Get Help, Give Help
Employment and Business Resources
Illinois Department of Employment Security: File online for unemployment benefits
Illinois Legal Aid Online / Getting Unemployment Benefits: Explains unemployment rights during the pandemic
U.S. Small Business Administration: SBA is here to assist small businesses with accessing federal resources and navigating their own preparedness plans as described by the CDC’s Guidance for Businesses and Employers.
Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity: There mission is to provide economic opportunities for businesses, entrepreneurs, and residents that improve the quality of life for all Illinoisans.
Emergency Small Business Grants and Loans Assistance: Under the leadership of Governor JB Pritzker, DCEO is working with partners to launch emergency assistance programs for Illinois small businesses.
How to help in your community
Order takeout or delivery: Order meals from your local restaurants and tip generously! (Yes, experts agree that ordering takeout is safe during the outbreak.) Here is a guide to restaurants in Grayslake.
Order a gift card and use it later: This is a great idea to support other businesses as well. Hair salons, local shops, tourist attractions and even pet boarding facilities may offer gift cards, so you can show loyalty to local businesses even when you can’t patronize them.
Consider paying ahead for services: Some services, like home cleaning, can be purchased ahead of time and then scheduled later. If you know you’ll use it, go ahead and purchase it.
Send a little tip to your hair stylist or nail technician: If you know them, you probably have their Venmo or other payment information.
Over-tip delivery drivers or other service professionals still on the job: They are likely facing serious pressures and personal risk and could use your appreciation.
Pre-book your next service appointment: Eventually, you’re going to have to get your hair done or your pet groomed. Make an appointment now so the businesses know you’re still with them.
Practice the 3 C's - Clean, Cover, Contain
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- If no tissue is available, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
- Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
If You Are Sick
From Lake County Health Department:
Stay home. If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or 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. If your symptoms worsen, call your healthcare provider.
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, your doctor can refer you to a testing site.
If you do not have a primary care provider, please contact the Lake County Health Department at (847) 377-8800.
Evaluate your symptoms with this online tool from Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Medical Information and Updates
Centers for Disease Control: Get up-to-date information from this health authority
Johns Hopkins Interactive COVID-19 Map: Updated global map revealing COVID-19 stats and news from around the world
Illinois Covid-19 Hotline 1.800.889.3931 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Illinois Department of Public Health: Find current information and statistics for COVID-19 in Illinois
Lake County, IL / Health Department & Community Health Center: Help and info for our local area
State of Illinois Coronavirus Response: Find official info including Governor Pritzker’s news conference updates here
World Health Organization: Global perspective and guidance
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:
- Call 211 from your phone
- Text your zip code to 898211
- Visit 211lakecounty.org
Breakfast & 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 in which you can type in your address and 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 info for that school district.
Child Care Assistance Program
During the declared COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, the children of individuals working in healthcare, human services, essential government services (such as corrections, law enforcement, fire department), and essential infrastructure are eligible to receive childcare through the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). A dedicated help line has been created so Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (CCR&Rs) can help connect essential workers families to emergency childcare.
- Call toll-free 888-228-1146
- Text 312-736-7390 Monday - Friday between 8:30 AM-5:00 PM
Avon Township: Due to COVID19 Avon Township Offices will be working via phone (847.546.1446). The building is closed to the public but you may call for services over the phone and we will help best we can. Our office hours will be limited to the same hours as the pantry. The Avon Cares food pantry will be open during normal service hours. We will be supplying food boxes via drive-thru service. The hours are Monday and Wednesday 1 pm-3:30 pm and Friday 9 am- 11:30 am.
How to Help
Find volunteer opportunities in Lake County here.
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 Lake County COVID-19 Community Response Fund will support local nonprofit organizations serving Lake County’s most vulnerable neighbors. The fund unites monies raised by Lake County philanthropies, corporations, and individuals to 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.
Donations to the Lake County COVID-19 Community Response Fund can be made by visiting LIVEUNITEDlakecounty.org/covid19.
To pay by check, make checks payable to United Way of Lake County and note “COVID-19 Community Response Fund”, 330 S. Greenleaf Street, Gurnee, IL 60031.
There is a severe shortage in the nation’s blood supply. You can help patients across the country by giving blood.
Vitalant: Vitalant (formerly LifeSource) operates two donation locations in Lake County, in Gurnee and Lake Bluff. Please schedule your appointment in advance by calling 877-258-4825 or visiting vitalant.org.
American Red Cross: Schedule an appointment at https://redcrossblood.org.
Write Encouraging Notes to Front Line Workers
In our community, many are working tirelessly to save lives, protect our community and provide necessary resources. They are spending days, nights, and weekends away from their families as they respond to COVID-19. A few simple words of encouragement can help to lift spirits and keep everyone energized and focused while helping our community get through this challenging time.
To participate, design a card, take a picture, and tag the Lake County Health Department or Lake County Sheriff’s Office. Use the #UnitedAgainstCOVID #WeAreInThisTogether hashtags.
For those without social media, pictures can be emailed to COVID19@lakecountyil.gov.
Check on your Neighbors
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed right now but building connections and empathy can go a long way in reducing stress. Check-in on neighbors, especially those who may not have support networks or adequate resources. Calling and texting is a good example of responsible social distancing. “CAP” is a great way to remember your neighbors:
C – Check on your neighbors (through call or text)
A – Assess needs and assist when possible
P – Protect self and neighbors by adhering to social distancing guidelines
Help children cope
How to explain the coronavirus to children, from PBS Kids.
Tips and resources for parents and guardians, from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
National Geographic for Kids / Facts about Coronavirus Information for families to learn together.