Find Help

COVID,, pandemic

For those seeking help or information about the COVID-19 pandemic, this is a list of resources that WNPL staff will update as needed. In Lake County, IL, 2-1-1 from United Way Lake County provides 24/7 referrals for essential services, such as food, shelter, and medical via phone or text.

Contents for Find Help

Primary Sources


Call4Calm – find out more about the 24/7 service to text for help and someone to talk with to manage COVID stress from the IL Department of Human Services

Centers for Disease Control – get up-to-date info from this health authority

Johns Hopkins Interactive COVID-19 Map – updated global map revealing COVID-19 stats and news from around the world

Illinois Department of Public Health – find current info and statistics for COVID-19 in Illinois

Lake County, IL / Health Department & Community Health Center – help and info for our local area

Lake County COVID-19 Dashboard – The Lake County Health Department has developed a dashboard to show the total number of people in Lake County who have tested positive for COVID-19, including a map that shows the distribution of reported cases by municipality.  The dashboard will be updated daily.

State of Illinois Coronavirus Response – find official info including Governor Pritzker’s news conference updates here

World Health Organization – global perspective and guidance

Mask Making Instructions

Homemade Face Mask Instructions

Use Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread – the Centers for Disease Control provides detailed instructions to use and make cloth face coverings

Vaccine Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Vaccine – Clinical data, general vaccine safety information, and the CDC’s COVID-19 data tracker are all available from this easy-to-use website.

Food and Drug Administration COVID-19 Vaccine Information   – Information on the approval process for COVID-19 vaccines, including a breakdown of both currently available vaccines.

Health Department & Community Health Center, Lake County, Illinois COVID-19 Information – Vaccine information and the official link to the Lake County AllVax portal to register for vaccine notification when appointments are available. COVID testing and local health services information is also available here.

Illinois Department of Health COVID-19 Vaccine Information – Vaccination phases and eligibility are explained, along with FAQs about vaccine distribution statewide.

Vaccine Finder – Operated by epidemiologists and software developers at Boston Children’s Hospital, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control, Harvard Medical School, and Castlight, this is a free, online service where users can search for locations that offer vaccinations.


Food Assistance

Many local school districts have been providing lunchtime meals for students during school pandemic closures. It is recommended that local families check with their respective schools for this service.

Food Pantries and Assistance – find a local food pantry in your area

Northern IL Food Bank – find specific food sources of help during the pandemic

United Way Lake County – connect with resources online via 211 service. You can call or text 211 for help as well.


Other Local Help

Twice as Nice Mother and Child – for assistance with diapers, wipes and other baby needs


Employment and Business

Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity – access to helpful resources for small businesses throughout the State of Illinois with these helpful links regarding COVID 19 resources for small businesses.

Illinois Department of Employment Security – file online for unemployment benefits

IL District office of the U.S. SBA – Illinois based help for businesses

Illinois Legal Aid Online / Getting Unemployment Benefits – explains unemployment rights during the pandemic

Job Center of Lake County – local help with resumes, job search, and career transition

Lake County Partners – focused on workforce and financing development for Lake County, IL


Many publications have temporarily removed their paywalls (subscription requirements) for COVID-19 news, including:

Chicago Tribune

The New York Times

The Washington Post

WNPL cardholders can also access newspaper and magazine collections from this page.



Fake News & COVID-19 / Learn to Identify & Avoid Fake News – a helpful infographic developed by the WNPL Adult Services Department

Common Sense Media / 5 Ways to Spot Fake News – learn to decode online news and separate fact from fiction

Coronavirus Rumor Control / FEMA – The purpose of this FEMA page is to help the public distinguish between rumors and facts regarding the response to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. – from the Annenberg Public Policy Center, check current news for facts vs. fiction

Media Bias Chart – interactive chart that shows how news media aligns with specific political viewpoints

PolitiFact – originally a project from Florida’s largest daily newspaper, the Tampa Bay Times, this site rates specific political statements for accuracy

Snopes Coronavirus Collection – dispell reported COVID-19 hoaxes and myths


Helping Kids & Teens

Common Sense Media Resources for Families (COVID-19) – Navigate social distancing and school closures with quality media and at-home learning opportunities for your kids

A Kids’ Book About COVID-19 – from the staff at the Fergus Falls Public Library

Nat’l Geo for Kids / Facts about Coronavirus – info for families to learn together


Volunteer Opportunities

Due to limited staffing at many area organizations, it is recommended that interested volunteers reach out to the organizations first, to determine if help is needed.


211 Lake County – List of Volunteer Opportunities – find Lake County-based organizations in need of help

All In Illinois – take the All In Illinois pledge to stay at home to save lives. Download printable signs and social media frames at this Illinois government site.

Illinois HELPS – Individuals that register here may be potentially contacted to work in a hospital surge or alternative housing setting.

Serve Illinois – Those that are considering volunteering have options, both in-person options as well as virtual efforts.


Other Organizations

Alzheimers Association of Greater Chicago Area – fundraise from home for Alzheimer’s research and programs

American Red Cross, Chicago & Northern Illinois – remote volunteer opportunities

AmeriCorps, Waukegan IL – multiple opportunities for in-person and virtual volunteers

Catholic Charities of Lake County, Waukegan IL – multiple opportunities for in-person and virtual volunteers

Covia Communities Social Call Program – seeking volunteers to make social phone calls to seniors

New Star, Chicago Heights IL – looking for volunteers to provide online activities for adults and children with disabilities

Salvation Army, Waukegan IL – multiple opportunities for in-person and virtual volunteers


Food Pantries

COOL Food Pantry, Waukegan IL

Lord of Glory Lutheran Church Food Pantry, Grayslake IL

Luke 3:11 Share Center Food Pantry, Lake Villa IL

Moraine Township Food Pantry, Highland Park IL

Northern Illinois Food Bank, Waukegan IL

Open Arms Mission Food Pantry, Antioch IL

Vernon Township Food Pantry, Buffalo Grove IL

Warren Township Food Pantry, Gurnee, IL

Wauconda-Island Lake Food Pantry, Wauconda IL



Condell Medical Center, Libertyville IL

Highland Park Hospital, Highland Park IL

Vista Health Center East, Waukegan IL