What is Lake County Forward?

Lake County Forward is a collaborative, whole-of-government initiative for community health and economic recovery as Lake County accelerates through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The pandemic has been challenging for so many of our Lake County residents and businesses”, said Lake County Chair Sandy Hart. “As we move forward together, the Lake County Board and staff are working to ensure that we are committed, united and resilient on the road to recovery.”  

Lake County 2021 Recovery Plan

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provided $135.2 million in direct local recovery assistance to Lake County. The Lake County Board is committed to addressing both immediate response needs and long-term recovery initiatives using these one-time resources. View the 2021 Recovery Plan to learn how Lake County is working towards long-term spending initiatives to lead to a full recovery from the pandemic and help Lake County bounce back stronger than ever.  

Actions Taken

$1 Million Committed to Food and Housing

On June 8, 2021, the Lake County Board appropriated $1 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to continue food distribution and housing programs needed in response to COVID-19. Learn more.

$20.6 Million Committed to Rental Assistance Program

On Feb. 9, 2021, the Lake County Board appropriated $20.6 million of Federal Emergency Rental Assistance (FERA) Program funds to assist households that are unable to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This program runs through Dec. 31, 2021. Apply today.

$121.5 Million Committed to COVID-19 Recovery

On Sept. 29, 2020, the Lake County Board voted to appropriate and re-allocate $121.5 million in funding it received from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds to support Lake County residents, communities, taxing districts, businesses, and countywide services in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • $42 million to reimburse local municipalities, fire protection districts, and other taxing bodies for COVID-19 expenses
  • $28.05 million for Lake County essential services related to COVID-19 
  • $17.2 million for public health support and assistance, including contact tracing, health education, vaccinations, behavioral health and other services
  • $17 million for small business and economic assistance 
  • $13.5 million for food, rental, utility, housing, employment and other resident support and assistance
  • $1.75 million for the stockpile and distribution of personal protective equipment
  • $2.04 million contingency/reserve for other COVID-19 related expenses

Restore Illinois


Help for Illinois Families: Relief for Households Across the State

The State of Illinois has launched a new initiative to help Illinois families access and afford home energy assistance and other essential services during COVID-19. Families seeking emergency assistance to cover costs of utility bills, rent, temporary shelter, food and other household necessities may visit helpillinoisfamilies.com for program details and how to apply.

North Suburban Region - Lake and McHenry Counties

Lake and McHenry County officials are working together to slow the recent resurgence of COVID-19. The two counties make up the North Suburban Region identified under a plan rolled out by the State of Illinois. Under the plan, the region is positioned to respond with appropriate interventions as current state metrics indicate an increase of COVID-19 positive cases. Learn more about the North Suburban Region.

Phases and Guidelines

The State of Illinois is in Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois framework, marking the full reopening of all industries and activities. Read the Phase 5 reopening guidelines.