Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources for Decatur citizens
Below are some links to resources that may be helpful to Decatur citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic including addressing immediate health and food concerns; mental health resources; ways to help those in need; resources for seniors, veterans, those who have lost their jobs, and small businesses; news about city services and government; and information on the pandemic at the state and national level.
I hope that you and your family remain healthy, take care, and please don’t hesitate to reach out and seek assistance.
ADDRESSING IMMEDIATE HEALTH AND FOOD CONCERNS
The Macon County Crisis Communications Team provides daily information for what to do if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Please refer to their daily Joint COVID-19 Press Releases (https://www.maconcountyhealth.org/covid19/).
Resources for individuals including what to do if you have symptoms, want mental health assistance, need help with food, and more comes from the Herald & Review (https://bit.ly/DecaturCOVID).
If you need assistance with food, childcare, paying bills, or other essential services, you can also call 211 or 888-865-9903. Dialing 211 is a free, confidential community resource available anytime.
MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES
Heritage Behavioral Health Center have crisis workers available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They can be reached by calling 217-362-6262 and dialing 1 for a crisis worker (https://www.heritagenet.org/).
To access the Crisis Text Line, Text: HOME to 741741. Veterans can call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 or TEXT: 838255.
Memorial Behavioral Health is operating a hotline from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM daily for those experience stress and anxiety associated with the pandemic. The hotline phone number is 217-588-5509.
The CDC has created a website for managing stress and anxiety (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fabout%2Fcoping.html&mc_cid=87f848e5b2&mc_eid=e93b0c0e8f).
Tips for social distancing and isolation have been prepared by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (https://afsp.org/taking-care-of-your-mental-health-in-the-face-of-uncertainty/?mc_cid=87f848e5b2&mc_eid=e93b0c0e8f).
Information on maintaining your mental health during uncertain times is provided by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (https://afsp.org/taking-care-of-your-mental-health-in-the-face-of-uncertainty/?mc_cid=87f848e5b2&mc_eid=e93b0c0e8f, Suicide Prevention Health Line – 1-800-273-8255).
Other important resources include the National Alliance on Mental Health (https://nami.org/About-NAMI/NAMI-News/2020/NAMI-Updates-on-the-Coronavirus) and Mental Health America (https://mhanational.org/covid19?mc_cid=87f848e5b2&mc_eid=e93b0c0e8f).
VOLUNTEERING TO HELP THOSE IN NEED
The American Red Cross is in urgent need of individuals to donate blood. For an appointment call 1-800-733-2767 or visit https://RedCrossBlood.org. Blood drives are taking place on Tuesdays from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM at 2674 N. Main St.
Many organizations need volunteers to assist including Good Samaritan Inn and Northeast Community Fund. The following link provides information about volunteer opportunities (https://volunteermidillinois.galaxydigital.com/agency/detail/?agency_id=111106). Catholic Charities Food Pantry needs volunteers to pack food boxes (217-428-6772).
Thursday, April 2 and April 9 from 1:00 to 3:00 PM at the Decatur Civic Center drive-through, medical agencies will be having a donation drive for handmade sown masks; unused surgical masks, gowns and gloves; and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (https://www.decaturtribune.com/2020/03/24/covid-19-joint-update-press-communication-regarding-upcoming-mask-drives/).
To support restaurants that are closed, a guide to restaurants offering delivery, curbside, and drive-thru services has been created (http://www.nowdecatur.com/2020/03/16/nowdecatur-restaurant-delivery-and-curbside-guide/).
The Community Foundation of Macon County has created an Emergency Response Fund (https://www.maconcountygives.org/macon-county-emergency-response-fund).
RESOURCES FOR SENIORS AND VETERANS
The Decatur-Macon County Senior Center has an “Are you okay?” program (RUOK) for seniors. The senior center will call homebound individuals in Decatur and Macon County over the age of 55 Monday – Friday to check on their well being. To sign-up for this free service, please call 217-429-1239.
A list of stores that have special hours for shopping by those at most risk to COVID-19 was compiled by the Herald & Review (https://herald-review.com/news/local/here-s-a-list-of-decatur-stores-with-hours-for/article_91fa68fe-a799-56bd-b1ef-392b457fb789.html).
Honorably discharged veterans are eligible for $100 gift cards to assist with groceries, gas, and other necessities through Help 4 Heroes. For more information, contact the Veterans Assistance Commission of Macon County (217-424-1376).
INFORMATION FOR THOSE WHO HAVE LOST THEIR JOBS
The Illinois Department of Employment Security has adopted emergency rules that allow unemployment benefits for some individuals who have lost their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic (https://www2.illinois.gov/ides/Pages/default.aspx).
The city of Decatur issued a statement regarding the impact of the pandemic to Decatur businesses and employees. The statement includes links for expedited unemployment benefits and small business assistance (https://www.decaturil.gov/city-of-decatur-coronavirus-business-impact-update/).
The Decatur Regional Chamber of Commerce (https://www.decaturchamber.com/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/) and the Economic Development Corporation of Decatur & Macon County ((https://www.decaturedc.com/covid-19/) have comprehensive lists of resources for businesses impacted by the pandemic.
The State of Illinois has created a Small Business COVID-19 Relief Program (https://illinoistreasurer.gov/Invest_in_Illinois/Small_Business_COVID-19_Relief_Program).
CITY SERVICES AND GOVERNMENT
The city of Decatur has compiled a list of resources and is regularly publishing Community COVID-19 Updates. These update videos provide information on city services and any changes to city operations during the health emergency (https://insight.livestories.com/s/v2/city-of-decatur-il-covid-19-resources-page/9fe6808f-dd86-432d-aaab-1716c7e71e3e).
The city of Decatur continues to provide public services during the pandemic. Decatur City Hall and Civic Center are closed effective March 19, 2020. City business is encouraged to be conducted via phone or electronically (https://www.decaturil.gov/city-hall-civic-center-closed-to-the-public-starting-march-19-2020/).
The city has suspended all water service disconnections for non-payment through April 15. In addition, Ameren has suspended service disconnections for non-payment and will forgive late fees for non-payment as described on the Ameren website (https://www.ameren.com/account/customer-service/covid-19).
On March 23, the Mayor signed a proclamation and declaration of a public health emergency in Decatur that will remain in force until the next city council meeting on April 6. This will allow for prompt actions by the city to help Decatur citizens residents.
STATE, NATIONAL, AND GLOBAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
State-specific information about COVID-19 can be found on the state’s website (https://coronavirus.illinois.gov) and the state maintains the Illinois Novel Coronavirus Hotline to answer questions about the Coronavirus at 1-800-889-3931. Information on the state’s stay at home order is also on the state’s website (https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/coronavirus/FAQ/Pages/Stay-At-Home-FAQS.aspx#qst11).
Comprehensive information about the Coronavirus including how to protect yourself and what to do if you think you are sick is provided by the CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html).
The World Health Organization is an excellent resource for learning more about the impact of COVID-19 on a global scale (https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus#tab=tab_1).