Illinois officials announce 81 new COVID-19 deaths; free mental health hotline

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CHICAGO — Illinois health officials announced Saturday that an additional 81 people died due to COVID-19.

There are 1,293 new cases of COVID-19 to make the total number of positive cases in the state 19,180. The death total is at 677, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The governor also announced a free mental health hotline called “Call4Calm.”

“Once you text the hotline, you get a call from a mental health professional,” Gov. Pritzker said.

Residents can text TALK to 552020. For Spanish calls, text HABLAR to 552020

Residents can also text UNEMPLOYMENT, FOOD and SHELTER to 552020 and you will receive information back to help you navigate.

A telehealth program was also announced by the state on Saturday.

A person showing symptoms can connect with pandemic health workers online.

The PHWs will digitally connect with members in the community who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

PHWs will virtually visit recipients daily, deliver wellness kits that include essential tools to monitor their health, and follow-up over a 14-day period to ensure no further assistance is needed. Wellness kits will include items such as thermometers, pulse oximeters, blood pressure cuffs, and alcohol wipes.

The OSF PHW teams are serving East Central and North Central Illinois communities include Peoria/Bloomington, Champaign/Urbana, Evergreen Park, Danville, Galesburg, Kewanee, Monmouth, Ottawa, Mendota, Streator, Pontiac and Rockford. The OSF Hotline number is 833-673-5669 and is available now. 

The SIU SOM PHW program is serving West Central and Southern Illinois include Springfield, Quincy, Decatur, Carbondale, and Metro East communities. The SIU Hotline number is 217-545-5100 and will be available starting Monday. 

The governor said the program will soon be available for Chicago-area residents.

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