COVID-19 Resources

During these challenging times, it’s crucial that workers have access to the resources they need. The materials below are to help you navigate this pandemic.

Vaccine and Mask Mandates

CPS: Students, teachers, and staff will be required to wear face coverings and social distance while indoors this upcoming academic year.

Illinois State University: Face coverings are required for students, faculty, staff, and visitors on campus. Students, faculty and staff also have to provide proof they are vaccinated. Those who aren’t have to be tested for COVID each week. 

Loyola University: Requires students to be fully vaccinated before returning to campus this fall.

Northwestern University: Requires students to be fully vaccinated before returning to campus this fall.

Illinois Secretary of State: All driver service facilities, Secretary of State offices and the Illinois State Capitol Building will require employees and customers to wear a mask again starting Monday, Aug. 2. For more information, click here.

University of Chicago: Requires students to be fully vaccinated before returning to campus this fall.

University of Illinois: University of Illinois System will require employees be vaccinated for the upcoming semester. Individuals who are still working through their vaccination process or unable to be vaccinated will be able to use robust SHIELD testing, along with mask wearing and specific protocols established by each university, to be cleared to participate in campus activities.

City of Chicago: City employees must wear masks in “common areas” of City Hall and other city workplaces too tight to maintain social distance and wear masks full-time if they’re not vaccinated.

State of Illinois: Mask requirement for everyone in state-run facilities, including those who are vaccinated.

Federal: All federal employees (except U.S. Postal Service workers) and on-site contractors will have to be vaccinated against the coronavirus or be required to wear masks and undergo repeated testing.

Walk-Ins are now Allowed at All Cook County COVID-19 Vaccination Sites

Vaccination Locations

Retroactive FEMA Reimbursements for COVID Funeral Expenses

Starting Monday, April 12, those who lost loved ones to COVID-19 will be able to apply for retroactive reimbursements for burial costs. Applicants can receive up to $9,000 per burial.  

The deceased’s documentation status is not considered, but the applicants must be U.S. citizens, legal residents, asylees, refugees, or non-citizen nationals.

To apply, you must call 844-684-6333.  The call center will be open from 7am to 7pm ET, starting April 12.

Before you call, please collect relevant documentation. The applicant(s) must provide: 

  • a copy of the death certificate. The death certificate must indicate the death “may have been caused by” or “was likely a result of” COVID-19 or COVID-19-like symptoms. Similar phrases that indicate a high likelihood of COVID-19 are also considered sufficient.
  • proof of funeral expenses incurred. Documentation (receipts, funeral home contract, etc.) must include the applicant’s name as the responsible person for the expense, the deceased individual’s name, the amount of funeral expenses, and that funeral expenses were incurred after January 20, 2020

Please note, FEMA will only award COVID-19 funeral assistance for a deceased individual on a single application. If multiple individuals contribute toward funeral expenses, they should register under a single application as applicant and co-applicant.

For examples of eligible funeral expenses and for more information, click here

Vaccination Information

General Guidance and Resources

State Specific Resources

COVID Paid Sick Time: Governor Pritzker has moved to allow people who have to skip work because they have coronavirus to collect pay, even if their job doesn’t come with paid sick leave. Those who are unemployed due to sickness can collect unemployment insurance, “to the full extent permitted by federal law.”

Union Health Service (UHS): If you or your family uses Union Health Services (UHS), please call (312) 423-4200 before showing up. A professional will advise you on the best course of action.

CPS Grab-and-Go Meals: Throughout the summer, CPS will offer a variety of nutritious meals to anyone age 18 and younger. Meal kits containing multiple meals will be available at over 260 locations throughout the city. Children do not need to be present and families can take meal kits home. The summer meal distribution schedule is Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 1:00pm from June 28 to August 20th. Click here to learn more.

COVID-19 Testing: For testing sites in Illinois click here

Unemployment: To apply for unemployment insurance, visit the Illinois Department of Employment Security website and their FAQ here. The state is working to analyze the impact of the federal stimulus on Illinois – for questions on the package, click here.

For a step-by-step video guide on applying for unemployment in IL, click here.

ComEd Payment Assistance ComEd provides payment assistance and arrangements for customers who may experience financial hardship. Visit their website for more information.

Food: To apply for SNAP benefits, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or Medicaid, visit the Illinois Department of Human Services website.

To receive COVID-19 text alerts from Cook County, text AlertCook to 888777