Response to Coronavirus COVID-19

UIC’s COVID-19 Public Health Response

As the world addresses the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, faculty and researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) School of Public Health are playing leading roles in the response in Chicago, Cook County and the State of Illinois.  Refer to their website here for the latest updates and resources, including checking for symptomscontacting your local health department and accessing COVID-19 fact sheets. The School of Public Health has further information available here.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for information about how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and what to do if you get sick.

Other resources will be shared below to help protect the health and safety of workers and communities. Updated as of March 30, 2020.


Table of Contents:

  1. Center for Healthy Work Policy Brief: Why Paid Sick Leave is an Effective Treatment Against Coronavirus
  2. Who to Contact if You or a Family Member May Be Sick
  3. Resources from WHO, CDC, Centers of Excellence for Total Worker Health, & Governmental Agencies
  4. Illinois Resources
  5. Chicago Resources
  6. Resources for Immigrants and Refugees/Recursos para Inmigrantes
  7. North Lawndale Community Impact Survey
  8. Additional Resources
  9. Volunteer Opportunities
  10. Preventing the Spread of COVID-19

Why Paid Sick Leave is an Effective Treatment Against Coronavirus

In 2016 the City of Chicago passed an ordinance to provide workers with up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year. Cook County quickly followed with a similar ordinance, but 112 of 133 suburban municipalities surrounding Chicago have since opted out of the ordinance, utilizing their home rule authority to claim that it was too costly for business owners. With the outbreak of COVID-19 (the Coronavirus) it is apparent why paid sick leave is vital for the health—and the economy– of the nation. Yet, millions of workers are not entitled to paid sick leave…

Click Here to Read the Full Article

Who to Contact if You or a Family Member May Be Sick

Resources from the WHO, CDC, Centers of Excellence for Total Worker Health, & Governmental Agencies

Centers of Excellence for Total Worker Health

Illinois Resources

Unemployment benefits are available to some people in Illinois whose unemployment is attributable to COVID-19. Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) recently adopted emergency rules to try to make the unemployment insurance system as responsive to the current situation as possible. Learn more by clicking here.

Apply for unemployment assistance, call 800-244-5631 or click here. You can also click here for assistance on how to fill out unemployment assistance forms.

  • Apply for SNAP (financial assistance for food) here.
  • Click here for Steps to Take If You Can’t Make Ends Meet Because of the Coronavirus.
  • Click here to learn more about emergency grants being offered to bartenders, barbacks, and cocktail servers.
  • College/university students displaced from dorms:
    • Hotel Essex in the South Loop has a special $59-a-night rate for students on stays through April 30. Call 312-939-2800.
    • Radison Blue is $99 a night through April 30. Call the front desk at 312-565-5258.
    • West suburbs: Residence Inn Oak Brook has extended-stay suites. Students can stay here for a reduced rate of $79. Call 630-571-1200.
  • Restore Justice wants to know if you still have access with your incarcerated loved one since the Illinois Department of Corrections has suspended all in-person visits.  Click here to fill out the form.
  • Bright Star Church & Bright Star Community Outreach offers a free Trauma Helpline, now with extended operating hours. Call 833-TURN-123 for assistance or visit their website.
  • Legal Aid Chicago has developed resources on paid sick leave in Chicago and Cook County and unemployment in Illinois. Legal Aid Chicago also plans to develop resources on federal law and leave laws in the near future. Resources will be updated here as they become available.
  • The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has developed a flowchart of who needs to be working and how to manage compliance with prevention principles. Click here to view the flow chart.
  • Illinois Department of Human Services has created a survey to identify personal protective equipment (PPE) needs across the state. Click here to fill out the survey.
  • The Shriver Center on Poverty Law has created resources for individuals and families in Illinois.

Chicago Resources

Chicago’s West Side:

  • For resources in the North and South Lawndale and La Villita neighborhoods click here.
  • Forty Acres Fresh Market (5051 W Chicago Ave) is delivering fresh produce citywide Monday through Friday between 7-10 p.m. and on weekends from 6-10 p.m. Call: (847) 497-5435
  • The North Lawndale Community Coordinating Council is working to ask community members and community partners what are the current and upcoming needs in the community. Click here to fill out the survey.

Chicago’s South Side:

  • Brave Space Alliance is operating a crisis food pantry for the LGBTQ community on the South Side. To have food or other supplies dropped off at your front door, please click here.

Chicago’s North Side:

  • Lakeside Area Neighbors Association (Uptown) is receiving requests for meals or medicine to be left at your door, to ask for a ride to an urgent care facility or physician’s office if you are feeling unwell, or simply ask that someone call you at a specific time to check in. You can also text the hotline if you have resources to share.
  • Click here to access Uptown Church’s online form to request assistance in Uptown or Edgewater.
  • Ukranian Village neighbors have set up an email address for those who are immunocompromised, older, or have kids at home and need assistance. Email:
  • Assistance from the 33rd Ward Ald. Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez for Albany Park and Avondale can be found by clicking here.

Resources for Immigrants and Refugees

This comprehensive guide was created to address the needs of the immigrant and refugee community in the state of Illinois. Click here.

Immigrants Rising is also committed to serving undocumented communities during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. They have put together a list of resources to help undocumented immigrants navigate the crisis.

Click here to view the list of resources.

Please contact them if there are additional resources that you would like to add to this document. They will continue to update it as the situation develops.

Resources from the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights are available here.

Recursos para Inmigrantes Durante la Crisis de COVID- 19

Esta guía integral fue creada para abordar las necesidades de la comunidad de inmigrantes y refugiado en el estado de Illinois. Si está buscando recursos en un estado diferente, vaya al siguiente documento COVID-19 Recursos para comunidades indocumentadas

Seguiremos actualizando esta lista mientras más información se haga disponible. se dedica a aumentar el acceso a los recursos y el conocimiento para la comunidad inmigrante e indocumentada en los EE. UU. Entenden que estos tiempos son especialmente difíciles para las comunidad inmigrante que enfrentan desafíos únicos con la crisis del coronavirus y sus estatus migratorio.

Los siguientes recursos se actualizarán de manera continua. Si ve recursos para su ciudad o estado que son útiles para la comunidad indocumentada, por favor llene esta forma.

North Lawndale Community Impact Survey

As we all continue to navigate uncharted territories The North Lawndale Community Coordinating Council is working to ask community members and community partners what are the current and upcoming needs in the community.

Please complete this survey and provide as much information as possible.

Click here to fill out the survey.

Google Map of 2653 Ogden Ave.

Additional Resources

  • Visit our Events Page for updated webinars and virtual events about COVID-19.
  • Visit our News Page for updated information about COVID-19.
  • If you are a long-term care employer, direct care worker, consumer, family member, other long-term care leader or advocate, please fill out the survey from PHI to help raise awareness, build support, and disseminate best practices for supporting the direct care workforce—and their employers—through these challenging times.
  • You can view Access Living’s resources for the disability community by clicking here.
  • To view COVID-19 resources for people who use drugs and substances click here. Information in Spanish can be viewed here.
  • Click here to view policy briefs demonstrating that worker health is public health from the National Employment Law Project.
  • Resources for gig workers from the Gig Workers Collective can be found here.
  • The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health has posted resources for workers here.

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Kelly Hayes, a Chicago organizer, is asking for volunteers to do mutual aid work. Click here to fill out the form.
  • Help the Brave Space Alliance get aid to LGBTQ folks on the South and West side by clicking here.
  • Click here to access the Chicago Hardship and Help form.
  • Ald. Sigcho-Lopez is asking for volunteers in Pilsen and Chinatown. Click here to volunteer.

Preventing the Spread of COVID-19

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.


1. Clean your hands often.

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.


2. Stay home if you are sick.

3. Cover coughs and sneezes. Dispose of used tissues.

4. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.

Visit the CDC's website for more information on prevention.