Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced new support programs to support people in need during the coronavirus pandemic from the safety of their homes.
First, Pritzker talked about a new mental health hotline, Call for Calm, an initiative from the Department of Human Services' Mental Health Division specializing in emotional support for those feeling stress related to COVID-19. Residents can text the hotline and receive a call from a counselor from a local mental health center who will help them. The line can be reached by texting TALK to 552-020, or for Spanish-speaking residents, texting HABLAR to the same number. You can also text the number using keyords, such as unemployment, food, and shelter, to get information on those resources.The service is free to use, anonymous, and available regardless of personal circumstances.
He then spoke about a new remote patient monitoring program, set up to help residents who believe they may have contracted the virus. Since the majority of people who have COVID-19 are able to recover naturally in the safety of their home, the program is specializing in getting information and help to those people. Health workers will be able connect with patients digitally, providing daily virtual visits and wellness kits, consisting of basic medical supplies, including thermometers, pulse oximeters, blood pressure cuffs, and alcohol wipes. The program is available in central and southern Illinois, and will be making its way to northern Illinois soon.
Governor Pritzker hopes that these services will break down barriers and get physical and mental medical help to all people and income levels, especially to underserved and high-risk communities.
The Illinois Department of Public Health then announced that 81 more lives had been lost to the virus, as well as 1,293 new cases. This brings the total to 677 deaths and 19,180 total positive cases.