Alds. Reboyras, Cardona on COVID-19 Response in Belmont Cragin


Chicago’s Belmont Cragin neighborhood has become an epicenter of the coronavirus in the city, reporting 1,993 cases in its major zip code Monday. 

Much of the neighborhood is represented in Chicago’s City Council by 30th Ward Ald. Ariel Reboyras, and 31st Ward Ald. Felix Cardona, Jr. Both say the area desperately needs more COVID-19 testing, some of which will start this week at the Dr. Jorge Prieto Math and Science Academy. The school is one of six new testing sites Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Monday. 

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“The numbers exploded about a week and a half ago. My colleagues and I have been studying this area, we’ve been talking about it for about two weeks now, and hopefully we’re going to get some results,” Reboyras said. 

Interactive: More from our series, COVID-19 Across Chicago.

Like many other Chicago neighborhoods, Belmont Cragin has also seen widespread job losses among residents because of the pandemic. 

Cardona says in response, some aldermen plan to introduce a bill in the City Council to protect employees who may be forced to come back to work while the pandemic is ongoing, or lose their jobs. 

“It’s basically protecting those people that are being threatened by their employer that want them to come back to work. And if they don’t, they’re gonna get fired. And that’s not right,” he said. 

Cardona says he hears from about 10 or so residents a day facing similar situations. 


Covid Across Chicago

How is the novel coronavirus impacting local businesses, residents and social service agencies across the city and region? And how are local leaders handling the crisis? We hit the streets to answer those questions and more in our ongoing reporting series, COVID-19 Across Chicago. See where we’ve been and what we’ve discovered in this overview. Listed is the official Chicago community area with the neighborhood in parenthesis where appropriate.


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