Elgin keeps residents informed with online videos, mapping hub
The city of Elgin has been posting daily online videos with city leaders providing updates about the new coronavirus, and now it has created an online hub of information for residents.
The "coronavirus mapping resource center" at cityofelgin.org/mappingresource gives information on businesses and organizations in light of the state's mandatory "shelter in place" order. The categories listed are: human services; school food distribution centers; open businesses, places of worship, and nonprofits; restaurants; and places that are temporarily closed.
The hub was built by the city's geographic information systems (GIS) team with information from the Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin, the Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce and more.
"Our GIS team uses a great software and has a lot of data. They immediately saw the potential impact of using a map to have accurate data available to the public," city spokeswoman Molly Gillespie said.
The map is constantly updated. Businesses and organizations can be included by submitting information regarding their operations at cityofelgin.org/bizsurvey.
The daily "coronavirus update" videos started March 16 and are posted Monday to Friday. They have featured Mayor David Kaptain, Police Chief Ana Lalley, Fire Chief Robb Cagann and Brad Bohner, the city's public health manager.
The first Spanish-language video featuring city management analyst Karina Nava was to be released this evening with an English version Thursday. The topic is how residents can conduct business with the city despite public facilities being closed.
The videos keep the community informed and connected, and answers questions people may have, Lalley said. Her video Tuesday focused on enforcement of the "stay at home" order.
"We want to do all that we can to help ease any stress and anxiety someone may have and provide support to our community through this time," she said.
One of Cagann's videos last week was about how the fire department is working with nursing homes and extended care facilities, which are particularly at risk for the spread of COVID-19.
"We are doing it on whatever we feel is the hot topic that needs to be addressed," he said.
The videos are also an opportunity to reinforce public service announcements and reminders, Gillespie said. For information, visit cityofelgin.org/coronavirus.