Downtown Evanston was deserted late this afternoon as Gov. Pritzker’s shelter-in-place order, directing residents to stay home and avoid all non-essential travel, took effect.

In the 1600-block of Orrington Avenue the only car in sight belonged to a delivery worker picking up orders from the Lao Sze Chuan restaurant.

While a few residents could be seen out walking their dogs or returning from a shopping trip to Whole Foods, traffic was so light that the traffic signals seemed almost superfluous.

Help for homeless

The city announced early this evening that it has installed portable toilets and hand washing stations at 15 locations to help protect the homeless population from contracting COVID-19.

In addition to social distancing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends frequent hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to help prevent the spread of the disease. 

Portable toilet and hand washing station locations are:

  • Trader Joe’s/Jewel-Osco, 1100 block of Chicago Avenue.
  • Meals on Wheels, 1723 Simpson St.
  • 1919 Dempster St., near Dodge Avenue.
  • Gibbs-Morrison Cultural Center, 1823 Church St.
  • Hilda’s Place (Raymond Park), 1458 Chicago Ave.
  • Connections for the Homeless (Twiggs Park), 2200 block of Dewey Ave.
  • McGaw YMCA, 1000 Grove St.
  • Chicago Avenue at Main Street.
  • Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave.
  • Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center, 1655 Foster St.
  • Y.O.U. Headquarters, 1911 Church St.
  • Morton Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Ave.
  • Levy Senior Center, 300 Dodge Ave.
  • Noyes CTA Stop, 901 Noyes St.
  • Independence Park, 2100 block of Central Street.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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