State of Illinois Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates - Click Here

As state government moves rapidly to respond to the unprecedented situation with COVID-19 containment, I will be providing updates on important information.

Gov. Pritzker today announced an order limiting gatherings to under 50 people. The current number of confirmed cases stands at 105, and Director Ngozi Ezike of the Illinois Department of Public Health has said cases continue to climb.

This is a situation unlike any we’ve faced in our lifetimes. I’m here to help, and urge you to be as helpful as you can to those who need it.

School closures and free lunches

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Gov. JB Pritzker have clearly signaled that they understand many families rely on the meals provided by their local schools. Schools will be closed starting tomorrow until at least March 30. All CPS school sites will serve as food distribution sites for CPS students. Food pick-up will take place outside of the school building. It begins at every school on Tuesday, March 17 and is scheduled from 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Monday through Friday. CPS families can pick-up three days' worth of meals at a time, each with two meals per child. You do not have to go to your child's school. If you need assistance, please call the CPS Command Center at 773-553-KIDS (5437) or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Here is more information on how to pick up meals, as well as other information on how Chicago schools are handling the closing:


Childcare Centers and Early Education Programs: What you need to know

The governor has not mandated the closure of childcare centers. Those remaining open are strongly urged to adhere to federal safety guidelines. You can read the latest information from the Illinois Department of Human Services here.

Unemployment considerations

No decision has been made without the acknowledgment that this health crisis could potentially cause a major economic crisis. Be aware that the governor and the Illinois Department of Employment Security will be seeking ways for those out of work due to the COVID-19 outbreak to seek unemployment benefits. As more information becomes available, I will update you. You can also learn more at the IDES website here:


Volunteering opportunities

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless at times like these, so it’s important to remember that your individual actions in a pandemic are directly responsible for saving lives. If you are in a situation where your regular plans are canceled and you are available to help others, I urge you to first be mindful of safe social distancing protocols and second to consider helping others in whatever way you can. For many, this period will be one of uncertainty and hardship.

Residents of the 47th Ward can sign up to volunteer through Alderman Matt Martin's office. Click here and fill out information to see where you can be of the most help.

For those residents of the 48th Ward, consider seeing if you can be of help with the Community Response Team, which will aim to check in on older and homebound residents. You can look for information about how to volunteer for this group through Alderman Harry Osterman's office at

Residents of the 49th Ward can sign up to volunteer through the Rogers Park Community Response Team. Information, including access to an online sign-up sheet, is here.

This is a major disruption to everyone’s life. I’m committed to helping you however I can. You can reach out to my office through my district office director, Cathy Smith, by emailing her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please do not hesitate to reach out with questions.


Heather A. Steans
State Senator, 7th Illinois Senate District

COVID19 Updates

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