Chicago Department of Public Health Weekly Media Brief

March 29, 2023

CDPH Media



For Immediate Release
March 29, 2023
Chicago Department of Public Health 
Weekly Media Brief 

Dr. Arwady has left CDPH... to go on vacation!

Sorry, we’re just getting a head start on April Fool’s Day. While Dr. Arwady is taking some time off this week she has no plans to leave CDPH and is as committed as ever to public health.  

In fact, her hope is that if the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us nothing else, it’s the important role of public health and the need for consistent, sustainable funding so we’re ready for the next pandemic and able to better address the ongoing health and racial inequities in our city and country.  

Dr. Arwady elaborates on her weekly live stream on
March 14, at the 1:01:00 (1-hour, 1-minute) mark
Watch on Dr. Arwady FB Live

Medicaid Continuous Enrollment
Will End March 31

Medicaid Continuous Enrollment was a provision that ensured people would not lose coverage during the pandemic, but the Biden administration has stated that the COVID-19 public health emergency declaration will end on May 11, and with it, Medicaid Continuous Enrollment and other Medicaid flexibilities will be ending too. Medicaid continuous coverage requirements are set to end on March 31. This means that individuals must go back to applying yearly for the redetermination of benefits.  

It is critical that Medicaid beneficiaries take action to maintain coverage. To continue your Medicaid coverage, manage your case at Start by verifying your mailing address, finding your redetermination date, and watching your mail to complete your renewal as soon as possible.  

Medicaid customers could lose coverage as soon as July 1, so don’t wait. Visit to manage your case, or call 1-800-843-6152 for help with the renewal process. 

Narcan, a medication to reverse opioid overdose, now approved for over-the-counter sales

The Food and Drug Administration approved the sale of Narcan without a prescription, a hopeful step in reversing the rising tide of opioid overdose deaths. It’s unclear how the company that manufactures Narcan will price it for over-the-counter purchases, but experts have said that cost will be a factor in accessibility. 

CDPH has been active in distributing Narcan and other harm reduction tools as part of a statewide standing order and the Illinois Drug Overdose Prevention Program, which allows organizations, providers, and local agencies enrolled in the program to distribute the medication to the public. Last year, CDPH announced a partnership to make Narcan available free of charge at all 81 Chicago Public Library branches.  

Overdose is one of the leading causes of the 10-year life expectancy gap between Black and white Chicagoans, a gap that widened during the pandemic. Each year, more Chicagoans die from opioid-related overdose than homicides and traffic crash fatalities combined. To find free Narcan in Chicago, visit:

Next Week on #AskDrArwady

On Tuesday, April 4, Dr. Irina Tabdize, Director of Program Operations at CDPH, will join Dr. Arwady to discuss the work of the Syndemic Infectious Diseases Bureau with a special focus on the most recent trends in syphilis.

COVID-19 Update

Cook County and Chicago remain in the Low COVID-19 Community Level based on metrics from the CDC.  In addition to CDC metrics, you can also follow data updates from CDPH on the COVID-19 dashboard, updated every Wednesday at 5:30pm. 

Quick Hits!

The Chicago Health Atlas is a place where the media, students and researchers, and any Chicagoan can review, explore and compare health-related data over time and across communities. 

Planting trees helps our communities grow. Call 3-1-1 to request a free parkway tree in front of your home. (Restrictions apply).  

Connect to social services: Dial 2-1-1 or visit  

Find mental health resources: Visit UnSpoken Chicago to learn more and find mental health providers in all Chicago neighborhoods.