COVID testing siteCHICAGO – As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Chicago, State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) is urging residents to utilize free permanent and temporary COVID-19 testing sites. 

“We need to continue our strong testing operations to stay ahead of the virus and keep our positivity rates down,” Villivalam said. “It’s vital to get tested even if you don’t feel sick, because asymptomatic people are still capable of passing the virus on to others. Testing and contact tracing are keys to being able to continue to safely reopen our state and economy.” 

Individuals who believe they may have been exposed to the virus should get tested 5-7 days after exposure – even if they don’t feel sick. Those with symptoms resembling COVID-19 should also get tested even if they deem medical care unnecessary. 

“We have to stay vigilant,” Villivalam said. “Getting a test that is quick and safe will allow anyone who needs to travel, work away from home, or care for children or older adults to make sure they don’t have COVID-19.” 

There are currently nearly 300 testing sites across the state, including 11 state-operated community-based testing sites and 12 mobile testing teams. All state operated testing facilities are free. 

Senator Villivalam also took an active role in coordinating the placement of two free mobile testing centers in West Rogers Park and Morton Grove during the month of August. 

More information about testing locations, times, and requirements can be found at www.dph.illinois.gov/testing

Category: Press Releases

Fire.Hydrant.PreventionCHICAGO – In recognition of National Fire Prevention Week, State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) is reminding people to take fire safety precautions seriously and to follow the guidelines suggested by the Illinois State Fire Marshal. 

“Cooking fires can start and grow very quickly,” Villivalam said. “While COVID-19 safety protocols have been our main focus over the past several months, teaching kids where to be and not to be in the kitchen in addition to adopting good fire safety precautions are keys to safety.”

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the US. Almost half of reported home fires start in the kitchen, and according to the National Fire Incident Reporting System, in 2019, Illinois Fire Departments responded to nearly 6,500 fires that were either caused by cooking or originated in the kitchen. 

To learn more about National Fire Prevention Week, visit the NFPA website

Category: Press Releases

Flu VaccineCHICAGO – As summer ends and fall weather quickly approaches, State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) is encouraging all Illinoisans, but especially all older adults, to get a flu vaccine.

“Getting a flu shot is always important, but this year we are fighting both the seasonal flu and COVID-19,” Villivalam said. “Getting a shot will hopefully prevent you from getting the flu and will also help out our health care systems by keeping medical resources available for COVID-19 patients.” 

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, older adults and people with chronic health issues are more likely to develop serious complications resulting from an influenza infection. While flu seasons are variable in their severity, people 65 years and older tend to be the most vulnerable. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 70% to 85% of seasonal flu-related deaths have occurred in adults 65 years and older. 

“It’s really important for older Illinoisans to get a flu shot,” Villivalam said. “This is a necessary precaution to take in a year when it’s best to avoid a hospital visit and potential exposure to COVID-19.” 

Most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover one flu shot per flu season. It is always advisable to consult a health care provider before seeking medical treatment. You can find out where to get a flu vaccine with Vaccine Finder

Category: Press Releases

Originally published in Chicago Tribune, September 25, 2020.

On a hazy September afternoon near a willow tree, a boy with a bright red backpack spotted something slimy on the ground. “Hello, all the mushrooms,” he said, gently tapping the fungus, trying not to crush any as his small feet moved through the grass. 

A teacher asked why they might be growing in that spot. The boy thought for a moment. “Because it’s shady and wet!” That was just one lesson for the group of kids at the Chicago Botanic Garden Nature Preschool, a program that’s part of the growing field of nature-based early childhood education.

Nature preschools were increasing before the pandemic, more than doubling in the last three years, according to a report from the Natural Start Alliance, a project of the North American Association for Environmental Education. The report estimates 585 schools across the country have nature-based education at their core, meaning a significant amount of time is spent outside. Illinois is among the states with the most programs — topping 20. California and Washington, with about 50 programs each, lead the list.

Aerosol transmission of the coronavirus has raised concerns over safety of walled-off spaces, and some parents are wondering if one solution during the pandemic is as simple as stepping outside.

Read more ...

Category: In The News

COVID19 Resources

COVID19 Updates

Office Info

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

Springfield Office
M120 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-5500

District Events

eNewsletter Signup

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