How to Get Help as Cities, States Shut Down to Curb Coronavirus

If you need help, or if you would like to help those in need, NBC Chicago has gathered official resources below

There's a lot of information surfacing and evolving during the coronavirus outbreak, as numbers of confirmed cases continue to rise and more public services start to shut down across the Chicago area and the country.

If you need help, or if you would like to help those in need, NBC Chicago has gathered official resources below.

Note: This list will continue to update as more resources become available.


Stay Updated:

  • You can call the COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email DPH.SICK@ILLINOIS.GOV
  • For Cook County updates, residents can text "AlertCook" to 888-777 or call this hotline: (708) 633-3319. Email is also available at
  • For more information on Chicago’s COVID-19 response, please visit, email, or call 312-746-4835.
  • In Illinois, you can visit
  • Check this list of coronavirus resources in each county
  • Watch daily briefings from the governor here.
  • NBC Chicago is continually updating a live blog with the latest developments as well as providing informative news in a Facebook group.

Schools and Child Care:

  • All schools are closed but closure of childcare facilities is still voluntary.
  • Limited recreational and enrichment activities will be offered in a safe setting at select Chicago Park District facilities. A list of site locations will be made available at
  • School lunches and meal deliveries are available on a district level. Gov. Pritzker said kids who qualify for free and reduced lunch will still receive two meals a day. In Chicago, families may go to their neighborhood CPS school for food packages.

Unemployment and Financial Assistance:

  • You can apply for unemployment insurance if you’re without access to paid sick leave or are unable to work because of COVID-19. Call IDES at 1-800-244-5631 or visit
  • Gov. J.B. Pritzker has called for a moratorium on shutoffs for all utility companies, including energy, telecom and water, and several have announced plans to maintain services and waive late payments.
  • Cook County is suspending court-ordered evictions
  • Pritzer is filing a federal waiver to expand Medicaid services
  • More resources for unemployed workers can be found here.


Stay Updated:

Schools and Daycares:

  • Families who need help finding or paying for care can contact Brighter Futures Indiana staff at 1-800-299-1627 and a referral specialist can support them in their search
  • Every community has a Child Care Resource and Referral Agency who can connect parents with local child care options and provide referrals for support. To find your local CCR&R you can call 1-800-299-1627 or go to
  • When locating care it is important to ensure that families are choosing licensed and regulated care for their children. To check if the environment is licensed or regulated you can go to or call 1-800-299-1627.


- The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) has suspended rules requiring certain unemployment insurance claimants to physically appear at a Work One location to engage in reemployment services for the next four weeks.


Stay Updated:

  • For the latest on COVID-19 in Wisconsin head here.
  • Details on outbreaks and investigations in the state here.

Schools and Daycares:

All public and private schools will be required to close beginning at 5 p.m. March 18 and continuing through April 6.  The order only applies to pupil instruction and extracurricular activities, not to childcare functions.

  • The Department of Public Instruction has developed a webpage for options for serving children meals in a noncongregate setting in the event of a school closure due to COVID-19. The DPI also submitted a Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) waiver to USDA. This request is to waive the congregate feeding requirement for SFSP meals during unanticipated school closures at school and non-school sites during a public health emergency, such as COVID-19.
Contact Us