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UPDATED 5:45 p.m. | The high school basketball season will play on as planned despite a surge in COVID-19 cases across Illinois.

A screenshot from a video feed provided by the state of Illinois

During a visit to Champaign on Tuesday, Governor J.B. Pritzker announced the creation of two new manufacturing training academies in downstate Illinois.

High school basketball in Illinois along with hockey and wrestling won't take place as scheduled as the state struggles against a resurgence of COVID-19.

On any given day, rows of shackled inmates shuffle onto gray-and-white buses to be transferred between Missouri prisons.

State officials halted all regular weekly transfers in March to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, but the Missouri Department of Corrections has continued to accept inmates from local jails and relocate them statewide. Some inmates and criminal justice advocates contend the transfers led to an increasing number of cases this summer.

Courtesy the CDC

16 deaths in the region are blamed on the coronavirus in the past week, new outbreaks of the virus are reported in McDonough and Schuyler counties, and people were exposed to the virus at a dental center in Hancock County.

With Colder Weather, Challenges to Slow Spread of COVID-19 Will Grow

Oct 23, 2020
Natalie Krebs/Iowa Public Radio

Whitney Selix said so far, Lua Brewery in Des Moines, which she started with her husband a year ago, is surviving the pandemic.

Rich Egger

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) said 34 counties across the state are at a warning level for COVID-19.  They include McDonough, Warren, Adams, Pike, and Cass counties in west-central Illinois. 

A coronavirus outbreak has been reported at a long-term care facility in Macomb; and an independent, nonprofit newsroom found the number of COVID-19 cases at a Monmouth meatpacking plant is much higher than previously announced.

Courtesy the CDC

The newest White House Coronavirus Task Force report says Iowa continues to have one of the nation's highest rates of new COVID-19 infections.

Bonnie Seifried used to sit outside her husband’s window every day.

The nursing home where Frank Seifried lived, the Woodlands of Arnold, stopped allowing in-person visits in March — so every morning, she set up a folding chair and a polka dot umbrella under a tree outside.

Seifried sat with her husband for hours, separated by a thick layer of glass, writing out messages to him on a little whiteboard and sharing updates about their kids and grandkids.

Sometimes, she noticed, the staff wouldn’t check on him for hours at a time.

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos said the continual back-and-forth on additional coronavirus stimulus aid is unfair to the American public.

Christine Herman/Illinois Newsroom

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's saliva-based COVID-19 test has never operated under emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, despite prior claims that it did, an FDA spokesperson tells Illinois Newsroom.

Marisa Hardwick isn’t surprised there are now more than twice as many cases of COVID-19 on the University of Illinois’ Urbana campus than previously predicted by university researchers.

While COVID-19 has hampered farmers this year by forcing many farmers markets and restaurants to close, usually it’s the weather that threatens crops. A practice called “gleaning” helps save crops from going to waste while feeding those in need. 

Heavy rain was causing flooding all along the Arkansas River. Before Joe Tierney knew it, water from the nearby creek was creeping forward onto his farm in Bixby, Oklahoma. He had to evacuate, leaving behind fields full of vegetables. All Tierney could do was watch the water get closer and closer, he says.

Illinois is starting to award grants to renters to help them catch up on late payments. But the need far outpaces the funding available and more than 50,000 applicants won't get help.

Lexington, Nebraska, is just one of the many rural communities that has long dealt with food insecurity, but the global pandemic both intensified need in the town of 11,000 residents and presented new challenges in getting people food. 


Ja Nelle Pleasure never used to think twice about putting food on the table for her family.

Amid growing calls to allow contact sports to resume this fall, Illinois’ governor Tuesday appeared to double down on postponement of the seasons.

Lee V. Gaines/Illinois Newsroom

Sierra is in a bind. She and her husband have two children — ages three and nine years old — and they live in Urbana. 


There’s no shortage of peanuts on Loyd Lasley’s farm. Come September, he hopes to harvest about 160,000 pounds of them. Many of the peanuts are roasted and put on shelves at the Made In Oklahoma booth at the state fair. 

With many state fairs across the country being canceled due to COVID-19, many small business owners like the Lasleys will miss out on sales. The family typically makes about $5,000 from sales at the fair every year. It’s not a lot, but it helps, Loyd says. 

Bradley University is ordering all students to quarantine and learn remotely for the next two weeks.

Eighteen young people tested positive for COVID-19 in Sangamon County during the week of August 23.

The weekly number of new cases among those less than 20 years old in each county is one of four metrics the Illinois Department of Public Health began publishing late last month to assist local schools and health departments in making decisions about in-person learning.

Lee County has reported another death related to COVID-19. The county now has at least six deaths related to the virus.

Courtesy the CDC

The McDonough County Health Department reported a COVID-19 outbreak at The Ritz in downtown Macomb.  The department said people in the bar on August 21, August 22, and August 29 were exposed to the virus.

Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting

At least eight migrant workers who were infected with COVID-19 waited several days before isolating because the company they worked for, Bayer, declined to pay for expedited tests, Champaign County health officials said.

When Dr. Thomas Luft got a stuffy nose in June, he didn't think much of it at first.

Most Illinois school kids will start the school year with remote learning.  That’s according to an Illinois State Board of Education survey of administrators.

Commentary: Of Masks and Rights

Aug 31, 2020
Courtesy Dave Babcock

Do we have a right not to wear a mask in light of COVID-19? We sometimes use "right" in a moral sense, as in the Declaration of Independence. In the Declaration, we claim certain inherent human rights, which we used to justify a new nation, including its constitution and the revolution necessary to establish it as an independent nation.

Wikimedia Commons

The McDonough County Health Department is reporting confirmed cases of coronavirus at Trinity Academy in Industry, the Bushnell-Prairie City School District (B-PC), Dairy Queen in Bushnell, and Chick’s on the Square in Macomb.