COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution – Chicago is now in phase 1B of COVID-19 vaccinations. This means Chicagoans age 65+ and specific groups of highest-risk and front-line essential workers are eligible for vaccination. Please remember, even when you become eligible, it may take weeks to get an appointment. The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) expects it to take at least through March for frontline essential workers and those who are 65+ to get their first dose of vaccine because of limited supply, and the number of providers who are able to administer the vaccine. The vaccine will be offered at no cost to all Chicagoans who want it.
On February 10, Governor Pritzker announced the expansion of phase 1b to those with underlying conditions. While the City is making progress every day with vaccinating people in 1a and 1b, at this time Chicago is not being supplied enough doses to expand phase 1b to include those with underlying conditions. There are 713,000 Chicagoans (363,000 seniors 65+ and 350,000 essential workers) currently in phase 1b. However, the City has only received 218,250 first doses as part of phase 1b. CDPH will monitor the situation and continue to work to vaccinate as many Chicagoans as possible.
Phase 1C is estimated to start March 29th (majority of vaccinations in April and May)
Phase 2 is estimated start May 31st
United Center Mass Vaccination Site – State and local officials announced that the United Center’s new mass vaccination site will open for appointments exclusively for Illinois residents age 65 and over at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 4th. General registration for Phase 1b+ will open Sunday, March 7th at 4:00 pm. Please click here to access the United Center dedicated website that shares all of the details. There will be two ways to sign up: on Zocdoc (details below) or by calling 312-746-8435.
The United Center site will operate seven days a week for eight weeks and will be able to administer 6,000 shots per day at full capacity. Vaccinations would be by appointment only and demand is anticipated to be high. Doses administered at the United Center will be provided directly from the federal government and are not diverted from the supply sent to Chicago or Illinois.
City Partners With Zocdoc for COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment – Zocdoc is new City partnership and is an efficient way for those eligible in Phase 1b to request a vaccine appointment, outside of their healthcare provider or directly with a pharmacy. Currently there may not be appointments available, however Zocdoc is a way to provide some basic information, and as supply increases and additional appointments become available, individuals will be contacted directly by email. Sign up at https://www.zocdoc.com/vaccine
City of Chicago COVID-19 Vaccine Website – The following website provides information on various ways Chicago residents can receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The website also includes a map to vaccine providers which have permitted their information to be shared with the general public. This site and map will be updated on a regular basis, as additional information becomes available: https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/sites/covid19-vaccine/home/ways-to-register.html
Other COVID-19 Vaccine Sign Up Links – As always, please consult your primary health care provider for the latest COVID-19 vaccination information.
If you or someone you know is without health insurance, please enroll in a federally qualified health care center (FQHC). They receive federal funds, so one is not required to have health insurance or be a U.S. citizen to receive medical care. There are around 165 FQHCs around the city. Click the following link to find the nearest FQHC closest to your home.
In Home COVID-19 Vaccine (For those that qualify) – To be eligible for this program you must: be a senior OR a person with a disability who requires in-home assistance OR have to use adaptive equipment (like a ventilator, crutches, a walker, a wheelchair, etc.) and/or accessible transportation to leave home AND leaving home is not an option for you because doing so requires considerable and taxing effort.
If you think you may qualify for in an home vaccine, complete this survey (https://redcap.link/MobileCOVIDVax).
CDC Guidelines on for Fully Vaccinated Individuals – On Monday, March 8, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued its first set of recommendations on activities that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can safely resume. The new guidance—which is based on the latest science — includes recommendations for how and when a fully vaccinated individual can visit with other people who are fully vaccinated and with other people who are not vaccinated.
Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or staying 6 feet apart.
Visit with unvaccinated people from one other household indoors without wearing masks or staying 6 feet apart if everyone in the other household is at low risk for severe disease.
Refrain from quarantine and testing if they do not have symptoms of COVID-19 after contact with someone who has COVID-19.
A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last required dose of vaccine. Although vaccinations are accelerating, CDC estimates that just 9.2% of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine that the FDA has authorized for emergency use.
CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people continue to take these COVID-19 precautions when in public, when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple other households, and when around unvaccinated people who are at high risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19:
Wear a well-fitted mask.
Stay at least 6 feet from people you do not live with.
Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings.
Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
Follow guidance issued by individual employers.
Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations.
CDC has released resources to help people make informed decisions when they are fully vaccinated.
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.
Chi COVID Coach The City has launched Chi COVID Coach, a mobile friendly, web-based application to support residents during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. This app allows CDPH to communicate directly with Chicago residents who may be COVID-19 positive or experiencing symptoms, provide important information and guidance, and creates the opportunity to pre-register for a vaccine when it comes available. To get started, visit: www.Chicago.gov/covidcoach.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
The delegate agencies assisting the City with administration of the housing assistance program are: Neighborhood Housing Services, Metropolitan Family Services, Historic Bungalow Assoc., The Resurrection Project, Far South CDC, Oak Park Regional Housing Center, Claretians Associates, LUCHA, Teamwork Englewood, SWOP, Greater Auburn Gresham CDC, and Chinese Mutual Aid Assn.
Mortgage Relief for Apartment Owners The Federal Housing Finance Agency has announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will grant mortgage forbearance to owners of multifamily properties in exchange for suspending evictions. The move applies to all Fannie and Freddie-backed mortgages in situations where renters can’t afford to make their monthly payments due to Coronavirus. For more information, please visit the FHFA website here.
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.
Federal Economic Impact Payments As part of the CARES Act, most Americans will receive an economic impact payment of $1,200 per person with an additional $500 for qualifying dependent. To review program rules, check the status of your payment, or to update your tax information to receive a payment, go to www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments.
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.
Rear Boarding of CTA Buses Customers will be directed to the rear doors to board CTA buses. Customers using a mobility device or individuals who require use of the ramp or for the bus to lower will still use the front door. To allow for fare payment, CTA is moving farecard readers to the rear doors of buses. During the transition, CTA will not enforce fare payment on buses that do not yet have rear-door farecard readers.
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.
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.