Community-Based Testing Sites for COVID-19
COVID-19 tests are available at no cost nationwide at health centers and select pharmacies. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act ensures that COVID-19 testing is free to anyone in the U.S., including the uninsured. Additional testing sites may be available in your area. Contact your health care provider or your state or local public health department for more information.
Illinois Department of Human Services Offers Online Purchasing For Groceries
This will be automatically provided to all existing Link card holders on June 2, 2020 and can be used online at Amazon and Walmart – the first retailers to provide online SNAP in Illinois. IDHS is encouraging other grocery retailers to participate to deepen and broaden the reach of this program across Illinois communities.
State-Level Information for Essential Workers Seeking Child Care
Essential workers may be faced with the need to find a safe child care arrangement while continuing to work. This document provides resources that may assist individuals in identifying child care options during this unprecedented time.
How to Contact the Social Security Administration during COVID-19
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Illinois Department of Public Health
Cook County Public Health
Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) serves 2.5 million residents and 127 municipalities in suburban Cook County, excluding Evanston, Oak Park, Skokie and Stickney Township, which have their own state-certified health departments.
United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
For the latest details and data on COVID-19 please visit hud.gov
Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County (CEDA)
Meal Options for Suburban Cook County
Suburban School Districts and Food Pantries are providing affordable/free meal options for families in need.
Free Online Educational Resources
Learning can happen wherever you are with the world wide web. Whether you’re interested in astronomy, a new language or just want to explore, these free online educational platforms have something for everyone ages 4 – 20.
Free Or Low-Cost Internet Service And Other Related Resources (Devices And Content) During COVID-19
National Locator Tool for Low-Cost Internet Service Offers: everyoneon.org/find-offers.
- Provided by HUD’s nonprofit partner, EveryoneOn, the locator is easy to use. Users simply type in their zip codes and answer a few questions to determine eligibility for low-cost offers by the major Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
- The site has been updated to reflect new offers many ISPs have made to help ensure connectivity for low-income Americans during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- COVID-19 Updates to Specific Low-Cost Internet Service Offers. Featured below is a list of the major ISPs, their low-cost offers, and specific updates to their offers made in response to the Federal Communication Commission’s “Keep Americans Connected” pledge which was designed to help all Americans stay connected to the Internet during the COVID-19 crisis.
AT&T’s “Access by AT&T.” Available in 21 states. One family member must be eligible for SNAP.
- COVID-19 response: AT&T has committed waive data overage fees in response to Covid-19.
- For more information go to:https://gizmodo.com/at-t-waiving-data-overage-fees-for-home-internet-subscr-1842300601
Charter Communications’ low-cost offer is “Spectrum Internet Assist” and is based on eligibility for the National School Lunch Program.
- COVID-19 response: Charter is now offering free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have service through Spectrum. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395. Installations fees are waived. There are no data caps.
- For more information go to: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-TjZ8yN2VKMFbhaoG_FIquGgyCD4aSPS/view.
Comcast’s low cost offer “Internet Essentials” is available to any low-income American.
- COVID-19 Response: Internet Essentials will be free to new customers. New customers will receive 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service, which is normally available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95/month.
- Additionally, for all new and existing Internet Essentials customers, the speed of the program’s Internet service was increased to 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream. That increase will go into effect for no additional fee and it will become the new base speed for the program going forward.
- Xfinity WiFi Free for Everyone: Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visitxfinity.com/wifi. Once at a hotspot, consumers should select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots, and then launch a browser.
- Data overages will no longer apply for 60 days.
- No Disconnects or Late Fees: Comcast will not disconnect a customer’s internet service or assess late fees if they contact them to let them know that they can’t pay their bills during this period. Comcast care teams will be available tooffer flexible payment options and can help find other solutions.
- For more information and updates from Comcast related to Coronavirus, visit:http://www.comcastcorporation.com/COVID-19/
Cox Communications’ Connect2Compete is for families with school-aged children who are enrolled in low-income assistance programs.
- COVID-19 response: For a limited time, the first month of service will be free, $9.95/month thereafter.
- For other information and other offers go to: https://newsroom.cox.com/cox_internet_changes_to_assist_students_-_remote_workers
The Starry Internet Company affordable service Starry Connect available in New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, Washington, DC and Denver in affordable housing developments.
- COVID-19 response: Beginning March 16th through May all Starry Connect will be free for new and existing customers. In addition, Starry will restore service to existing customers whose service was suspended the previous month due to nonpayment.
- For more information go to:https://www.lightreading.com/services/us-isps-back-pais-keep-americans-connected-pledge-/d/d-id/758211?_mc=RSS_LR_EDT
- COVID-19 Response: While T-Mobile does not have a low-cost offer, it has announced that starting now, all current T-Mo and Metro by T-Mobile customers who have plans with data will have unlimited smartphone data for 60 days, excluding roaming. Most subscribers already have unlimited data, but now people who may be on an older plan with a data allotment have unlimited data. Also, Starting soon, T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers will have an additional 20GB of mobile hotspot data for the next 60 days.
- For more information go to: https://www.tmonews.com/2020/03/t-mobile-metro-unlimited-data-mobile-hotspot-coronavirus/
Other smaller or regional ISPs have offers as well:
- This Open Source Document lists information about special programs regional ISPs are offering in response to the crisis.
- The Lifeline program provides a subsidy to HUD-assisted residents for phone and/or Internet service. Annual recertification requirements have been postponed for 60 days by the FCC.
For updates to these offers: See the Federal Communications Commission’s “Keep Americans Connected” page.
- Computer refurbishers are a good source of low-cost devices.To find one near you, go to the Alliance for Technology Reuse and Refurbishing.
- PCS for People is a member, has worked with many PHAs, and offers tech support for individual customers: https://www.pcsforpeople.org/
- Tech Soup:https://www.techsoup.org/ (a membership fee is required)
- ABCMouse – online learning content for kids 3-8+ years of age. Provided by the company Age of Learning. District or school leaders can visit ageoflearning.com/schools to obtain free in-home access to ABCMouse and other programs for their students. For more information, see their media advisory.
- Recommendations for the whole family by Common Sense Media, a nonprofit dedicated to online safety of minors:
- Media recommendations for entertainment
Age-appropriate media suggestions to keep the whole family engaged
- Best Music Apps and Games for Kids
- New Kids’ TV Shows
- 50 Books All Kids Should Read Before Th ey’re 12
- Best Family Movies
- Common Sense Selections highlighting the best movies and TV s hows
- Sibling Watch-Together TV
- Resources for at-home learning
Tools to help parents and caregivers keep kids focused and learning at home.
- 17 Apps to Help Kids Stay Focused
- Apps That Act Like Math and Science Tutors for Homework Help
- Free Educational Apps, Games, and Websites
- Top Time-Management Apps
- Stress-management resources
- When everything feels overwhelming, check out tips for taking in rapidly changing news.
- De-stress together with meditation apps for kid s and families.
- Get the blood flowing and elevate the mood with these 25 dance games (you might need to buy a special control from Amazon).
- Apps, websites, and video games that inspire runn ing, jumping, and more to stay active.