These are certainly unprecedented times for the State of Illinois. Medical professionals are identifying new cases of COVID-19 daily, and state leaders are taking drastic steps to help slow the spread of the virus. By now you are probably aware that all K-12 public and private schools are closed and utilizing E-learning through at least March 30, and as of this evening, all restaurants and bars will be closed for on-site dining and gathering until March 30. While these steps are significant, they are important. “Social distancing” is the most important thing we can all do to slow the spread of COVID-19 so that our health care system does not become completely overwhelmed. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is recommending that any event that brings 50 or more people together should be canceled or postponed for the next eight weeks.
As an additional measure of safety, my legislative staff will work remotely until further notice. Email and voicemail will be checked regularly, and constituents will receive timely responses. We have put systems in place so that we can continue to provide prompt and professional service to the people of the 42nd District. As always, my office may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at (331) 218-4182. IF YOU ARE A SENIOR AND NEED HELP, PLEASE CONTACT MY OFFICE.
As a reminder, in an effort to provide you with up-to-date facts and information for how individuals can protect themselves while helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19, I have put together a very useful web page with links to information and resources from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). These links are updated daily and sometimes hourly, so please refer to these links often to ensure you have the most current information.
In addition, I’m told that today the Governor will launch a new statewide web site with Illinois-specific information about COVID-19. That web site address is: coronavirus.illinois.gov. It is already populated with useful information and it will be updated as new information becomes available.
Economic assistance is available for those affected financially by the virus. Information about unemployment insurance is available at this link. I also want to let you know that the Governor has called for a moratorium on shutoffs for all utility companies, including energy, telcom and water, and several providers have announced plans to maintain series and waive late payment fees. Several pharmacies, including CVS, have announced they will waive delivery fees for prescription medications.
Lastly, I urge everyone to let kindness and concern for one another guide our actions during this time. This is not a time to hoard food; our grocery stores will remain operational. But let’s all look out for the vulnerable populations that are the most at-risk for developing severe COVID-19 symptoms. Check in on the elderly in your neighborhood and offer to run their errands so they can remain in their homes. Additionally, with the cancellation of scheduled blood drives across the state, Illinois is approaching a blood shortage. Please consider donating blood if you are in good health. You can use this link to find a blood donation location near you. If we all use good judgment and adhere to the social distancing guidelines, we will lessen the impact of COVID-19 in our communities.