As a public service, Shaw Media will provide open access to information related to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) emergency. Sign up for the newsletter here
Several Yorkville civic organizations and community members have teamed up to create a website filled with resources and information for residents during the ongoing spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Called We Are Yorkville, www.weareyorkville.org, the website features easy connections including health and safety facts, fitness sources, education news and advice, community resources, meal assistance and even a list of hours of operation for area grocery stores and hours for senior citizens.
Yorkville School District 115 Director of Communications and Community Relations Kristine Liptrot said that the idea for the website came about as the district was sharing sources of information and facts for a variety of area issues including the YMCA, meal assistance and other avenues of public aid.
"We were resharing information about a lot of other things that were outside of education, and I noticed the other entities were as well, to be able to get out all of the information to the citizens of Yorkville," Liptrot said.
"It was really confusing," she said, as information continually changed and new closures and reporting agencies tried to keep up. "I figured that if it was overwhelming for me, it would probably be overwhelming for other people in the community."
So earlier this week, Liptrot reached out to Superintendent Dr. Tim Shimp, the Yorkville Educational Foundation, Fox Valley YMCA, Yorkville Police Department, and community members Anthony Hansen, Leslie Smogor, Mike Crosby, Doug Lingane, and Magdalena Emmert for assistance in creating the site, which went live Friday.
"Over the past three days we've worked to design the site, populate the site, edit the site and launch it," she said. Those working on the site, she added, are doing so on a voluntary basis.
An important part of the website, Liptrot said, was to incorporate links to outlets like the Kendall County Health Department, Centers for Disease Control, and the Yorkville Area Chamber of Commerce, to make sure that information was available directly from the source.
"There's a lot of misinformation out there right now, so we would like whoever comes to the website to be able to get information from the experts in that area," Liptrot said. "If they have a question about Yorkville schools, the answer is coming from Yorkville schools."
There is also a separate section on the website for those who need the site's information translated into Spanish. Requests for translation are sent to Emmert, who then reaches back out to the concerned resident.
"It's a repository of all the information in one spot, with links to those who are most familiar with getting that information correct," she said. "It's truly a grassroots effort."
Community members are also invited to send updated information or new links to the website, to keep it updated.
Liptrot said that the district will maintain the domain name, so that when the coronavirus pandemic eventually fades, the site can be reactivated if another community-wide event occurs.