While there is no question we are living through an unprecedented and unsettling time, I know we'll get through this together. 

Over the last week, I've witnessed the incredible support offered by our communities - folks delivering food and supplies to the most vulnerable in our society, patronizing our small businesses by buying gift cards as well as utilizing delivery and carry out options, finding ways to support those on the front lines: healthcare workers, grocery store clerks, and more, and following difficult guidance to keep one another safe. 

If you have suggestions, thoughts, and/or comments on what can be done to improve this unprecedented and unsettling situation, please let me know.

Additionally, I have appreciated and have faith in the leadership of Governor Pritzker, Illinois Department of Public Health Secretary Dr. Ngozi Ezike, state and local elected officials, and our community leaders. 

To learn about the action being taken, you can watch Governor Pritzker's daily press conference live on Facebook at 2:30PM on his page HERE.  You can visit the Illinois Department of Public Health's website for up to date information HERE. Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady is holding daily online Q&A sessions at 11AM available HERE

Still, the coming weeks and months will not be easy. As the coronavirus situation continues to unfold, it is my commitment to provide timely, accurate information for residents of the 8th District--our team is here for you. 

In accordance with guidance from the Governor's office, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Illinois Department of Public Health, #TeamRam will be working remotely. However, we'll be available and ready to help as always. We're available via telephone and/or email Monday through Friday 9AM-5PM, and frequently checking our voicemail as well as our email system outside those hours to ensure we're helping with all urgent constituent matters. 

Call us: 872-208-5188

Message us: www.senatorram.com/contact-us

Below, we've compiled resources to help us all get through this difficult time. Have questions? Are there other resources you would like to know more about? Don't hesitate to reach out. 

 Government Resources for COVID-19


  • Unemployment Insurance Benefits - Unemployment insurance is available to all those who have been separated from their job through no fault of their own in relation to COVID-19. Illinoisans can file online for unemployment insurance through the Illinois Department of Employment Security HERE and can call 1-800-244-5631 with any questions. The best way to apply is online to avoid long hold times. If you are not sure if you qualify, it is recommended that you apply as to not miss out on any potential benefits.
  • School closures and free lunch - All K-12 schools around Illinois are closed at the direction of Governor Pritzker. The Illinois State Board of Education has answers to Frequently Asked Questions available HERE. All schools are still able to offer meals to students who qualify for free and reduced lunch. Click HERE for more information from the State Board of Education.
  • Small Business Support - The Small Business Administration has put together resources to help our small businesses through this difficult time, which are available HERE. In order to mitigate the impact of the difficult but necessary decision to close all dine-in at restaurants and bars, Illinois is seeking an economic injury disaster declaration from the Small Business Administration. This application requires data from every county. If your business has been affected by COVID-19, please complete the survey form available HERE. Grubhub has suspended commission fees for independent restaurants. ComEd and Ameren have suspended disconnects and are waiving late-fees.
  • Food security. The Pritzker administration is working with eight major food banks across Illinois to expand services. The administration is reaching out to food manufacturers to ensure food banks are prioritized and can provide our vulnerable residents the food they need. Click HERE for a full list of food pantries in the 8th State Senate District.
  • Utility Relief. ComEd and Ameren have suspended disconnects and are waiving late-payment fees. AT&T, Comcast, and others are preserving and enhancing telecom service. The Governor has urged all utility companies to suspend disconnects.
  • Medicaid. The Governor's office is in the process of filing a federal waiver to expand Medicaid coverage. If approved, the state will be able to expand services through the addition of new medical providers, increased access across the state, and ramped up services. Read more HERE.
  • Childcare centers - The governor has not mandated the closure of childcare centers. Those remaining open are strongly urged to adhere to federal safety guidelines. You can read the lastest guidelines and updates provided by the Illinois Department of Human Services HERE.
  • Receiving Essentials at your Home - Individuals concerned about leaving their home to buy groceries, receive medication, or purchase other essentials can call our office at 872-208-5188 to be connected with organizations that can assist.
  • Changes at the Secretary of State. All Secretary of State offices are closed through March 31. Expiration dates for driver vehicle registrations, driver's licenses, identification cards, permits, and parking decals are extended 30 days. 
  • Addressing Price Gouging. Attorney General Kwame Raoul's office is investigating and will take action against any price gouging. If you think you are being subjected to price gouging, call 1-800-386-5438.
  • Showing Potential Signs of COVID-19 - Call your primary care physician to discuss your symptoms and the best course of action - do not show up at your doctor's office unannounced. If you do not have a primary care physician, you can call the Illinois Department of Public Health at 1-800-889-3931. Our state is urging our federal partners to send more testing and is procuring more through our private partners; in the meantime, our tests must be reserved for those showing severe symptoms and our front line healthcare workers.

Volunteer Opportunity

Feeling powerless? Want to help your neighbors without leaving your home? Sign up HERE to help our office call seniors to ensure they have up to date information about services, safety, and health.

General Tips

  • Stay up to date and utilize reliable sources. Misinformation is spreading. Please keep up to date on guidance from reliable sources, including: the Centers for Disease Control and the Illinois Department of Public Health. The Governor is holding a press conference every day at 2:30PM (unless time change is noted) available HERE and Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady is holding a Q&A session online every day at 11AM available HERE (questions can be submitted in the comments on Facebook live or via Twitter).
  • Be prepared. Read THIS preparedness guide to make sure you've gotten your house ready and are stocked up on the basics.
  • Think about food security for everyone. Illinois has an abundant food supply and a strong supply chain. Buy the essentials and resist panic buying, which puts undue stress on our economy and can cause harm to your neighbors, seniors, and those who are most vulnerable.
  • Support local small businesses. Governor Pritzker ordered all bars and restaurants to close dine-in service. You can continue to support businesses in our communities by ordering carry out and delivery. Please consider tipping the employees who continue to work during this unpredictable time. Also, you can buy gift cards to your favorite small businesses for use later to support them as store hours and shopping patterns change. Follow #TeamRam on social media for updates on how you can support our local small businesses!
Category: Information

in the news

Office Info

District Office
3851 W Devon Ave
Chicago, IL 60659
(872) 208-5188

Springfield Office
Stratton Office Building
401 S. Spring St.
Section C, Room E
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-5500

Follow Sen. Villivalam


District Events

eNewsletter & Texting Alert Sign-up

Invalid Input
Invalid Input
Please let us know your email address.
Invalid Input
Invalid Input