WIUM Tristates Public Radio

COVID-19

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.

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.

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.

ALEXCHIRKIN / HTTPS://CREATIVECOMMONS.ORG/PUBLICDOMAIN/ZERO/1.0/DEED.EN

As hospitalizations due to COVID-19 remain at record levels, hospitals that serve small towns and rural areas in Illinois are facing unique challenges.

Illinois will borrow $2 billion more from the Federal Reserve to pay bills associated with COVID-19, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Wednesday.

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos says she has recovered from COVID-19.

Rich Egger

COVID-19 cases in Lee County are skyrocketing, prompting the county's Board of Health to issue a directive about mitigation efforts.

The Illinois High School Association has halted winter sports, at least for now.

As Illinois sees its 12th day of new reported COVID-19 cases over 10,000, Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday announced new statewide restrictions on businesses, including shuttering casinos, movie theatres, banquet halls and museums across Illinois, and limiting retail store capacity.

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos has tested positive for COVID-19.

The surge in online shopping is helping the U.S. Postal Service stay afloat financially, but the influx of packages is straining rural letter carriers across the country. 

An increase in online orders is projected to help the postal service run until September 2021. Ronnie Stutts, the president of the National Rural Letter Carriers' Association, says while the increase in mail is good, they are facing a worker shortage because a large percentage rural carriers are still on leave. 

COURTESY OF BARBARA ALLEN

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Barbara Allen's life became more complicated overnight.

Rich Egger

Parts of tri states continued to see sharp increases in the number of coronavirus cases between October 28 and November 5. The virus is blamed for 30 deaths in the region during that time period.

Sandra Martell is in a tough spot. As public health administrator in northern Illinois’ Winnebago County, Martell was threatened with lawsuits from several area bar owners after she included them on a list of businesses allegedly defying the governor’s orders to halt indoor dining.

The county is part of a region that faced tougher restrictions this month after the rate of positive COVID-19 tests rose above 8%.

A group of Springfield bars and restaurant owners say they’re taking legal action and refusing to follow new rules imposed by the governor shuttering indoor service after the west-central Illinois region saw a sustained rise in COVID-19 test positivity rates, triggering the restrictions.

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

Pages