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What Else Can We Do to Slow the Spread?

According to the American Enterprise Institute’s Road map to Reopening, there are four phases that the world’s COVID-19 response must go through: 1) Slow the Spread; 2) State-by-State Reopening; 3) Establish Immune Protection and Lift Physical Distancing; and 4) Rebuild our Readiness for the Next Pandemic. 

The United States is still squarely in the “Slow the Spread” phase. Chicago and Illinois’ local and state leaders have been quick to put many measures in place to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus through our communities. The milestones we need to meet as a city, state, or country to move into Phase II include: continuing to practice physical distancing while solidifying robust public health surveillance (i.e. testing, case tracing, and isolation) and ensuring a sustained higher capacity of our healthcare system (i.e. materials and protective equipment). 

In addition to the measures that have already been taken, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) proposes the following actions to help slow the spread and minimize future transmission. Many of these recommendations have the additional advantage of providing lasting benefits beyond our recovery from COVID-19. What follows is a sample of recommendations MPC has made via direct advocacy, policy memos, and more:



MPC and other advocates developed recommendations for how to increase transit safety during this phase, and how to rebuild our transit system with a focus on equity and fiscal resilience, as documented in this April 15 letter to the Regional Transportation Authority’s Board of Directors. The sample of recommendations below can apply to all the major transit providers in the Chicago metropolitan region (CTA, RTA, PACE, Metra) as well as downstate and private transit operators:



It is MPC’s sincere hope that many of these efforts are already underway. We encourage a rapid response and action on these ideas, both in order to further minimize the spread, reduce transmission, and avoid and/or respond quickly to future waves.

MPC also believes that the best solutions are those that will ultimately lead to a better, more equitable future. As such, in addition to recommendations on how to slow the spread, we will also be developing recommendations for immediate financial relief and ultimately building back better. See more on MPC’s COVID-19 page.