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coronavirus

LaHood: More COVID Vaccine Doses Needed

Feb 24, 2021
Eric Stock/WGLT

U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL) said the Biden administration should negotiate with COVID-19 vaccine makers to boost production. LaHood said that's the only way the U.S. will achieve herd immunity this summer.

Weeks into Vaccine Rollout, Some Worry Vulnerable Iowans Will Be Left Behind

Feb 23, 2021
Natalie Krebs/Iowa Public Radio News

Iowa is now weeks into Phase 1B of distributing the coronavirus vaccine. That phase includes more than a half million Iowans ages 65 and older. With vaccine demand still far outstripping supply, many Iowans are struggling to get an appointment and are frustrated. But some worry the state’s most vulnerable residents are also at risk for getting left behind.

SPENCER TRITT

This school year, schools identified around 420,000 fewer homeless students than last year. That would normally be a hopeful sign, but not during the pandemic. Advocates say there aren't fewer students experiencing homelessness. It's just that schools can't find them.

Commentary - Planfulness is a Privilege

Feb 10, 2021

Living through the COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted the certainty that many of us enjoy during more "normal" times. What I'm thinking about today is the fact that certainty and the ability to be "planful" is a privilege that most humans in the world do not have, at any time.

Public university presidents recently wrote Gov. JB Pritzker, asking him to make higher education a priority area for COVID-19 vaccinations. But with only a limited number of doses available, Pritzker said he made the decision to place higher ed staff and students in the 1C class--or at least behind K-12 students.

Rich Egger

The presidents of Illinois' public universities believe the state should make it a higher priority to provide COVID-19 vaccinations for higher education's faculty, staff, and students.

Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford, did not allow a Democratic representative to speak during a debate Tuesday evening because she violated the chamber dress code by wearing jeans. She said she was testing Grassley's claims that he can't enforce a mask mandate.

I don’t know about you all, but I am beyond exhausted.  This isn't pandemic fatigue, but full on pandemic burn out.  Pandemic fatigue is being tired of wearing my mask.  Pandemic burnout is not being able to envision ever not wearing my mask.  I had hoped that by the beginning of 2021 we would have had COVID somewhat under control.  But, the new B.1.1.7 strain of the virus appears to be more contagious and at this point is moving faster than our ability to distribute vaccines.  

Rich Egger

An expert believes the economy will look different as we rebound from the pandemic-related recession, and he said some post-pandemic economic trends are already beginning to emerge.

The head of the Illinois High School Association says political pressure may have helped prompt state public health officials and the Pritzker administration to allow basketball and other high-risk sports to resume.

For more than a decade, Saraí has been a farmworker, cultivating corn and soybeans in the fields of central Illinois. She moved to the U.S. from Mexico to find work that would allow her to better support her family.

CDC

The McDonough and Schuyler County Health Departments said they will begin administering the coronavirus vaccine on Monday, February 1, 2021.

Like other governors nationwide, Gov. JB Pritzker has recently taken to criticizing a slower-than-anticipated COVID-19 vaccination effort at Illinois’ long-term care facilities by pharmacy giants CVS and Walgreens.

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced that all high school sports are now allowed to play in regions that are in Phase 4 of the State's reopening plan. Regions 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 now meet the criteria for looser restrictions.

Rich Egger

Some counties are releasing more information about COVID-19 vaccination schedules. And financial assistance is headed to small businesses in a couple communities.

Limited Indoor Dining for Parts of Western Illinois

Jan 18, 2021
Rich Egger/file photo

The region of Illinois that includes McDonough, Knox, Warren, Fulton, and Henderson counties is now in Tier 1 for the state's coronavirus mitigations.

Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

Supply chain issues and logistical challenges are causing the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine in Illinois to move slower than expected. But the vaccine is now going out to older adults in some parts of the state.

Update Friday, Jan 15: Twelve hours after this story was published, Gov. JB Pritzker announced he is revising Tier I mitigations to allow for indoor dining. However, no regions currently meet Tier I metrics. This story has been updated to reflect the changes and avoid confusion.

Update Saturday, Jan. 16: Region 5 became Illinois' first region to qualify for Tier I mitigations on Saturday. Additional information has been added to the post.

Governor JB Pritzker on Friday will unfreeze all of Illinois’ 11 regions from the so-called Tier III Coronavirus mitigations he implemented statewide in November as the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic raged.

Having been an active participant in the local food movement in one capacity or another for most of my life, I have to say that 2020 brought unfathomable challenges that have tested our determination to provide healthy, safe, farm raised food.  I'm here today to share an anecdote of the every day struggles of a small farmer who raises and sells meat during the COVID pandemic.

Courtesy photo

Last year was rough.  And to be honest, I am not sure that this year is going to be much better.  Usually at the dawn of the new year, I feel a sense of relief.  There is a perception of having a clean slate and being able to begin again.  This year I feel none of this.  The messes of 2020 continue to follow us into 2021 in no small part because of decisions we make as individuals and as a larger society. 

Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly has examined dozens of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in St. Louis, but he still finds it jarring to see how the virus ravages their bodies.

Illinois lawmakers have not officially met for a full legislative session day since late May — more than 200 days ago.

Rich Egger

Health departments are urging people to continue following protocols to prevent further spread of the coronavirus.

The quiet excitement in the room was palpable as five OSF Saint Francis Medical Center health workers sat down in a cushy blue chair one by one, rolled up their sleeves, and received their first dose of Pfizer's newly authorized COVID-19 vaccine.

Most of us expect water to run freely from our faucets without disruption. Pay your bill, and the water flows. But for some Galesburg residents, keeping up with their water bill has been a struggle during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Illinois National Guard medical staff have been sent to the LaSalle Veterans’ Homes to assist with COVID-19 testing and screening at the facility, and next week will arrive at the state-run veterans' homes in Manteno and Quincy.

At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, ethanol producers feared the worst: a world indefinitely stuck at home. As Americans hunkered down for lockdowns, gasoline demand across the country plummeted.

Ethanol industry leaders issued warnings that the financial repercussions of widespread lockdowns could be significant to plants across the country. They later reported half of the nation’s facilities were forced to shut down.

Jeff Roberson/AP

Across Illinois, more than 80% of all ICU beds are now occupied, according to data from the state's department of public health.

Courtesy of The Wine Sellers

In response to the pandemic, many Macomb restaurants and other businesses spent money this year to create outdoor seating areas. Some of those businesses could be reimbursed for that expense.

At least 13.6 million Americans have caught the coronavirus this year — more people than the entire populations of Michigan and Iowa combined.

The U.S. is averaging about 1,500 COVID-19 deaths per day, or about one death per minute.

But the situation likely will get much worse this winter, based on new research from Washington University.

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