Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Information and Updates

Shelter in Place Order and Other Rules

 

Shelter In Place Order To prevent the spread of COVID-19, Governor Pritzker announced a State Order requiring all residents to remain at home -“Shelter in Place” unless absolutely essential,  through April 30, 2020. For more information about this order, please click here.

 

K-12 Schools Chicago Public Schools will be closed through April 30, 2020. CPS will work to ensure students are engaged throughout their time away from the classroom and will provide meals to all students in need. All CPS families will be able to pick up meals outside of their nearest CPS, with exception of several schools, between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Monday-Friday throughout the closure. Chicago’s network of food providers stand ready to support families during the closure. A full list of locations is available at chicagosfoodbank.org/find-food/. Limited recreational and enrichment activities will be offered in a safe setting at select Chicago Park District facilities. A list of site locations will be made available at cps.edu/coronavirus.

 

Lakefront Closed As a necessary precaution, Chicago’s lakefront has been closed to the public. The closure includes all trails, parks and beaches. This order has been put in place to assure residents are practicing responsible social distancing that is imperative to slow the spread of the Coronavirus. The Chicago Police Department and the Chicago Park District will be enforcing this measure.

 

Parks & Libraries  Mayor Lightfoot also announced the closure of Park District facilities and Libraries. For more information, please click here.

 

Health Care and Testing

 

Health Care Coverage and Testing The Federal CAREs Act requires all private insurance plans to cover COVID-19 treatments and vaccines and makes all coronavirus tests free. Contact your private insurance provider (BCBS, Aetna, Cigna, etc.) for more information or click here if you are an Illinois Medicaid recipient or www.medicare.gov if you are a Medicare recipient. 

 

If you do not have a medical provider, are uninsured, or have limited or no income and believe you need non-emergency medical services, you can contact your nearest community health center (CHC) by phone and inform them of your need. They will work with you to coordinate appropriate care. In cases of emergency, please call 911. There are approximately 165 CHCs throughout the city of Chicago, so find one that is close to you. You can find your nearest CHC at findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov. For more information, see Finding Care when Uninsured.

 

Older People and People with Severe Chronic Conditions should take special precautions because they are at higher risk of developing COVID-19. They should limit travel and should not attend large gatherings, unless it is essential.

 

Individuals and Communities should familiarize themselves with recommendations to protect themselves and their communities from contracting and spreading respiratory illnesses like COVID-19.

 

Mental Health: Emotional reactions to this emerging health crisis are expected. Remind yourself, your family and your friends that feeling sad, anxious, overwhelmed or having other symptoms of distress such as trouble sleeping is normal. If symptoms become worse, encourage them, and yourself, to reach out for support and help. Call 311 or NAMI Chicago Helpline 833-626-4244 for a mental health counselor. Bright Star Community Outreach also has a helpline at 833-TURN-123For after hours, there is the Crisis Text Line which serves anyone, in any type of crisis, 24-hours a day. Instructions: Text HELLO to: 741741 to access a trained crisis counselor.

 

Food/Shopping Resources

 

Senior Shopping Hours Jewel – Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:00 am to 9:00 am; Mariano’s – everyday from 6:00 am to 8:00 am; Trader Joe’s – Mondays from 9:00 am to 10:00 am; Walgreens – Tuesdays from 8:00 am to 9:00 am; Target – Wednesdays first hour; Whole Foods – everyday one hour before open; Costco – Tuesdays and Thursdays – 8:00 am to 9:00 am. Free grocery delivery is also available for seniors: at https://www.covidseniorshoppers.com/

 

Food Assistance The Greater Chicago Food Depository coordinates over 700 partner agencies and programs in Chicago to offer food resources to those in need. Additionally, the Food Depository has a benefit outreach team to help people apply for SNAP and Medicaid benefits. Call 773-843-5416 for assistance or apply directly with IDHS. Chicago Public School are offering breakfast and lunch Monday-Friday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm to every person under the age of 18 – no child will be turned away. Families will receive 3 days of meals for each young person in the household. If you can not travel to a site, call 1-773-553-KIDS or email familyservices@cps.edu to schedule food delivery. Meals on Wheels is also supporting food assistance for homebound seniors. Finally the Homelessness Food and Shelter Directory lists the Emergency Food Programs citywide including Food Pantries, Soup Kitchens, etc. in Chicago and the surrounding area.

 

Kroger Rules to Protect Public – The Kroger Family of Companies (including Mariano’s) have instituted new rules for their stores including: reducing the number of people allowed in the store at one time by 50%, protective masks and gloves for associates, associate wellness checks, waived prescription delivery fees, a pilot for one-way isles in select stores, reduced holiday hours and continuing their zero waste commitment.

 

Housing Assistance

 

Rental Assistance The City of Chicago has emergency rental assistance program. This program provides financial assistance to Chicago residents, to prevent homelessness, to eligible individuals and families who are in danger of eviction in order to stabilize individuals and families in their existing rental unit. For more information about this program, please click here

Utility Bill Assistance

 

Utility Bill Assistance ComEd is suspending service disconnects, providing resources and payment accommodations for those who may have challenges paying their monthly energy bill. Customers who may be experiencing financial hardship should visit ComEd.com/CARE or call 800-334-7661. People’s Gas will further suspend disconnection notices until May 1 to ensure the safety of our customers and employees.  They also provide grants (of up to $200) to help with heating bills. Learn more about how to apply: https://bit.ly/3apEltP

 

Internet Providers Free Internet options are available through local partners, such as Comcast and AT&T.  The City will be working closely with partners to ensure outreach to communities and households in need. Mayor Lightfoot recently announced an initiative with Comcast to expand internet access. For more details on the program, families can visit www.internetessentials.com/apply. Residents can also  visit www.everyoneon.org/find-offers for low cost/free internet service. Families can search for what’s available via zip code.

 

Additionally, Comcast is offering free Xfinity WiFi hot spots to everyone, pausing their data plan, ending disconnects or late fees, and providing intent essentials free to new customers.  AT&T announced the creation of a Distance Learning and Family Connections Fund to give parents, students and teachers tools they need for at-home learning. Additionally, AT&T is expanding access to their program “Access from AT&T,” a low-cost home internet offering to qualifying households.

Business Resources and Information

 

Restaurants and Bars All bars and restaurants have been closed for in-person dinning since Monday, March 16, 2020. The closures are scheduled to last through April 30, 2020. The state is working closely with restaurant owners and food delivery services to ensure kitchens can safely remain open to continue food delivery and put in place drive-thru and curbside pickup options. For more information, please click here.

 

Businesses and Employers Mayor Lightfoot announced a $100 Million Relief Package for Chicago Small Businesses. The new fund will provide more than $100 million in low-interest loans to severely impacted small businesses over the coming month, targeting historically under-resourced communities with an emphasis on minimizing hardship for those businesses and their employees. For more information and to fill out the application, please click here. The State of Illinois has also announced some relief programs for businesses in the state. For that information, please click here.

 

Childcare Facilities and Colleges/Universities Closure of childcare facilities is still voluntary. See CDPH’s COVID-19 Guidance for Childcare Programs. The State of Illinois has also issued resources for emergency childcare at  https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/OECD/Pages/For-Communities.aspx. Many institutions of higher learning are voluntarily closing their campuses and moving instruction online. See CDPH’s COVID-19 Guidance for Schools and Institutions of Higher Education.

 

Community- and faith-based organizations should review existing emergency operations plans, including strategies for social distancing and modifying large gatherings. Community-based organizations should take steps to protect both the clients they serve and their employees. See CDPH’s COVID-19 Guidance for Community- and Faith-based Organizations.

 

Event Organizers Stay informed on the latest developments and public health guidance. We strongly encourage groups to consider cancelling or postponing planned events.

 

Price Gouging To report price gouging, click here.

 

How to Help

 

Donation Opportunities The City of Chicago is coordinating donations in the fight against COVID-19. Click here for the general donation website. To donate medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) click here. To donate other products or professional services click here. To donate time as a healthcare worker click here. To sell medical supplies and PPE click here.

 

Blood Donation The American Red Cross is working to quickly identify and replace blood drives canceled due to workplace and school closures. Search here for opportunities near you and check back often as they are continuously adding new donation opportunities. If you don’t see available appointments near you in the near future, please search 7-15 days out. The need for blood is constant – patients need your help.

 

Taxes

 

Tax Filing Information  Governor Pritzker announced he will delay the Illinois state income tax filing deadline until July 15. This aligns with the new filing deadline for federal taxes, which is also July 15.

 

Property Taxes The Cook County Assessor’s Office has announced the temporary suspension of assessment notice mailings and appeal deadlines. This suspension will remain in place until further notice while the office remains closed to the public.

 

Property Tax Sale The Cook County Property Tax Sale, scheduled for May 8, 2020, has been cancelled indefinitely.

 

Other Important Information

 

CTA/Metra CTA will be offering a one-time credit for any remaining days left on an active 7- or 30-day pass, based on when the pass was last used. To obtain the transit Value credit, send an email to Ventra Customer Service at customerservice@ventrachicago.com by April 13, 2020. Additionally, Metra is allowing doctors, nurses, EMTs, paramedics and other medical personnel on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic to ride free by showing appropriate work ID for the duration of the state’s “stay at home” order.

 

Hotel Utilization Individuals who do not require hospital-level care can be transferred to downtown hotels rented by the City of Chicago to quarantine affected individuals to help reduce the strain on local hospitals. For more information, call 312-746-4835.

 

Ticketing Enforcement There has been some confusion regarding the issuance of parking tickets in the city. While the number of enforcement agents has been decreased, tickets will still be issued for the following violations: bus lane, bicycle path, rush hour parking, parking in the fire lane, fire lane blockage, alley blockage, driveway blockage, double parking, standing zone violations, parking in a disabled parking spot, and expired meters.

 

Debt Relief Programs Mayor Lightfoot announced temporary suspension of debt collection, ticketing and towing practices to provide relief in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. For more information on this policy, please click here.

 

Data and Legislation

 

COVID-19 Data The City of Chicago has released demographic data tracking the spread of COVID-19, including data broken down by zip code. To access this information click here.

 

Federal CARES Act $130 billion for hospitals, $1,200 direct payments for Americans, 4 months of unemployment insurance for all workers, $377 billion to support small businesses, $10 billion for airports, including O’Hare, prevents any secret bailouts. Visit quigley.house.gov/coronavirus for full program details.

 

Fight Stigma and Fear by understanding the facts about COVID-19 and taking the effective precautionary steps recommended by health professionals. Support people returning from COVID-19 quarantine and help reduce the spread of rumors by letting people know that viruses cannot target people from specific populations, ethnicities, or racial backgrounds.

 

If you have been in a country with widespread sustained transmission (any country with a Travel Alert Level 3) or have been exposed to someone sick with COVID-19 in the last 14 days, you will face some limitations on your movement and activity. Please follow instructions during this time. Your cooperation is integral to the ongoing public health response to try to slow the spread of this virus.

 

The 3rd Ward Service Office is closed during this time. However, our office is operating remotely. We kindly ask that any business you may have with our office be conducted via phone or email

*Thank you to the 4th Ward for helping to compile some of this important information

 

With the quickly changing nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, Alderman Dowell’s Office will try to keep the information provided on this website as up-to-date as possible. However, please always check with the relevant agencies or your personal physician before making any decision that may affect your health based on the information provided above