Supermarket employees are among the most essential during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Now, more than 460,000 Kroger workers across the country will be seeing an increase in their pay and benefits -- at least for now.

Southern Illinois Congressman Mike Bost is hosting a telephone town hall meeting with small business owners in Randolph County.

The Jackson County Health Department is reporting three new cases of COVID-19.

The three new positive tests are a man in his 60's, likely acquired from travel out of state...a woman in her 20's, likely acquired from travel to the Chicago area... and a woman in her 90's, acquired locally.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Missouri has jumped by nearly 300, even as calls for a statewide stay-at-home mandate increased.

The state health department said Tuesday 14 people have died and 1,327 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed.

While states keep track of the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and those who die from the virus, some are calling for news on how many people are recovering.

SEMO Producing PPE

Mar 31, 2020

As COVID-19 has sent college students home to learn remotely for the remainder of the semester, faculty and staff at Southeast Missouri State University are working rapidly to engineer Personal Protective Equipment for the local healthcare community.

Today is an important day for some industries being hurt by the stay at home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Murphysboro Mayor Will Stephens reminds this is the final day to apply for 14 million dollars in Hospitality Emergency Grants earmarked for Illinois tourism.

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Thursday was supposed to be one of the best days on the calendar for baseball fans, opening day for Major League Baseball.

Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic has shut down the sports world. It ended spring training a couple of weeks ago and has delayed the start of the regular season.

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The latest confirmed case of COVID-19 in Jackson County is an SIU student.

The Jackson County Health Department reported the case Thursday, saying the patient is a male in his late teens who is in "fair" condition, and who apparently caught the virus while visiting the Chicago area.

State of Illinois

During his daily COVID-19 briefing on Thursday, Governor J-B Pritzker announced the federal government approved his request for a major disaster declaration for the State of Illinois.

The State of Illinois is taking additional steps to address the unprecedented volume of unemployment benefit claims the department has fielded as a result of COVID-19. 

The Illinois Department of Employment Security has taken several steps to improve the unemployment benefit claims process via the online portal and the call center.


45 Community Health Centers in Illinois will received 3.6-million dollars in federal grants to support their COVID-19 response efforts. 

They'll be able to use the funding to help increase screening and testing needs, acquire medical supplies, protective equipment, and boost telehealth capacity.

State of Illinois

Illinoisans are still reporting problems trying to access unemployment applications on the Illinois Department of Employment Security website.

Governor J-B Pritzker addressed the issue earlier this week saying improvements are being made after the old system that was not capable of handling the huge volume of applications during the COVID-19 crisis.

States across the country are developing their own responses to the COVID-19 outbreak, sometimes more aggressively than what the Centers for Disease Control may be recommending.

Anna Fire and Rescue Dept.

A southern Illinois fire department is trying to make birthdays brighter for local residents during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Anna Fire and Rescue Department is offering to send a fire truck -- with its lights on -- to help local residents celebrate their birthdays during the Shelter at Home order.

The coronavirus is wreaking havoc on nearly every aspect of life. And people who lack stable housing or food supplies are among the most vulnerable.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday described an Illinois worst-case scenario in which the state could  be far short of the ventilators, hospital beds and intensive-care unit spaces for expected COVID-19 cases.

The Saluki Food Pantry is asking for help to replenish its depleted supplies.

On its Facebook page Tuesday, the Student Center posted SIU-Carbondale students have taken advantage of emergency food bags to the point where more supplies are needed.

A number of Midwest states and cities have issued “stay-at-home” orders, in an attempt to curb the new coronavirus, which continues to rapidly spread.  The orders create restrictions on working, recreation and travel. Still, there are many things you can continue to do, and not all businesses have to close. 

SSM Health is further restricting visitor standards as the COVID-19 crisis grows.

Banterra Bank is providing financial support to its customers by launching a Coronavirus Hardship Assistance Program.

Some Illinoisans are reporting having trouble accessing information to learn about unemployment benefit opportunities with so many off work due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

During his daily briefing Monday, Governor JB Pritzker said the state found out the hard way it's previous online system wasn't ready to handle the volume of applications coming in.

Southern Illinois University

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIU President Dan Mahony.

Update: As the case count continues to rise, information on this story is moving quickly and may be out-of-date. We recommend checking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for ways to stay safe and this John Hopkins tool for the most recent data

We continue to answer your questions about the coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19 -- and there sure are plenty. That's to be expected as the nation convulses from unprecedented lockdowns, quarantines and other interruptions. Here are some questions we received via email, with responses from Side Effects community engagement specialist Brittani Howell:

Gov. J.B. Pritzker called on former physicians and medical professionals, including those who are retired, to “join the fight” against COVID-19. 

For the past two weeks, Side Effects and Indiana Public Broadcasting have partnered to answer questions about coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19. Now, to reach a broader audience, we've put together a Spanish version of our coronavirus FAQ.

Feel free to share the information. There's plenty about the virus and how it spreads, who's at risk and how to take precautions. 

Shawnee Alliance has received an Emergency Assistance Services grant from Illinois Department on Aging in response to COVID-19.

Grant funds will be used to assist older adults 60 and older in Shawnee Alliance’s 18-county service area with unmet needs related to COVID-19 and isolation.

**Editor's Note: This page is updated regularly. If you need information, email the address below

As the region makes changes in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus, WSIU will be maintaining a list of closures and restrictions in the region.

Any information on canceled events, closures or restrictions can be sent to

Schools/Government Services

Grocery Stores Make Changes Due To Coronavirus

Mar 19, 2020

Due to concerns over coronavirus, grocery stores are changing their procedures.

Many stores have altered their hours to allow for cleaning and restocking, including Schnucks, Kroger and Neighborhood Coop in Carbondale. Kroger will be closed from 10 pm to 7 am, Schnucks from 10 pm to 6 am and Neighborhood Coop from 7 pm to 9 am.

Kroger and Schnucks will also be setting aside hours for seniors and vulnerable people to shop. Kroger will be seniors only from 7 am to 8 am and Schnucks will be open to seniors and vulnerable populations only from 6 am to 7 am.

SSM Health is joining other agencies in offering COVID-19 testing to patients in southern Illinois.