Chicago Department of Public Health Weekly Media Brief

May 19, 2023

CDPH Media


For Immediate Release
May 19, 2023
Chicago Department of Public Health 
Weekly Media Brief 

Jump Ahead

The Public Health Emergency Ends, but COVID Surveillance Continues

The federal Public Health Emergency (PHE) declaration for COVID-19 ended on May 11, and with this, there have been some changes to the surveillance data collected weekly by CDC.  

CDC is no longer able to calculate COVID-19 Community Levels, and has replaced these weekly reports with COVID-19 hospital admission levels. Hospital admission levels are tracked and reported by county as Low/Medium/High with corresponding CDC recommended prevention strategies that individuals and communities can take to protect themselves. CDPH will update its COVID-19 data dashboard and other data reporting websites to align with CDC, and weekly updates will continue to be posted on Wednesdays at 5:30 pm. 

CDPH will also continue to monitor multiple data sources, including expanding our use of wastewater testing and genomic sequencing, to inform public health guidance and protect Chicago.   

REMINDER: As a result of the PHE ending, those with Medicaid insurance coverage need to re-enroll in the program in order to maintain their benefits.  

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) will be contacting Medicaid enrollees regarding eligibility redetermination. Information will be mailed to different households at different times, starting in May and continuing for the next 14 months. It is critical that residents make sure their addresses are up to date with HFS.

Use the HFS online change of address form to report new address, phone, email:

Connecting New Arrivals to Care

As the City and community of Chicago continue to address the city’s ongoing daily influx of migrant asylum seekers, CDPH stresses that while we are facing a state of emergency, we are not at this time facing a public health emergency.  

Over the course of several months, thousands of new arrivals have entered Chicago, and Cook County Health has taken the lead in providing healthcare, including through a clinic set up to exclusively serve this population. Individuals staying in city shelters or respite centers also have access to shelter-based care through CDPH-funded providers, and CDPH is coordinating with mobile providers to attend to those people who have not yet been placed into one. CDPH is also supplying shelters and response teams with public health guidance and protocols as well as assistance from existing CDPH resources such as mental health services and case management. 

CDPH will continue to assist in the efforts of the Office of Emergency Management and Communications and the Department of Family and Support Services in their unified command over the declared emergency by continuing to help connect new arrivals to healthcare and refer individuals for urgent care as needed. For more information on how you can help, check in with your alderman’s ward office on community efforts in your area, and for shelter information, call 311. 



Cumulative Impact Assessment Aids Environmental Justice Goals

To learn more about how environmental burdens and other stressors vary across Chicago, a citywide initiative known as Chicago's Cumulative Impact Assessment, built upon input from community-led environmental justice organizations and with leadership and strategic guidance from partners, including people most impacted by industry, will help us identify neighborhoods that experience the greatest cumulative impacts and inform decision-making around both policy and potential targeted investments the City should make. 

The Assessment is a critical step to promote environmental justice in Chicago and is one way that we are already advancing through our Healthy Chicago 2025 initiative and an Executive Order signed in May 2023. A baseline Assessment will be presented to the Mayor and the Chair of the City Council Committee on Environmental Protection and Energy by October 31, 2023. Watch for ongoing community environmental updates


Mental Health and Teens

May is the season of high school proms, senior weeks and graduations. These milestones can be very emotional, closing one life chapter and entering another, and may be a cause for anxiety and depression in addition to joy and anticipation. CDPH’s CHAT – Chicago Healthy Adolescent and Teens – is a service that provides confidential one-on-one counseling, sexual-health education, optional (and confidential) testing for sexually transmitted diseases, and links to health care services. The program serves many Chicago high schools, colleges, and community-based organizations, is a partnership with Chicago Public Schools and operated by Planned Parenthood of Illinois. Learn more about CHAT here. 


Quick Hits!

NIHHIS Heat Season Campaign: May brings fluctuating temperatures, but as summer approaches, the National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS) is kicking off heat season awareness! Follow #HeatSafety on Twitter to learn more about the risks of extreme heat and explore City extreme weather resources.