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

We are here to help. If you need assistance getting groceries or medicines, applying for unemployment compensation or identifying where to go for a small business loan, please reach out at 773-769-1717 or click here to reach me via email.


Below are updates on where to go for the latest information about the state’s response to COVID-19. For the latest news about state government’s response, you can visit and for important health and safety guidelines you can visit the Illinois Dept. of Public Health’s coronavirus information page here.



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



Are you interested in volunteering? Please visit the Serve Illinois Commission’s homepage for information on how to volunteer and how to connect community services with other volunteers who can help. Also included is a link for those able to donate protective equipment.


Job opportunities

If you have found yourself out of work due to widespread closures, you should know there are some essential businesses actively looking for more employees. If you visit The Illinois Retail Merchants Association’s COVID-19 information page, you will see links to retail employers who are currently hiring. If you’re a small business owner, you can also find information about assistance there.


Visit the Illinois Dept. of Public Health site if you need guidance on how to adapt to COVID-19

COVID-19 forces us to consider the need for social distancing and best public health practices in every space. If your business or organization is an essential service that must remain open during the stay-at-home order and you are wondering what you can do to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19, you should visit the IDPH’s coronavirus site and look along the left side of the page for links to specific guidelines on what to do.


Help for the homeless

Illinois Dept. of Human Services Secretary Grace Hou has informed stakeholders throughout the state that IDHS will make $6 million available for emergency lodging for people experiencing homelessness. The emergency funds will be made available through local Continuums of Care (CoC), local or regional planning bodies that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that coordinate housing and services funding for homeless families and individuals.


For more information on how IDHS is responding during this pandemic, you can read more at the department’s coronavirus page.


Illinois Treasurer will assist small businesses

Small businesses and not-for-profits can also seek aid through a program created by Illinois Treasurer Frerichs' office. A new program will allow financial institutions that administer loans to businesses and non-profits to to apply as depositories who can receive funds from the state and administer loans to businesses and not-for-profits. To learn more visit their website here.


DCFS supporting private agencies that have needed to suspend services

The director of the Illinois Dept. of Children & Family Services has said it will ensure payments continue to agency partners who are providing essential services to families and that private agencies that must slow or stop non-essential services during the emergency will not be financially penalized. For more information about how DCFS is adapting during the pandemic response, you can visit the DCFS coronavirus page.

Dear friends,

This afternoon, Governor JB Pritzker issued a Stay at Home Order for the people of Illinois. The text of the order is available here. A FAQ that should answer most questions is available here.

For many of you, this order will not mean any new, significant changes. If you are already working from home (or performing an essential function) and following the recommendations to stay in except for essential needs, nothing should change.

Rest assured that vital services will remain open. Medical facilities, grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, and banks and credit unions will not close.

You will still be able to go out for vital supplies, take care of elderly and infirm friends and relatives, walk your dog, and seek medical attention. If your heater goes out, you can still call a repair service. You can still go to the laundromat.

Here’s what the order means:

  • Unless you work for an essential business, your employer can’t allow you to come to work.
    • They can still require you to work from home, and they can still require a skeleton crew of staff to come in to secure inventory and other assets and to enable others to work from home.
    • If you do have to go in, your employer should institute social distancing and other protocols to protect your health, if they aren’t already.
  • You can only travel for essential needs. This includes medical visits for health emergencies, getting vital supplies for yourself, and getting vital supplies for friends and loved ones who cannot or should not go out on their own.
    • Do not go out for supplies if you’re sick. Get a friend, loved one, delivery service, or neighbor to get supplies for you, and minimize contact when they drop them off.
  • When you are healthy, you can still go for walks and go outside to get other exercise, but practice social distancing. Stay at least 6 feet away from people outside your immediate household at all times.

I know this order is difficult. Many people are afraid and suffering, but we are taking these steps to help protect the most vulnerable among us and to ensure that our heroic health care providers don’t get overwhelmed. Working together, we will get through this.

As your state senator, I promise to do all I can to support you through this difficult time and to provide you with as much information as possible. Please, don’t hesitate to call my office at (773) 769-1717 or respond to this email if you have any questions or I can help in any way.


Heather A. Steans

State Senator, 7th Illinois Senate District

Dear Friend,

To help relieve the burden on the small business owners who are bearing an unprecedented burden during the COVID-19 outbreak, the State of Illinois is working with authorities to make relief available. Read about how below.

Small business loans



To assist business owners, the State of Illinois has received an economic injury disaster declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The application requires data from businesses in every county to justify the declaration from the federal government. This disaster declaration will help open up avenues of funding for small businesses in Illinois that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. You can see all related info on their website here.

If your business, regardless of how small, has been affected by COVID-19, please take two minutes to complete the survey here.

Sales tax deferral

Sales taxes will be deferred for small- and medium-sized bars and restaurants in March, April and May. More details about tax relief are available from the Illinois Department of Revenue website here.


Heather A. Steans

State Senator, 7th Illinois Senate District

With schools throughout the state closed, I know becoming the head of your own small classroom is going to seem daunting. Fortunately, there has never been a time with more accessible online learning tools than today. You can explore some of the options below.


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

Continuing education as kids stay home




















VIRTUAL FIELD TRIPS: Here’s a Google Doc showing some options for virtual field trips





Here are some other fun activities you can try when screen time is getting boring. Click the image to see a larger version.

COVID19 Updates

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Contact Us

District Office
5533 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL 60640
Office: 773-769-1717
Fax: 773-769-6901

Springfield Office
627 Capitol Building
301 S. Second St.
Springfield, IL 62706
Office: 217-782-8492