COVID-19 General Resources
Getting vaccinated as soon as it is your turn is critical to helping our communities recover from this pandemic. For information about where to get vaccinated in the 1st District, visit this page.Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s COVID-19 Resource Page for the most up-to-date public health information about COVID-19 and measures you can take to prevent the spread of the disease.
I have been a consistent and strong supporter of robust COVID-19 relief legislation, including an initial $8.3 billion emergency supplemental appropriations bill, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act all in March 2020; a $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill in December 2020; and the landmark $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan in March 2021.
- CDC recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated because travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, follow CDC’s recommendations for unvaccinated people.
- CDC will update these recommendations as more people are vaccinated, as rates of COVID-19 change, and as additional scientific evidence becomes available.
- This guidance applies to travel within the United States and U.S. territories.
For more information on travel guidelines, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-during-covid19.html
Health Information for Illinois Residents
- The Illinois Department of Health’s COVID-19 Resource Page provides information at the state level.
- The Cook County Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 Resource Page provides updates for Cook County residents.
- The Will County Health Department’s COVID-19 Resource Page provides updates for Will County residents.
- The City of Chicago’s Coronavirus Response Center provides information for Chicago residents.
If you are a resident of Illinois and have a question, please call the Illinois Department of Public Health’s coronavirus hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email email@example.com.
Unfortunately, scammers and other bad actors are taking advantage of fears related to the coronavirus. These scams come in many forms, from fraudsters peddling fake vaccines to unscrupulous online sellers needlessly raising prices on certain products like hand sanitizers. In order to avoid being taken advantage of during these perilous times, here are some tips from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC):
- Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. They could download viruses onto your computer or device.
- Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying they have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it.
For more on what the Federal Trade Commission is doing, please visit the FTC’s Action Page.
- The U.S. Public Interest Research Group has also provided some information on steps you can take to avoid the abusive act of price-gouging:
- Use a price tracking tool to see if the price of a product increased recently.
- Compare the price to similar products, especially the cost per unit. For example, a 50ml bottle of hand sanitizer should not cost hundreds of dollars.
- Be cautious of buying opened products that are being resold individually. For example, surgical masks, which typically come in packs, are being sold individually at an increased markup. This is not only dishonest but also unsanitary.
- Check ingredients closely. The CDC states that the only kind of hand sanitizer known to kill the coronavirus contains at least 60% alcohol.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has also created a page to help the public distinguish between rumors and facts regarding the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Much like the coronavirus, it is also common for rumors and misinformation to spread if left unchecked. That is why it is critically important to always rely on trusted sources of information, such as coronavirus.gov or other federal, state, and local official websites or social media accounts for instructions and information. For more information on combatting common coronavirus myths and rumors, please visit FEMA’s Coronavirus Rumor Control page.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also issued warnings regarding fraudulent coronavirus tests, vaccines, and treatments. Some people and companies are trying to profit from this pandemic by selling unproven and illegally marketed products that make false claims, such as being effective against the coronavirus. For more information, please visit the FDA’s page on Fraudulent Coronavirus Tests, Vaccines and Treatments.
The Department of Justice is also remaining vigilant in detecting, investigating, and prosecuting wrongdoing related to the crisis. If you think you are a victim of a scam or attempted fraud involving COVID-19, you can report it without leaving your home by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Assistance for Small Businesses
While the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) ended on May 31, 2021, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program through the Small Business Administration (SBA) is still accepting applications until December 31, 2021. EIDL provides a $10,000 forgivable advance for any small business with less than 500 employees (including sole proprietorships, independent contractors, and self-employed persons), private non-profit organization or 501(c)(19) veterans organizations affected by COVID-19. For questions, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail email@example.com. For more information on the EIDL, please visit the SBA’s COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans page.
In April 2020, I hosted a Telephone Town Hall with local and national business experts and a representative from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to discuss resources available, including the PPP and EIDL programs, to small business owners in the 1st District. If you were unable to attend, the entire event can be listened to HERE.
Additional Federal Resources
Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services
- COVID-19 Resources for Vulnerable Populations
- Information for patients and residents of healthcare facilities.
- Medicaid’s COVID-19 Resource Page.
Federal Housing Finance Agency
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- The most up-to-date information can be found at the FDA’s COVID-19 page.
- Issue Specific Information:
- Frequently Asked Questions
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
The IRS is open and processing mail, tax returns, payments, refunds, and correspondence. However, COVID-19 continues to cause delays in some services. Please review the links below for specific items of interest:
You can use the IRS's free Get My Payment tool to track the status of your stimulus check.
- IRS Operations During COVID-19
- Information on Coronavirus Tax Relief and Economic Impact Payments
- Economic Impact Payment Information Center
- Get My Payment Frequently Asked Questions
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- OSHA’s Coronavirus Resource Page
- COVID-19 Recursos en Español sobre la Seguridad en el Lugar de Trabajo
- Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace
Small Business Administration (SBA)
- Information on SBA Disaster Loans
- Information on COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans
- For questions, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Social Security Administration (SSA)
- All local Social Security offices are closed to the public for in-person service starting Tuesday, March 17, 2020. However, they are still able to provide critical services. Information regarding office reopening may be found at SSA’s Office Closings Page.
- Social Security Services
- SSA’s COVID-19 Resource Page
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
- SAMHSA’s COVID-19 page provides resources and information on available grants as well as information for healthcare providers, facilities, employers, and the general public.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
USCIS offices are reopening with certain restrictions. For more information, please visit the USCIS Response to COVID-19 page.
U.S. Department of Education
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
U.S. Department of Treasury
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
- The VA has announced it will rehire retired VA health care workers to bolster their medical staffs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The department is inviting interested retired physicians, nurses, pharmacists, laboratory technicians, respiratory therapists, and other medical professionals to register here.
- General information from the Department of Veteran Affairs on latest significant events and updates related to COVID-19 is available at the VA’s COVID-19 Information Page.
U.S. Postal Service (USPS)
Additional State & Local Resources
State of Illinois
- State of Illinois Coronavirus Response Page
- Illinois State Board of Education COVID-19 Updates and Resources
- The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation Resources for Illinois Residents and Licensees Impacted by COVID-19
- The Illinois Housing Development Authority’s COVID-19 Housing Resources Information Page