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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.

Traveling

  • 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

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 dph.sick@illinois.gov.

Coronavirus Scams

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):

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 disaster@leo.gov.

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 disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.  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

Federal Housing Finance Agency

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

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. 

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Small Business Administration (SBA)

Social Security Administration (SSA)

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

Cook County

Will County

City of Chicago

Chicago Housing Authority (CHA)

Chicago Public Schools (CPS)