Help and Info

This page will provide information regarding the Covid-19 virus epidemic and links to sites that offer assistance in dealing with the outbreak.

Health Department Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Newsletter – April 1st & 2nd, 2020

Lake County COVID-19 Cases As of April 1, 2020, 465 Lake County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, and there have been 7 deaths associated with COVID-19 complications. View our COVID-19 dashboard for the latest information, including a map showing cases by municipality.

Lake County, Ill. — The Lake County Health Department is reporting 77 new cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Lake County and five new deaths since yesterday. This brings the total number of Lake County COVID-19 cases to 542, including 12 deaths (as of April 2, 2020, 1:30 p.m.).

The five deaths were among residents who all had underlying health conditions, a risk factor for severe illness from COVID-19. The deaths include:

  • One male and one female in their 60s;
  • Two males in their 70s; and
  • A male in his 80s.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the families who have lost their loved ones,” said Tim Sashko, Lake County Board of Health President. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to you, to all residents who are battling this disease, and to all Lake County families bearing an immense emotional burden of uncertainty during this difficult time.”

 

The Lake County Health Department is investigating 12 long-term care facilities in the county that have two or more confirmed cases. These 12 facilities have a combined total of 70 confirmed COVID-19 cases. The Health Department is working closely with these facilities to prevent further spread of the virus and to equip them with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as needed.

“At this point, it is clear there is substantial community-based transmission of COVID-19 in Lake County,” said Lake County Health Department Executive Director Mark Pfister. “This is why we have been urging residents to stay home. Even when going out for necessities like groceries, limit your time in stores and use delivery, drive-through, or curb-side pick-up whenever possible.” 

The Health Department operates a Crisis Care Hotline for residents, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (847) 377-8088. Starting today, in addition to the mental health counselors who staff the hotline, the Health Department has added certified addiction counselors to provide support for people with substance use disorders. During this time when many substance use treatment centers have reduced availability and staffing and many support groups are unable to meet due to the stay at home order, help is available over the phone.

“Stay At Home” Order—What That Means 

On Friday, March 20, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a “stay-at-home” order to take effect Saturday evening, March 21 and continue through Tuesday, April 7. The order is in place to protect the health of people in our community and the health care system. 

While Lake County residents can still go to grocery stores, put gas in their cars, take walks outside, make pharmacy runs, visit healthcare facilities, and get food for take-out and delivery, it is important for people to stay home and to cease all non-essential personal and business activities. 

All local roads, including the interstate highways and tollways, will remain open to traffic. Non-essential businesses, such as retail clothing stores, will be closed. The tentative date for re-opening of Illinois schools is now Wednesday, April 8.

View answers to frequently asked questions about the Stay at Home Order 

Essential Businesses & Operations Info

Special Shoppping Hours for Senior Citizens

The following stores are holding special shopping hours for senior citizens and other vulnerable populations. This list is updated frequently. 

ALDI – ALDI stores will open at 8:30am on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and we ask that this first hour is re-served for our most vulnerable shoppers, including senior citizens, expectant mothers, and those with under-lying health conditions. ALDI stores across the country will be open for regular hours from 9:00am to 7:00pm daily. Some stores may have limited hours to accommodate restocking and cleaning. 

Caputo’s – Tues/Weds/Thurs 6:00am-7:30am for seniors and immunocompromised. 

Costco – Tuesdays and Thursdays 8:00am-9:00am 

County Market – 6:00am – 8:00am 

CVS – Stores and pharmacies are operating with normal hours. 

Dollar General – Dollar General’s first hour of operations each day will be dedicated solely to the shop-ping needs of senior customers. Stores will also close an hour earlier in order for employees to clean and re-stock shelved. 

Kohl’s – Most Kohl’s stores are currently operating on an 11:00am to 7:00pm schedule. Customers are encouraged to check with their local Kohl’s to confirm these hours. 

Jewel-Osco – Vulnerable population including senior citizens and pregnant individuals are invited to have priority shopping on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 7:00am and 9:00am. 

Mariano’s – 6:00am-8:00am daily. 

Meijer – Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:00am – 8:00am. 

Sam’s Club – Starting Tuesday, March 17, stores will be open 9:00am to 8:00pm. Sunday hours will re-main 10:00am to 6:00pm. 

Target – All Target stores will be closing at 9:00pm daily so stores will be replenished and deep cleaned. Also beginning March 18, Target will reserve the first hour of shopping each Wednesday at stores nationwide for vulnerable guests – including elderly and those with underlying health concerns. Target is encouraging other guests to plan their shopping trips around this timeframe. 

Trader Joe’s – Until further notice, all Trader Joe’s stores will be open from 9:00am until 7:00pm. 

Walgreens – Stores and pharmacies are operating with normal hours. 

Walmart – Walmart U.S. stores will adjust operating hours to 7:00am to 8:30pm. Stores that open later than 7:00am will continue their regular starting hours. Beginning March 24, Walmart stores will host an hour-long senior shopping event every Tuesday for customers aged 60 and older. This will start one hour before the store opens. Our pharmacies and Vision Centers will also be open during this time. Stores will have limits for customers in certain categories including paper products, milk, eggs, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, water, diapers, wipes, formula and baby food. 

What to Do If You Are Sick

If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as a cough and shortness of breath, stay home. Distance yourself from others in the household and if possible, stay in your own bedroom and use your own bathroom. Seek medical care right away if your illness is worsening (for example, if you have difficulty breathing).   

Do not walk into a healthcare facility, urgent care clinic, or hospital before calling. Discuss your symptoms with your doctor.

 If your doctor believes that you need to be tested for COVID-19, they should refer you to a COVID-19 testing site.

The health department should only be contacted to facilitate testing through the State lab for patients who are are hospitalized or who live or work in congregate settings (e.g., schools, long term care facilities, group homes). 

More information on what to do if you are sick 

CDC Best Practices

Government Closures and Service Modifications

 Lake County Government 

Lake County Government will continue to provide mission-essential functions and services. Operations that involve public safety, public utilities, and waste management will continue uninterrupted. County departments are reachable by phone and email during normal working hours, and are offering online services, drop boxes, and drop off locations. 

For information on how to contact departments and access services during this time, visit www.lakecountyil.gov/closures

Lake County Health Department 

The Health Department’s Community Health Centers continue to care for patients during this time, and modifications have been made to protect the health and safety of all patients and staff:  

  • Services are being provided over the phone when possible 
  • Social distancing measures have been put in place at the clinics 
  • Non-urgent in-person visits are being rescheduled for 4-6 weeks in the future 
  • Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) services are provided over the phone, and WIC coupons are provided via curb-side pickup 

For a full list of changes to health center services, locations, and hours, please visit www.lakecountyil.gov/healthclosures

For medical and behavioral health appointments, please contact the Patient Access Center at (847) 377-8800. For WIC appointments, contact (847) 377-8420. 

Environmental Health continues to provide water testing and radon kits, and is accepting plans/applications via the indoor drop box at the Central Permit Facility in Libertyville. Call (847) 377-8020 for more information. 

Get Connected to Help

Lake County has developed resource pages that can be found at lakecountyil.gov/coronavirus that include information on how to get help and how you can help those in need. Information and resources will continue to be added to both sites as we learn about them.

Loans for Small Businesses

PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM FOR SMALL BUSINESS OPENS TOMORROW! Included in the CARES Act stimulus is the Paycheck Protection Program, designed to help small business owners cover their employees’ payroll and benefits during the crisis. This program also applies to non-profits, veteran organizations, sole proprietorships, the self-employed, and independent contractors. These loans will be forgiven so long as proceeds are used to cover payroll costs and benefits, and employee compensation levels are maintained (capped at $100,000). Applications open tomorrow, April 3 for small businesses and sole proprietorships, while applications are open for independent contractors and the self-employed starting April 10. You can find more guidance on how to apply at the Department of the Treasury’s website

If you own a small business, run a private non-profit, or are self-employed in Lake County and are facing financial hardship due to COVID-19, you can apply for a low-interest disaster loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).  View a fact sheet.  Learn more and apply online on the SBA website. You may also call the SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information. The application filing deadline is Dec. 21, 2020.    

More small business resources

Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment benefits may be available to some individuals whose unemployment is attributable to COVID-19. The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) recently adopted emergency rules to try to make the unemployment insurance system as responsive to the current situation as possible. Learn more on the IDES website.

Food Pantries

Northern Illinois Food Bank partners with feeding programs across 13 counties to serve people needing food. Use the locator map to find local food pantries or soup kitchens.  

 

Veterans Assistance Commission

Any Lake County veteran in need of assistance, no matter what area of need, is urged to contact the Lake County Veteran’s Assistance Commission for help. Call (847) 377-3344 or email veterans@lakecountyil.gov.

Breakfast and Lunch for Children

Even though schools are closed, many schools are still offering breakfast and lunch to feed the many children in Lake County who depend on the meals. View an interactive map and type in your address to find the nearest school in your area serving breakfast/lunch. Click on any dot on the map to view the address and a link to more information for that school district. 

Call 211 to Get Connected to the Help You Need

If you need help finding any social service, including resources for finding food, healthcare, paying your utility bills, mental health services, etc., please reach out to United Way of Lake County’s free, confidential 211 service through any of the following: 

  

ComEd News Release

Residential Customers Who Are Without Power Encouraged to Contact ComEd to Have Service Restored

ComEd extends support to ensure all residents have safe, reliable energy service during this critical time.

CHICAGO (March 23, 2020) – As the state of Illinois works to comply with Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order, ComEd is taking additional steps to help ensure all its residential customers across northern Illinois have access to electric service during this critical time. To support all people, including school children, who are now at home during the day, ComEd will work with residents whose service was disconnected prior to the company’s March 13 suspension of service disconnections to have service restored and help ensure access to safe and healthy environments.

“The last thing we want you to worry about as COVID-19 spreads is whether your home will have power or what to do if you are without power,” said ComEd CEO Joe Dominguez. “We need to come together in support of one another during this time. Ensuring every resident across northern Illinois has access to safe and reliable electric service is just one of the many ways we are doing just that.”

ComEd customers who have had their electric service disconnected for a non-safety issue should contact ComEd at 800-334-7661, Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., so that we can work to try to have power reconnected safely.

As part of this process, ComEd Customer Care representatives are ready to work with residents on a case-by-case basis to help them identify assistance programs that can supplement bill payment to help ensure service remains on after this pandemic. ComEd’s highest priority is the safety of its customers, employees and contractors.

Assistance Options Available

Any resident who is struggling to pay their energy bill should contact ComEd as soon as possible at 800-334-7661 or visit ComEd.com/CARE, for financial assistance programs and flexible payment options. These offerings can help reduce budget strain for eligible customers, particularly during this time when some customers face unforeseen circumstances.

Customers may also register for My Account, a web-based interactive tool that provides them a detailed analysis of their specific energy use and offers ways to save money and energy. Visit ComEd.com or ComEd’s free mobile app to learn more about these programs or conduct regular business with ComEd 24/7.

To support communities affected by the spread of the coronavirus, ComEd and its parent company Exelon contributed $250,000 to United Way of Metro Chicago and the Chicago Community Trust’s COVID-19 Response Fund to support their efforts to provide essential services during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

How You Can Help

Donate to the Lake County COVID-19 Community Response Fund

United Way of Lake County, Lake County Government, Lake County Community Foundation, and the Lake County Municipal League have joined together to create the Lake County COVID-19 Community Response Fund. 

Hosted and administered by United Way of Lake County, the fund will support local nonprofit organizations serving Lake County’s most vulnerable neighbors. Monies will be disbursed to nonprofit organizations serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, providing urgent resources for Lake County most at-risk neighbors. 

To donate, visit LIVEUNITEDlakecounty.org/covid19. To pay by check, make checks payable to United Way of Lake County and note “COVID-19 Community Response Fund”, and mail to 330 S. Greenleaf Street, Gurnee, IL 60031. 

Volunteer for the Lake County Medical Reserve Corps

The Lake County Medical Reserve Corps is a volunteer group that works supports the increased demands of the healthcare system in the event of a major health emergency. Volunteer by emailing HLHealthEM@lakecountyil.gov or calling 847-377-8186. 

Donate Blood

Because so many blood drives have been canceled due to school and workplace closures, there is a severe shortage in the nation’s blood supply. You can still practice safe social distancing while also stepping up to help patients across the country by giving blood. 

Vitalant (formerly LifeSource) operates two donation locations in Lake County, one in Gurnee and one in Lake Bluff.  They are extending their hours and they encourage eligible donors to call 877-258-4825 to schedule an appointment. 

Information on upcoming American Red Cross blood drives can be found at redcrossblood.org

Volunteer at a Food Bank

To meet the growing need at this time of crisis, the Northern Illinois Food Bank is seeking volunteers to help pack and distribute food. 

Ask Your COVID-19 Questions

We want to make sure you have the information you need to stay healthy and safe. Email your questions to COVID19@lakecountyil.gov and we will answer the top ten frequently asked questions every week.

Please note, this email will not be used to provide medical advice or information on people who have tested positive for COVID-19. If you have personal medical questions, please contact your healthcare provider. This email is not monitored 24/7.

Illinois COVID-19 Hotline

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has established a COVID-19 hotline and email address to answer questions from the public:

COVID-19 Resources

Information for Specific Groups

Communication Resources

We need your help to keep our communities healthy and safe. The Lake County Health Department, Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer free resources including fact sheets, flyers, posters, and videos.

View communication resources

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      If you have questions regarding the Coronavirus, use the following international, federal, state, and county sites to find answers.

  1. World Health Organization:  https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public
  2. Center for Disease Control:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
  3. Illinois COVID-19 Website: coronavirus.illinois.gov
  4. Lake:  https://www.lakecountyil.gov/4377/Coronavirus-Disease-2019-COVID-19
  5. Lake en espanol:  COVID-19

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Follow reports in Illinois

 
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