Dear Constituents,
Are you concerned about maintaining good health during the COVID-19 pandemic?  In this newsletter, we have compiled information focusing on the overall health and well-being of our constituents, along with an update on weeklong activity related to the coronavirus.
Most importantly, we have included resources for individuals who may be living with a chronic illness, or for individuals caring for a family member with a chronic disease. The information contained in this e-newsletter is directly from the Illinois Office of Health Promotion.
We hope you find the following information useful. In the meantime, if you need immediate assistance, or may have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the office at 773-473-7300.
Stay safe and be well.
Camille Y. Lilly
State Representative, 78th District
Illinois House of Representatives
101st General Assembly

Shelf-Stable Healthy Eating

If you're concerned about having healthy foods on hand while limiting your exposure to crowds, these heart-healthy recipes can all be made with shelf-stable ingredients such as:

  • Canned, frozen and dried fruits and vegetables (low or no salt and sugar options)
  • Canned meats like light tuna or white meat chicken (salt-free), packed in water
  • Frozen chicken breast is safe for up to 1-year in a freezer set to zero degrees or below (store as air-tightly as possible to preserve maximum freshness)
  • Dried beans and legumes (or canned with no salt added)
  • Dried whole grains like brown rice and quinoa
  • Dried herbs and spices
  • Shelled eggs are safe 3-5 weeks and unopened egg substitute is safe up to 1 year in the refrigerator.
For more tips on how to maintain a healthy diet during the COVID-19 crisis, please go to or
Living with Diabetes?

During natural disasters, emergencies, and hazards people with diabetes face challenges to their health care. If you are an evacuee or are in an emergency situation, it is of prime importance to identify yourself as a person with diabetes and any related conditions, so you can obtain appropriate care. It is also important to prevent dehydration by drinking enough fluids, which can be difficult when drinking water is in short supply. In addition, it is helpful to keep something containing sugar with you at all times, in case you develop hypoglycemia (low blood glucose).
To prevent infections, which people with diabetes are more vulnerable to, pay careful attention to the health of your feet, and get medical treatment for any wounds.
The CDC has compiled many natural disasters and emergency resources in English, Spanish, and several other languages. Below are additional links that may be especially useful for people with diabetes. Some of the following documents are available in Portable Document Format.

Emergency Preparedness
  1. Emergency Preparedness and You
  2. Ready—Prepare.Plan.Stay Informed. http://www.ready.govexternal icon
  3. Federal Emergency Management Age
 Have Supplies on Hand
  • Contact your healthcare provider to ask about obtaining extra necessary medications to have on hand in case there is an outbreak of COVID-19 in your community and you need to stay home for a prolonged period of time.
  • If you cannot get extra medications, consider using mail-order for medications.
  • Use the drive-thru for a medication pick up or delivery.
  • Be sure you have over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies (tissues, etc.) to treat fever and other symptoms. Most people will be able to recover from COVID-19 at home.
  • Have enough household items and groceries on hand so that you will be prepared to stay at home for a period of time.

Should we go to the Dentist?

CDC’s guidelines are that if not clinically urgent, dental procedures should be postponed for non-emergency or elective dental procedures. The urgency of a procedure is a decision based on clinical judgment and should be made on a case by case basis. Dental care that you should have taken care of by a dentist at this time:

  • Painful swelling in or around your mouth
  • Pain in a tooth, teeth or jawbone
  • Gum infection with pain or swelling
  • After surgery treatment (dressing change, stitch removal)
  • Broken or knocked-out tooth
  • Denture adjustment for people receiving radiation or other treatment for cancer
  • Snipping or adjusting wire of braces that hurts your cheek or gum
  • Biopsy of abnormal tissue

A helpful guide to determine what should be rescheduled and what needs treatment can be found here.  


How to stay fit during Shelter-in-Place
  • Create an at-home workout circuit
  • Workout at work, just in your home office
  • Get the whole family moving at home
  • Practice these balance exercises in your living room
  • Stretch!
  • Get out and walk
  • Don’t make excuses to overdo it on screen time
  • Use the time to set your fitness goals
  • Try any of our daily tips for physical activity for your family that work for your current circumstances and comfort level
  • If you find yourself away from home for an unexpected amount of time, travel healthy

Tips for Dementia Caregivers at Home

Caregivers of individuals living with Alzheimer's and all other dementia should follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and consider the following tips:

  • For people living with dementia, increased confusion is often the first symptom of any illness. If a person living with dementia shows rapidly increased confusion, contact your health care provider for advice.
  • People living with dementia may need extra and/or written reminders and support to remember important hygienic practices from one day to the next.
  • Consider placing signs in the bathroom and elsewhere to remind people with dementia to wash their hands with soap for 20 seconds.
  • Demonstrate thorough hand-washing.
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can be a quick alternative to hand-washing if the person with dementia cannot get to a sink or wash his/her hands easily.
  • Think ahead and make alternative plans for the person with dementia should adult daycare, respite, etc. be modified or canceled in response to COVID-19.
  • Think ahead and make alternative plans for care management if the primary caregiver should become sick.


Tips for Caregivers of Individuals in Nursing Homes

The CDC has provided guidance to facilities on infection control and prevention of COVID-19 in nursing homes. This guidance is for the health and safety of residents. Precautions may vary based on local situations.

  • Check with the facility regarding their procedures for managing COVID-19 risk. Ensure they have your emergency contact information and the information of another family member or friend as a backup.
  • Do not visit your family members if you have any signs or symptoms of illness.
  • Depending on the situation in your local area, facilities may limit or not allow visitors. This is to protect the residents, but it can be difficult if you are unable to see your family members.
  • If visitation is not allowed, ask the facility how you can have contact with your family members. Options include telephone calls, video chat or even emails to check-in.
  • If your family member is unable to engage in calls or video chats, ask the facility how you can keep in touch with facility staff in order to get updates.


Persons with Asthma

COVID-19 can affect your respiratory tract (nose, throat, lungs), cause an asthma attack, and possibly lead to pneumonia and acute respiratory disease.
Follow your Asthma Action Plan
  • Take your asthma medication exactly as prescribed. Talk to your healthcare provider, insurer, and pharmacist about creating an emergency supply of prescription medications, such as asthma inhalers. Make sure that you have 30 days of non-prescription medications and supplies on hand too in case you need to stay home for a long time.
  • Know how to use your inhaler
  • Avoid your asthma triggers. Most common triggers are:
  • Tobacco Smoke
              -Dust Mites
              -Outdoor Air Pollution
              -Cockroach Allergen
             - Smoke from Burning Wood or Grass
              -Other Triggers
  1. flu, colds, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), sinus infections, allergies, breathing in some chemicals, and acid reflux.
  •  Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Avoid using disinfectants that can cause an asthma attack.
  • Strong emotions can trigger an asthma attack. Take steps to help yourself cope with stress and anxiety.
Cancer Caregiving During the Coronavirus Outbreak
Caring for someone with cancer has become even more serious because of the coronavirus pandemic. The person you care for may be at high risk of infection with COVID-19 because cancer and cancer treatments often weaken their immune systems. You may be at higher risk yourself if you are older or have an underlying health condition. Staying healthy protects you and the person you’re caring for. That means taking extra steps to keep both of you from getting sick.
People with certain cancer types, including lymphomas, multiple myeloma, and most types of leukemia are at the highest risk for infections. These cancers cause changes that make the immune system unable to work as well as it should. People who have recently had surgery for cancer and those in active treatment who are getting chemotherapy, radiation, targeted therapy, or immunotherapy may also be at higher risk. Some treatments, such as stem cell or bone marrow transplants, involve giving high doses of drugs that may cause long-term weakening of the immune system. But most people who have finished treatment (especially if it was years ago) probably have an immune system that’s back to normal.
If you aren’t sure whether the person you’re caring for has a weakened immune system, ask their health care team. It’s also a good idea to find out if their insurance covers telehealth, and if the cancer care team is using it to help communicate with patients during this time.
Have a back-up plan ready in case you, the person you’re caring for, or someone else in the household gets sick.

Gov. Pritzker Partners with United Way of Illinois, Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations to Launch Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund
Chicago — Governor JB Pritzker joined the United Way of Illinois and the Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations today to announce the launch of the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund (ICRF), a new statewide fundraising effort to support nonprofit organizations serving those whose lives have been upended by this pandemic.

 “My team and I are incredibly grateful for all of the businesses, leaders and organizations who have stepped up to meet this moment,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “This is a fund to support all of Illinois: from Chicago to Carbondale, Cairo to Rockford. No one is immune to this virus — and nobody should be left to recover without help. We will get through this if we work together and stand up for one another.”

Working with other local response efforts that have been created in recent days, the ICRF will focus on filling Illinois residents’ most basic needs, including:
  • Emergency food and basic supplies
  • Interim housing and shelter
  • Primary health care services
  • Utility and financial assistance
  • Supports for children and other vulnerable populations
  • Nonprofit safety and operations assistance
 The United Way of Illinois and Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations are operating the new fund, separately and independently from the state. It will be guided by a steering committee made up of top leaders from the philanthropic, social service, civic and business communities from across the state and chaired by former U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.
Join Us  on MONDAYS for Constituent Night!

I, State Representative Camille Y. Lilly, enjoy meeting with the constituents of the 78th District on Mondays for Constituent Night from 5-8p.m. at the district office located at 6937 W. North Ave.  Please call the district office for an appointment/questions at 773-473-7300 or email us at

Hope to See You Soon!
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Honored to S.E.R.V.E. – Serving Every Residents Vision Equally
Chicago ● Elmwood Park ● Melrose Park ● Franklin Park ● Oak Park ● River Grove

6937 W. North Ave
Oak Park, IL 60302


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State Representative Camille Y. Lilly · 6937 W. North Ave · Oak Park, IL 60302 · USA