Coronavirus Resource Page from Rep. Lauren Underwood

Underwood Community Resource Guide for COVID-19



The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) considers the coronavirus to be a serious public health threat. The outbreak first started in Wuhan, China, but cases have been identified in a growing number of other locations internationally, including the United States.

The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold. There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused be a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. The name of this disease was selected following the World Health Organization (WHO) best practiceexternal icon for naming of new human infectious diseases.

Current understanding about how the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spreads is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses. COVID-19 is a new disease and there is more to learn about how it spreads, the severity of illness it causes, and to what extent it may spread in the United States.

It is important that you are aware of the disease and the efforts necessary to prevent its spread.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. 

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure*:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Call your healthcare professional if you develop symptoms, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19.

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. There are simple everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

If you are sick, to keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should:

  • Stay home except to get medical care 
  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor
  • Wear a facemask
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Avoid sharing personal household items
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

This is a rapidly evolving situation and the risk assessment may change daily. The latest updates are available on CDC’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) website.

To learn more about COVID-19 testing availability, and what you should do if you think you might need a test, you can find information here.

Travel Warnings

On March 19, the Department of State issued a Level 4 Global Health Advisory, the highest level advisory. The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel.

Many countries are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice.  Airlines have cancelled many international flights and several cruise operators have suspended operations or cancelled trips. If you choose to travel internationally, your travel plans may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite timeframe. For more information, please visit

Pregnant women

The Centers for Disease Control does not have information from published scientific reports about susceptibility of pregnant women to COVID-19. Pregnant women experience immunologic and physiologic changes which might make them more susceptible to viral respiratory infections, including COVID-19. Pregnant women also might be at risk for severe illness, morbidity, or mortality compared to the general population as observed in cases of other related coronavirus infections [including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)] and other viral respiratory infections, such as influenza, during pregnancy.

Though person-to-person spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 has been observed in the United States among close contacts, this virus is not currently spreading among persons in the community in the United States and the immediate risk to the general public is low. Pregnant women should engage in usual preventive actions to avoid infection like washing hands often and avoiding people who are sick.

Further Information
Experts have been working hard to understand this new strain of coronavirus. Because new information is coming out every day, please visit the sites below to stay up to date.

The Centers for Disease Control provides updates on the virus and safety information for the public and healthcare professionals.

The Illinois Department of Health provides updates on the disease's spread within the state, as well as frequently asked questions available here.

The State Department provides a list of travel advisories for those who are planning to fly outside of the United States.

Resources for Illinois Families 

PPEs Factsheet

COVID-19 Testing Factsheet

14th District of Illinois Priorities for C3

Additional Resources and Contact Information

For an immediate, life-threatening emergency, call 911.

If you feel sick and you are wondering if you have COVID-19, call your health care provider first. If you do not know who to call, you can call your county public health department:

●      DeKalb County: (815) 758-6673

●      DuPage County: (630) 221-7030

●      Kane County: (630) 208-3801

●      Kendall County: (630) 553-9100

●      Lake County: (847) 377-8000

●      McHenry County: (815) 334-4510

●      Will County: (815) 740-8977

If you are unsure of which county you’re in, you can call the Illinois Department of Public Health at 1-800-889-3931.

Congresswoman Lauren Underwood

  • Call my office: (630) 549-2190 or (202) 225-2976
  • Or email me here.

Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH)

  • Call the IDPH hotline for general questions about COVID-19 and Illinois’ response and guidance: 1-800-889-3931
  • Or send an email to: DPH.SICK@ILLINOIS.GOV

Local Public Health Departments

  • DeKalb County: (815) 758-6673
  • DuPage County: (630) 221-7030
  • Kane County: (630) 208-3801
  • Kendall County: (630) 553-9100
  • Lake County: (847) 377-8000
  • McHenry County: (815) 334-4510
  • Will County: (815) 740-8977 

Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES)

  • For unemployment benefits questions, call: 1-800-244-5631
  • Or visit the IDES website here.

Illinois Department of Aging: Senior HelpLine

  • If you’re a senior citizen in Illinois trying to reach the Senior HelpLine, call: 1-800-252-8966.

U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Assistance

  • If you lead a small business and have questions about applying for a Disaster Loan, call: 1-800-659-2955
  • Or send an email to:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Disaster Distress Helpline

  • If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others, call 911.
  • If you, or someone you care about, is not in immediate danger and would like to call the Disaster Distress Helpline, call: 1-800-985-5990
  • Or you can text “TalkWithUs” to 66746.

Veterans Crisis Line

  • If you are a veteran in crisis, you can connect with a Veterans Crisis Line responder anytime day or night by calling 800-273-8255, then selecting 1.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

  • If you have general questions for the CDC, call: 800-232-4636.

Essential business and business insurance inquiries in Illinois

  • If you have a question about “essential business” designations, call 1-800-252-2923.
  • If you have a business insurance question, visit this website.

Employee workplace concerns in Illinois

  • If you have employee workplace concerns, contact the Attorney General’s Workplace Rights Bureau at (844) 740-5076 or fill out a form online.

Emergency child care in Illinois

  • If you are an essential worker who needs emergency child care, you can call the toll-free helpline at (888) 228-1146 or use this emergency provider search

Food assistance

  • To find food assistance near you, you can also call the USDA National Hunger Hotline at 1-866-3-HUNGRY or 1-877-8-HAMBRE.

American Red Cross and America’s Blood Centers

More on COVID-19 From Congresswoman Underwood