Cross-Cultural, Urban, Reformed, Ecumenical

Update 5/5/2020

Dear Chicago Residents and Partners,

COVID-19 testing is becoming more widely available around Chicago. If you think you might be sick with COVID-19, call your doctor and ask if you need to be tested. Your doctor will either perform the test at their office or will refer you to a testing site. Please note that some offices might be overwhelmed and not have enough tests. In that case, they’ll need to prioritize high priority groups such as hospitalized patients, healthcare workers, first responders, and residents and workers in nursing homes.

If you don’t have a health care provider or medical insurance, there are approximately 165 community health centers throughout Chicago, so find one that is close to you at Call ahead and they will work with you to coordinate appropriate care.

Additionally, when you register with the Chi COVID Coach app, we will alert you when COVID-19 approved antibody testing - and down the line, vaccination - is available. If you think you've already had COVID-19, but were not tested while you were sick, antibody testing will eventually help answer the question of whether you had COVID-19 in the past and now have some protection. Learn more at

You can also visit the Illinois Department of Public Health website for a list of testing sites. Locations are continuously being added so make sure to check frequently for updates, changes in hours of operations and requirements. For more information,


What's New

Virtual Commencement – In an effort to celebrate the city’s high school seniors who will not have a traditional graduation this spring, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, in partnership with Citadel, will host Chicago’s first-ever, virtual citywide high school commencement celebration in mid-June. Long-time Chicagoan and global icon, Oprah Winfrey, will give the commencement address at the virtual event. This commencement is intended to celebrate every high school senior in Chicago, including those from Chicago Public Schools, charter schools, Catholic schools and all other private schools across the city. The ceremony will include speeches, performances, and a wide array of elements that will feature student achievements and experiences. The details of the virtual graduation will be determined by a working group of representatives from various Chicago schools, and the exact date will be announced in a few weeks. While the virtual commencement will be focused on celebrating Chicago’s high school seniors, every Chicagoan is invited to participate and enjoy this first-of-its-kind, citywide celebration.

McCormick Place Alternate Care Facility – Starting May 4, 2020, McCormick Place Alternate Care Facility (MPACF) will no longer be accepting patient referrals. All patients currently receiving care at McCormick will continue to receive outstanding medical care for the duration of their illness. The McCormick Place ACF was originally developed out of an abundance of caution and based on data projections of over 40,000 hospitalizations in a matter of weeks, and the facility was meant to relieve that anticipated pressure on our local healthcare systems. The unit with the negative pressure tents will remain assembled to continue upholding the facility’s original mission, as the City and State monitor hospital capacity when elective surgeries begin again. Read the full statement from Governor JB Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Support for Locally-Owned Restaurants and Charities - The Lavin Family Foundation has donated more than $2 million to charities and nonprofits, empowering numerous organizations across the area to engage over 50 independent restaurants and caterers, providing meal provisions through the months of April, May and beyond. Through its Feed It Forward initiative, the Lavin Family Foundation is able to support restaurants and their staff by funding food preparation and meals that are then provided to families and communities across Chicago. In April, the Foundation expanded its generous support and answered Mayor Lightfoot’s call to action to provide meals to feed the City’s third-shift workers at local hospitals. Individuals, businesses or other philanthropic institutions can join in this effort by visiting any one of the many charities that are part of the “Feed It Forward” initiative to learn more and to help support these charities’ efforts including (but not limited to):

  1. Big Shoulders Fund:
  2. Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago:
  3. Catholic Charities:
  4. Housing Forward:
  5. Lakeview Pantry:
  6. Mercy Home:
  7. SOS Children’s Village:
  8. Sunshine Gospel Ministries:


Pop-Up Pantries - The Greater Chicago Food Depository has expanded their services with pop-up food pantries on the West and South Sides. In collaboration with the City and many community organizations, the Greater Chicago Food Depository will deliver truckloads of food to these pop-up food pantries. Residents can learn more about the pop-up pantry dates, times and locations at

Cashing Your Stimulus Check - The Illinois Department of Professional and Financial Regulation (IDFPR) announced new options for unbanked Illinoisans seeking to cash their stimulus checks without incurring check cashing fees. Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Bank, Fifth Third and First Midwest, as well as others, are willing to provide non-customers in Illinois with check cashing options in order to ensure these funds go toward the food, housing, and necessities that people need during this difficult time. Individuals interested in these options should contact the banks listed above, or email IDFPR at to set up an appointment.

BankOn - The national BankOn page provides information on non-predatory accounts that un-banked individuals can set up to receive their federal stimulus payments more efficiently and quickly. Residents can visit to learn more.

Smart 911 - Sign up for Smart 911 and create a safety profile for yourself and your family. In the event of an emergency, your Safety Profile is made available to call takers the moment your phone or one associated with your account dials 9-1-1. The service is free and sign up can be completed in minutes at

Chi COVID Coach - The Chi COVID Coach app is developed to help you know what to do if you have COVID-19 symptoms. Once you sign up, we’ll check back with you via text message. We'll let you know what you and the other people in your household should do to limit the spread of COVID-19, help you know how long you need to stay separated from others, and give you day-by-day guidance throughout a potential isolation or quarantine period. Additionally, when you register with our Chi COVID Coach, we will alert you when COVID-19 approved antibody testing - and down the line, vaccination - is available. Learn more at



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