yet to receive their COVID-19 vaccine? Check out appointments via Zocdoc, the city of Chicago’s Vaccine Finder or pharmacy websites such as Walgreens and CVS to see what is available in or around your ZIP code. 


Mental Health Resources

  • At Open Counseling, there’s a list of people and nonprofits with counseling services available for free or low cost.

  • This website compiles mental health resources, including therapist directories and other online resources. 

  • The Center on Halsted offers behavioral health, anti-violence and educational resources for LGBTQ+ people.

  • Howard Brown Health offers anti-racism resources and sliding scale counseling specializing in the LGBTQ+ community.

  • This document is a resource for Black people experiencing racial trauma. The master list includes specific resources as well as protesting tips and donation links.

  • This link is a directory of Black therapists in Chicago who provide services for under $75.

  • Here’s 7 virtual mental health resources supporting Black people right now, including Chicago-based community organization Sista Afya’s support groups.

  • The Trans Lifeline’s peer Support hotline is a resource operated by transgender and nonbinary staffers for the trans community: 877-565-8860.

  • The Center for Religion and Psychotherapy in Chicago is a nonprofit that provides affordable, sliding-scale counseling. Call 312-263-4368, ext. 9081 to schedule an intake appointment (counseling is not religious-centered). 


That’s all for today! Be sure to get outside, enjoy the warm weather and have a fantastic rest of your week. 

The 14 East Summer Newsletter Team 


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