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In-Person Visits at Iowa Prisons Resume After 16 Months

Jul 14, 2021
Brian Vander Brug/LA Times Via Getty Images

Incarcerated Iowans who have waited 16 months to be able to hug a loved one are once again being allowed to visit face-to-face. In-person visits at the state's prisons have restarted for the first time since March of 2020.

Rich Egger/TSPR file photo

Less than 50% of west central Illinois residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.  Dr. Ed Card, Chief Medical Officer at McDonough District Hospital, said that should be a concern for everyone.

Study Finds COVID-19 Vaccine Lotteries Don't Increase Vaccination Rates

Jul 7, 2021

A new study suggests lottery-based incentives do not increase COVID-19 vaccination rates.

Coronavirus cases are on the rise in Missouri, sparked by the fast-spreading delta variant. Federal health officials say the state is among the country's hot spots for the new mutated virus, and health officials are urging the state to redouble its efforts to vaccinate Missourians against the coronavirus.

Courtesy of Crossing Camp

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) now says 85 teenagers and an adult staff member contracted COVID-19 at the Crossing Camp. The summer youth camp took place in mid-June in Rushville. 

COVID-19 Outbreak at Western Illinois Summer Camp

Jun 26, 2021
Rich Egger

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) said more than 50 people at a summer camp in Schuyler County tested positive for COVID-19 this month.

As Iowa Opens Up, COVID-19 Vaccination Rates Continue to Slow

Jun 22, 2021
Natalie Krebs/Iowa Public Radio News

On a recent hot Thursday evening at the Broadway Neighborhood Center in Iowa City, a group of University of Iowa student volunteers set up a mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinic.

The U of I system made the announcement Monday morning and said the decision is consistent with its scientific modeling and Illinois Department of Public Health goals.

All University of Illinois campuses plan to hold in-person classes starting in August.

A spokesman said more information will be released later for those who have conditions that preclude them from being vaccinated.

While some private schools have already announced vaccine requirements, most public schools indicated they were awaiting guidance from the state.

Rich Egger

John Smith, Interim Vice President for Student Services at Western Illinois University, said the state's universities are working together to make sure they're all on the same page about how to reopen this fall.

Businesses and social gatherings in Illinois are no longer subject to any COVID-related capacity limits as the state enters the long-awaited “Phase Five” of Gov. JB Pritzker’s “Restore Illinois” economic reopening plan on Friday.

Rich Egger

The city administration had proposed offering a financial incentive for city workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19. But this week it dropped the plan.

Vast Majority of Iowa's Counties Decline COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation

May 26, 2021
Mohammad Shahhosseini/Unsplash

As demand for the COVID-19 vaccine continues to drop, Iowa health officials say they've accepted just 12 percent of the vaccine allocation from the federal government this week.

COVID-19 vaccination rates are lower in rural counties than in urban counties, according to a new

Expert: Iowans Should Ease Pandemic Precautions at Their Own Pace

May 21, 2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recent relaxation in its restrictions for those who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 has left some anxious about the drastic change.

Iowa Governor Signs Law Immediately Banning School Mask Requirements

May 20, 2021

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill into law just after midnight Thursday that immediately made it illegal to require masks in schools. It also prevents cities and counties from having mask mandates that affect private property.

Illinoisans who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer need to wear face masks in most circumstances, Gov. JB Pritzker said Monday.

Pritzker’s announcement follows updated guidelines released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .

In the months before the state-run veterans’ home in LaSalle saw a massive COVID-19 outbreak that eventually killed more than a quarter of the facility’s residents, leaders at the state agency that oversees the home obscured its inner workings from Gov. JB Pritzker’s office, a top Pritzker staffer told lawmakers on Thursday.

Rich Egger

People throughout the region will have numerous opportunities to get inoculated in the coming days and weeks. We will refresh the page as updates are made available.

A rare coronavirus mutation can affect COVID-19 testing reliability, new research from Washington University has found.

Identified in a handful of St. Louis patients last year, the mutation may make it harder for certain commercial tests to detect an infection. But researchers emphasize that the vast majority of COVID-19 tests target multiple regions of the coronavirus genome, increasing the chances of spotting the virus if it’s present.

  The state inspector general who headed an investigation into the November COVID-19 outbreak that killed 36 residents at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home told lawmakers Tuesday that communication issues pinpointed as a root cause of the crisis predated the pandemic.

  As a panel of state lawmakers prepares to grill members of Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration over how a COVID-19 outbreak at a state-run veterans’ home grew so massive it killed more than a quarter of the facility’s residents in the fall, Republicans in the Illinois House on Tuesday sent Attorney General Kwame Raoul a letter urging his office to open a criminal investigation into the matter.

Illinois’ economy was humming along last winter, a few years removed from the state’s two-year budget impasse in which Illinois’ unpaid bill backlog climbed to nearly $17 billion, and finally experiencing the kind of growth that had eluded the state for years after the Great Recession.

Black and Brown Illinoisans in long-term care facilities died of COVID-19 at comparatively higher rates compared to white Illinoisans in the first few months of the pandemic.

Gov. JB Pritzker on Friday expressed regret over hiring former Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs Director Linda Chapa LaVia as critics lash out after a scathing report examining what led to the massive COVID-19 outbreak at the LaSalle Veterans Home last fall, which left 36 residents dead.

At the Orr Building at the corner of the Illinois State Fairgrounds, Lisa Scacco — sporting an “I got my COVID-19 vaccine” sticker — spends the observation period after her first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Missouri lawmakers are considering legislation that would protect nursing homes and other businesses from coronavirus-related lawsuits.

COVID-19 variants are now becoming commonplace.

Saturday's torrential rains did not stop people from coming out to the COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic in Macomb.

The McDonough and Schuyler County Health Departments are partnering with McDonough District Hospital to hold a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic.

Photographer Is My Life/Getty Images

One year into the coronavirus pandemic, Iowa has seen more than 350,000 cases of COVID-19. As of Wednesday, 5,743 Iowans have died of the condition. And scores of survivors haven't recovered, earning them the name "long-haulers."