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pandemic

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.

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, animal disease labs across the country stepped up to expand testing capacity, and they could play a role in preventing the next pandemic. 

Spillover events, animal diseases that jump to humans, happen often, according to Jonna Mazet, a professor of epidemiology and disease ecology at the University of California - Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. 

Most novel diseases and emerging infections that jump from one species to another don’t cause big problems, she says. In other cases, it can be bad. 

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 .

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.

COVID-19 variants are now becoming commonplace.

Reynolds Says COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Might Expand to All Adult Iowans on April 5

Mar 18, 2021
Natalie Krebs/Iowa Public Radio News

Gov. Kim Reynolds says an anticipated increase in vaccine supply from the federal government means eligibility could open in early April.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Commentary: Zooming Through the Semester

Nov 11, 2020

While thousands of college students around the country are gearing up to come home for winter break, I'm settling into the idea of two more months in my family's house. You heard me right. Another two months.

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.

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.

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