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Coronavirus Information

The coronavirus is a serious public health threat. It is important that you are aware of the disease and the efforts necessary to prevent its spread. As COVID-19 vaccines become available, it is important to get vaccinated in order to curb the spread of the virus and save lives. 

Symptoms

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a highly contagious respiratory illness that can spread quickly from person to person. Symptoms can include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

Call your health care professional if you develop symptoms and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19.

Prevention 

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. There are simple everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

  • Adhere to CDC and local guidelines concerning social distancing to reduce the ability of the virus to spread.

If you are sick, to keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should:

  • Stay home except to get medical care 

  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor

  • Wear a facemask

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes

  • Avoid sharing personal household items

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

Vaccines

Vaccines to protect against the coronavirus have been approved for widespread use and are being distributed across the country. States receive vaccines from the federal government and distribute them to counties. Click here to learn more about the State of Illinois’ vaccine plan. 

Your county’s health department is responsible for distributing the vaccines to residents as they become available. Each county has a slightly different process, with some counties using sign up forms and others using email notification systems. Visit your county’s health department website to learn more. Counties located in IL-11 are listed with the appropriate link to the vaccine distribution information here:

Cook County

DuPage County

Kane County 

Kendall County 

Will County 

The U.S. vaccine safety system is designed to ensure that all vaccines are as safe as possible. The COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved for use have gone through rigorous clinical trials and are monitored through existing and expanded safety monitoring systems. Please visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website for more information and data on how the benefits of receiving an approved vaccine greatly outweigh the potential harms of being infected with COVID-19. 

Federal action

The Federal Government passed the CARES Act on March 27, 2020 and the Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 on December 27, 2020, which extends and modifies many of the key components of the CARES Act. Important changes and provisions of the Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act include:

  • Direct cash payments of up to $600 for individuals and $1,200 for couples, as well as $600 per child.

  • Enhanced unemployment insurance, including an additional $300 per week on top of assistance provided by the State of Illinois.

  • Extension of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a program aimed at freelancers and independent contractors, providing an additional $100 per week

  • An additional $285 billion added to the initial $350 billion Payroll Protection Program for small businesses 

  • $25 billion in rental assistance for those struggling to pay rent 

  • Student loan debt relief, which suspended loan payments, stopped collections on defaulted loans, and set interest rates to 0% for a period of 60 days until at least September 30, 2021 

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act contains several important provisions, including:

  • Free coronavirus testing

  • Enhanced unemployment insurance

  • Paid sick leave for many Americans

  • Expanded food assistance programs

  • Increased Medicaid benefits

  • Waived Medicare copays for COVID-19 testing

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac have suspended evictions and foreclosures during the outbreak.

And, the United States Small Business Administration has approved Illinois' request for a disaster declaration. All Illinois small businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis are now eligible to apply for low-interest disaster relief loans at disaster loan.sba.gov, which can help make ends meet during this difficult period of time.

State action 

Illinois has ramped up its efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. Governor Pritzker launched coronavirus.illinois.gov to serve as a hub for all Illinois coronavirus updates and news.

Travel Warnings 

The global coronavirus pandemic is significantly affecting travel. International travel has been restricted - you should check with your airline for the most up-to-date information about flight schedules. Domestic flight schedules have also been affected, contact your airline for updates. The latest travel guidance from the CDC can be found here.

Further Information 

Experts have been working hard to understand this new strain of coronavirus. Because new information is coming out every day, please visit the sites below to stay up to date.

The Centers for Disease Control provides updates on the virus and safety information for the public and healthcare professionals.

The Illinois Department of Health provides updates on the disease's spread within the state, as well as frequently asked questions available here.

The State Department provides a list of travel advisories for those who are planning to fly outside of the United States.

Resource Pages 

More information about small business resources during this COVID-19 outbreak can be found here

More information about unemployment insurance and benefits during this COVID-19 outbreak can be found here

More information about resources available for your family during this time can be found here

The safety of you and your loved ones is of the utmost importance. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call my office at (202) 225-3515.