March, 8th 2024


Our office was informed last night of a confirmed case of measles identified in a resident at the new arrivals shelter in Pilsen. Commissioners and personnel from Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) were on site last night to ensure public health and wellbeing are protected at the shelter.

The case of measles was identified in a young child who has recovered and is no longer infectious. As measles is extraordinarily contagious among unvaccinated populations, a case investigation is underway to ensure those that may have come in contact with, while infectious, are informed and vaccinated, and isolated if needed.

CDPH is asking all residents of the shelter at 2241 S. Halsted St. to remain in place until it can be determined whether they are vaccinated against measles and therefore immune to the infectious disease. Those who have been vaccinated can go about their normal business while those who have not been vaccinated will have to remain indoors to watch for symptoms. All unvaccinated residents will be screened for symptoms and offered the measles vaccine.

City agencies will be establishing a process to begin assessing the vaccination status of all residents of the shelter today, Friday, March 8. DFSS has secured increased meal services for those who will have to stay on site, and CDPH is delivering additional masks and other personal protective equipment for residents and staff. Agencies are also coordinating to ensure sufficient resources are on site including sanitary napkins, diapers, and other essentials.

Our office personnel and I were on site on Tuesday and this week the population of the shelter was 1876 people including 95 toddlers between the ages of 1 and 2. This is a reduction from the 2550 population from earlier this year. We expect this population to continue to decrease as families are offered opportunities to move off site. We continue to have bi-weekly meetings with DFSS, CDPH, and shelter staff to monitor and coordinate efforts for preventive care, vaccination, and treatment. Furthermore, we are working to ensure our local partners, such as, Promotoras de Salud (Health Navigators) are ready and available to serve families.

Historically, communities of color experience a lower rate of vaccinations due to generational systemic barriers, in many instances not aided or even exacerbated by government-run institutions. We understand the intersectional needs that our communities face, therefore we implore the county, state and federal government to provide immediate assistance to the city of Chicago.

Our city continues to face a public health crisis created by the lack of support from the federal government and agencies, and all the aforementioned entities who have not stepped up to support our new arrivals mission in the same way they previously supported migrant communities’ dignified integration such as Ukrainian refugees.

Most Chicagoans are routinely vaccinated in childhood and therefore not at high risk. Anyone who is not vaccinated against measles should do so. MMR vaccine is available at most doctor’s offices and pharmacies. Illinois children as young as 10 years-old can get vaccinated at pharmacies under Illinois law. CDPH Immunization clinics ( provide MMR vaccine for no out-of-pocket cost to any child 0–18 years and uninsured adults 19 and older.

For more information on measles please visit the CDPH web site (–measles.html).


Byron Sigcho-Lopez

Alderman, 25th Ward

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