The Chicago Federation of Labor

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)



The outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to impact the health, safety, and finances of Chicago's workers. At the CFL, we are committed to bringing our affiliates the resources they need to keep union members safe during these uncertain times. We are also working to mitigate the economic impact of the outbreak and to advocate for all workers with political leaders.


Right now, the health and safety of Cook County residents is our top priority. Be sure to stay current with the latest information from trusted public health resource providers like the Chicago and Illinois Departments of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The CFL will continue working with affiliates, businesses, and elected leaders to assist workers whose livelihoods have been impacted since the pandemic began. As we continue to navigate our communities through the ongoing pandemic,  we will share that information and resources on this webpage.


Resources for Workers Impacted by Outbreak-Related Job Loss:

IRS “Get My Payment” Tool

The IRS offers resources to check the status of the second round economic impact payments. You may be eligible for this round of stimulus even if you didn’t receive payment in 2020. Go to to learn more.

Chicago Labor Relief Fund

In times of crisis, it is solidarity that keeps the labor movement strong. The Chicago Federation of Labor and its partners have set up the Chicago Labor Relief Fund to make direct payments and other essential resources to families who have lost their livelihoods because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you are able, please consider donating to the Chicago Labor Relief Fund at

Illinois Department of Employment Security - Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment benefits may be available to individuals who are currently unemployed or furloughed due to COVID-19. Over the course of the pandemic, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) adopted emergency rules to make the unemployment insurance system as responsive to the current situation as possible. Find out more at

CFL Workforce and Community Initiative

Individuals who have had hours cut, are facing a possible layoff or closure, been laid off from their job, or are unemployed and have not been able to obtain employment on their own can receive job search, re-employment, training, referrals to partners, and support services from the Chicago Federation of Labor Workforce & Community Initiative.  Visit or email to learn more. 

COVID Support Services/Service Finder Tool

The United Way of Metro Chicago has created a service locator tool that uses zip-code based geo-location. It will help affected individuals find different services close to their home. Additional resources for those needing immediate food and housing assistance can be found on the United Way website as well.


Illinois Crisis Assistance Program

The Crisis Assistance Program provides payment for rent, food, clothes, household supplies and important essential furniture for families who are eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and:

  • are homeless or may become homeless because of fire, flood or other natural disasters, such as tornado;

  • do not have any food to eat because of fire, flood or other natural disaster;

  • are homeless or may become homeless because they were evicted from their home for any reason;

  • are deprived of food or needed clothing because of lost or stolen cash; or

  • are homeless because someone in their former home physically abused them; or

  • are deprived of food, clothing, or rent due to forcing an abuser who is the primary wage-earner from the home.

  • Families who receive TANF cash assistance from the Illinois Department of Human Services may also receive help paying for transportation, lodging and food needed for travel to get essential or specialized medical care.

Call the automated help line at 1-800-843-6154 or click here to be linked to their website.


Chicago Emergency Rental Assistance

Emergency Rental Assistance is available for people suffering financial hardship due to a crisis such as loss of job, home fire or illness. The program is intended to allow families to maintain housing during the time it takes to regain stability.Eligible clients must demonstrate that moving forward they will have sufficient income to cover rent and other living expenses. The program offers a one-time grant up to $900 to cover one month’s rent. Applications can be filed at any of the City’s six Community Service Centers.

These Community Service Centers help individuals and families in need access a wide range of resources -from shelter, food and clothing to domestic violence assistance, job training/placement and services for the formerly incarcerated. Individuals can also go to get information about rental, utility and other financial assistance programs, and they also also serve as warming and cooling centers during periods of extreme weather. Centers hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

For more information about Emergency Rental Assistance, visit your local Community Service Center at one of these locations or call 3-1-1.


The Emergency Fund

All Chicago administers the Emergency Fund which provides critical financial assistance to people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness or another serious emergency. They can quickly provide payments on a person’s behalf for things like rent, utilities, or transportation. Click here to learn more.


Housing Forward – Suburban Cook County Emergency Services

Housing Forward has an Emergency Assistance program for suburban Cook County residents that provides referrals and emergency financial assistance for food, housing, utilities and transportation to individuals and families at urgent risk. This program was created to address the immediate crisis so the individual or family can work on additional steps on the path toward stability. The Prevail program’s staff and volunteers listen to each person’s individual situation and, working together with the client, use solutions-based counseling to develop a plan of action. Plans could include assistance for a range of services.

Go to to learn more.


Resources to Keep Yourself Safe:



If you develop a fever (100.4F/38C) or cough, seek medical care right away. Call ahead before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them your symptoms and that you were in an affected area. You could also call the Chicago Department of Public Health at 312-746-7425 (SICK) during business hours, after hours call 311 and request to speak to the Medical Director on call. In the case of a medical emergency, call 911. (Information via the Chicago Department of Public Health)


Local Updates:



How to Help

Donate Personal Protective Equipment

As our community continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare workers in Illinois are still in need of personal protective equipment (PPE). Our nurses, doctors, paramedics, and other healthcare providers need PPE to effectively care for their patients and keep themselves safe on the job. Some workers are being forced to ration, reuse, or substitute for basic PPE.

The Chicago Federation of Labor, in conjunction with the Pritzker Administration, is requesting donation of any unused PPE that can safely be spared at this time.

The equipment most urgently needed includes:

  • Surgical masks

  • N95 masks

  • Gowns

  • Gloves

  • Eye shields

  • Face shields

Anyone with unused PPE can arrange for donation of those materials by emailing

People or organizations should not donate PPE if that equipment is needed for ongoing work as essential employees unless there is a surplus of PPE that can safely be spared for others.

All items should be in the manufacturer's original packaging and unopened. Unfortunately, the state cannot accept open product or homemade items. We recommend you contact your local first responders (Police, Fire, EMS) to see if they can utilize your items.

If you have any questions, please contact Gus Fuguitt, CFL Director of Community Engagement at or click here to learn more information about PPE donations.


Industry-Specific Resources and Guidance (via the AFL-CIO)

Airline Workers

AFA-CWA: Coronavirus Outbreak (COVID-19) Update

AFA-CWA: Communicable Disease Incident Response Checklist

ALPA: Coronavirus Information for Flight Crews

CDC: Interim Recommendations for Airlines and Airline Crew: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in China

CDC: Guidance for Airlines on Reporting Onboard Deaths or Illnesses to CDC

FAA: Coronavirus Guidance and Resources 

FAA: Interim Health Guidance for Air Carriers and Crews

IAM: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center

OSHA: Landing Page with Guidance for Airline Workers and Employees  

Educators and School Support Staff

AFT: Resources on the Coronavirus

AFT: Coronavirus: Information for Educators and School Support Staff

AFT: Principles for Higher Education Response to COVID-19 

CDC: Interim Guidance for Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools


Emergency Response Workers

CDC: Interim Guidance for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems and 911 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) for COVID-19 in the United States

IAFF: Coronavirus: Latest Updates and New Resources 

IAFF: Interim Guidance for EMS for COVID-19 in the United States


Entertainment and Arts Workers

AFM: COVID-19 Resources

AGMA: Updates and Resources for Members Regarding Coronavirus


Government and Public Service Workers

AFGE: Latest Guidance on Coronavirus

AFSCME: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources

NTEU: Agency Coronavirus Responses

OSHA: Interim Guidance for Border Protection Workers and Employers

OSHA: Interim Guidance for Solid Waste and Wastewater Management Workers and Employers


Health Care Workers

AFT: Coronavirus: Information for AFT Nurses and Health Professional Members and Employers

CDC: Information for Health Care Professionals: COVID-19

IAM: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center

NNU: COVID-19: What Nurses Need to Know

OSHA: Interim Guidance for Health Care Workers and Employers

WHO: Infection Prevention and Control During Health Care When Novel Coronavirus (nCoV) Infection Is Suspected

SEIU Healthcare: SEIU HCII Toolkit for Healthcare and Child Care Workers 

WHO: Rational use of personal protective equipment for coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

WHO: Advice on the use of masks in the community, during home care and in healthcare settings in the context of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak


Laboratory Workers

CDC: Information for Laboratories: 2019-nCoV

CDC: Guidance for Postmortem Workers and Employers 


Maritime and Transportation Workers

ATU: Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

CDC: Interim Guidance for Ships on Managing Suspected Coronavirus Disease 2019

IAM: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center

ILA: OSH Coronavirus Update

International Transport Workers’ Federation: Coronavirus Update and Advice 

SIU: Seafarers and American Maritime Association Coronavirus Protection Protocols for SIU-Crewed Vessels Calling on Ports in China

TWU: Health and Safety: Coronavirus Resources

Other Industries

CDC: Interim Guidance from the CDC and OSHA for Manufacturing Workers

OSHA: Guidelines for Construction Workers


Updated 1/8/2021