By William S. Bike
Coronavirus (COVID-19) information
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.
The Chicago Public Schools’coronavirus (COVID-19) website is cps.edu/coronavirus.
The City of Chicago’s coronavirus (COVID-19) website is www.chicago.gov/coronavirus; email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (312) 746-4835.
Cook County’s coronavirus (COVID-19) website is https://cookcountyhealth.org/patients-visitors/coronavirus-information/.
The State of Illinois coronavirus (COVID-19) website is www2.illinois.gov/sites/coronavirus. For questions about coronavirus, call the Illinois Department of Public Health at (800) 889-3931 or email dph.sick.@illinois.gov.
Rush University Medical Center’s coronavirus (COVID-19) website is www.rushu.rush.edu/about/novel-coronavirus-covid-19-information. Rush also is offering on-demand video visits for people concerned they might be infected. Call (312) 942-7100.
The University of Illinois at Chicago’s coronavirus (COVID-19) website is today.uic.edu/frequently-asked-questions. UI Health’s coronavirus (COVID-19) website is https://hospital.uillinois.edu/news/covid-19.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that all City of Chicago debt collections will be suspended until Wednesday, April 15.
The Illinois Coalition of Community Blood Centers is launching the #GiveBloodChallenge to encourage people to make a short trip to donate blood and then post a photo on social media (or at least post your appointment time) and tag ten friends to do the same during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, which has resulted in blood shortages. Contact Vitalant at www.vitalant.org or (877) 258-4835 to schedule a donation time (can be done online) and post a photo on social media with the hashtag #Give Blood Challenge. For more information, log on to www.illlinoisbloodcenters.com.
ComEd has suspended electricity disconnections for customers unable to pay their bills and is waiving late payment charges through Friday, May 1. See www.comed.com.
Cook County and Sheriff Tom Dart’s office are suspending court-ordered evictions until further notice. Allen Hailey of the Lawyers Committee for Better Housing recommends that “renters still be responsive” to eviction notices so when “court proceedings resume they are not at risk of losing their housing.” The LCBH is located at 33 N. LaSalle St. Call (312) 347-7600 or log on to www.lcbh.org.
The Chicago Community Trust and United Way of Metro Chicago set up a fund to help victims of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak: the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund. Log on to www.cct.org/chicago-community-covid-19-response-fund/ or call (312) 616-8000.
The Illinois Department of Human Services provides a program called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families; adults with children younger than 19 may qualify. See www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=49833.
The National Immigrant Justice Center, 224 S. Michigan Ave., which provides comprehensive legal services to low-income immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, continues to do intakes over the phone, according to communications coordinator Alejandra Oliva. The NIJC also has called for a moratorium on detentions by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement because “COVID is particularly dangerous in detention conditions,” Oliva added. Call (312) 660-1370 or log on to www.immigrantjustice.com.
The Chicago Public Schools is giving out free meals for any child in need, regardless of whether the child is a CPS student. Meals are available 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday outside CPS schools. Call (773) 553-5437 or email@example.com.
The Greater Chicago Food Depository can connect people to food pantries. Call (773) 247-3663.
Marillac St. Vincent has a homebound elderly program that delivers groceries to seniors at home. It also has a food pantry at 2859 W. Jackson Blvd. Call (773) 584-3265.
The National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health lists Chicago and Illinois mental health agencies and organizations on its website at http://www.nationalcenterdvtraumamh.org/resources/chicago-and-illinois-mental-health-agencies-and-organizations/. Log on to the website to find an agency or organization if fear of coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting your mental health.
Are media reports, closures, and social distancing causing you to be anxious, stressed, and lonely? Bright Start Community Outreach’s trauma helpline is available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call (833) TURN-123 or log on to BrightStarCommunityOutreach.com.
Parking tickets, auto impound
Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that the City of Chicago will cease all debt collection and stop issuing parking tickets and impounding autos through Thursday, April 30. The City will issue tickets only if the vehicle presents a safety hazard and will tow cars left in the middle of the street.
Chicago Children’s Theatre launched its Play@Home Contest that encourages kids to tell stories using their imaginations and family members (pets included). Youngsters can write their own script, find props and costumes from around the house, and perform their original work on video. Deadline is Monday, April 20. For more information or on how to send the video, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
While Masses are suspended due to coronavirus (COVID-19), Holy Family/Notre Dame Parish will offer Sunday Masses on the parish Facebook page at 10 a.m. The house chapel at the parish office, 1335 W. Harrison St., will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for personal prayer. Email email@example.com for more information.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii offers virtual meditations and will hold virtual novena prayers Wednesday through Thursday, April 1 through 9. Log on to www.ourladyofpompeii.org/news/virtual-meditation/.
The City of Chicago has an emergency rental assistance program. Apply at the Garfield Center, 10 S. Kedzie Ave., (312) 746-5400, or King Center, 4314 S. Cottage Grove Ave., (312) 747-2300, or call 311.
Campuses across the country and in Chicagoland have closed and asked their students to leave dorms. Many of these students rely on student housing and have nowhere else to go. If you want to host a college student in your home, contact Care For Friends at (773) 932-1010 or www.careforfriends.org.
According to the City of Chicago, if you develop emergency warning signs for coronavirus (COVID-19) or if you are high risk, get medical attention immediately. In adults, emergency warning signs include difficulty breathing or shortness of breath; persistent pain or pressure in the chest; confusion and/or difficulty awakening; and/or bluish lips or face. If you do not have those warning signs but have a high-risk condition such as being pregnant, 60 or older, or existing medical or respiratory conditions, call your doctor to see if you need a test if you develop cold or flu symptoms. Others should merely self-isolate and monitor the situation, as symptoms may indicate only a typical cold or flu.
The Illinois Department of Employment Security is working on unemployment benefits to those temporarily laid off because their employers have been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19), such as restaurants and bars; those without paid sick leave; and those in general unable to work because their jobs have been affected. See www2.illinois.gov/ides or call (800) 244-5631.