COVID-19

Credit Photo Provided / Photo Provided

This is a guide to the things we do know, from scientists, doctors and public health experts — a resource that changes alongside our understanding of this virus.

FAQ:  The Essential Coronavirus FAQ
MAP:  The real-time spread of coronavirus
STATE:  Tracking by State 
HOSPITAL:  Capacity by County

When the CDC announced on Thursday that fully vaccinated people can safely take off their masks in most settings, one group that did not necessarily breathe a sigh of relief was the parents of young children.

Some noted that the CDC's new guidance does not have any specific advice for vaccinated parents with unvaccinated kids in their households.

Many state and city officials welcomed news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday that fully vaccinated people in the U.S. can forgo masks and social distancing.

But some still stopped short of immediately implementing the changes.

The CDC said vaccinated people must follow existing state, local or tribal laws and regulations on masks and social distancing, as well as policies at businesses and workplaces.

Children's immunizations dropped dramatically during the pandemic, and health officials are eager to get kids caught back up on their routine shots before they return to school.

Amid dropping vaccine demand in Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine announced five, weekly drawings of $1 million open to residents who've received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. A similar lottery for teenagers will provide the lucky names with a full, four-year scholarship to a public university in Ohio - room and board included.

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed dangerous failings on the national and international scale, according to an independent review ordered by the World Health Organization. The review found a range of problems, from a slow initial reaction to the coronavirus to "weak links at every point in the chain of preparedness and response."

Updated May 12, 2021 at 7:20 PM ET

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine be given to adolescents ages 12-15.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky issued a statement saying, "The CDC now recommends the vaccine be used among this population, and providers may begin vaccinating them right away."

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster issued a coronavirus mandate Tuesday preventing schools and local governments from creating mask mandates. His order also bans the use of so-called vaccine passports in the state.

Anyone needing a ride to get a COVID-19 vaccine shot will be able to get a free trip from the ride-sharing companies Lyft and Uber, the White House announced Tuesday, in the latest push to encourage Americans to get vaccinated.

"The feature will launch in the next two weeks and run until July 4," the White House said.

People who want to use the program would need to select a vaccination site near them and then redeem the companies' offer of a free ride. The two ride-sharing firms will promote the offer in their apps.

LONDON — England, Scotland and Northern Ireland on Monday recorded no new COVID-19 deaths – a milestone that health experts said represents an encouraging sign, but caution could be temporary.

Meanwhile, Wales recorded just four coronavirus-related deaths. Even so, it's a sharp contrast to a January peak across the U.K., when about 1,800 deaths were recorded in a single day.

Brazil, one of the worst-hit countries in the world by the pandemic, is directing more than $1 billion toward the production and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, the country's far-right president announced Monday, Reuters reported.

President Jair Bolsonaro, who has criticized lockdown measures and has told Brazilians to "stop whining" about the deadly virus, said about $1.05 billion will be spent on the inoculation effort.

The Food and Drug Administration said Monday that children 12 to 15 years old are now eligible to receive a key COVID-19 vaccine as the agency expanded its emergency use authorization for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

Dr. Janet Woodcock, the acting FDA commissioner, said the expansion "brings us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy."

China will set up a "line of separation" on one side of Mount Everest's peak, saying the measure is needed to keep Nepal's COVID-19 outbreak from crossing the border, according to state media.

The plan is part of China's "zero contact strategy" to keep climbers from the Chinese and Nepalese sides of Everest from mixing if they reach the summit on the same day, said Nyima Tsering, head of the Tibetan Sports Bureau, according to the state-run Xinhua news outlet.

The road to full economic recovery from the pandemic may be steeper than anticipated.

U.S. employers added 266,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department reported Friday. That's far fewer than the nearly 1 million analysts expected given other recent signs of recovery: business reopening, consumer spending increasing, and new unemployment claims falling.

The European Union and Pfizer-BioNTech have signed a deal for up to 1.8 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The bloc's biggest contract to date would cover its entire population, marking a significant ramp up in its fight against the coronavirus.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the deal in a tweet, writing it is for a " for guaranteed 900 million doses (+900 million options)."

Pfizer and its vaccine partner BioNTech have started an application to request the Food and Drug Administration's approval for its COVID-19 vaccine.

Updated May 7, 2021 at 3:44 PM ET

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the top respiratory disease official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who was among the first to warn the American public about how much the pandemic would change everyday life, is stepping down from the agency.

A new study estimates that the number of people who have died of COVID-19 in the U.S. is more than 900,000, a number 57% higher than official figures.

Worldwide, the study's authors say, the COVID-19 death count is nearing 7 million, more than double the reported number of 3.24 million.

Judge Vacates Nationwide Eviction Moratorium, Doesn’t Impact Illinois

May 6, 2021

A federal judge invalidated a nationwide eviction moratorium on Wednesday but the decision will not impact the moratorium on rental evictions in Illinois, according to housing attorneys.

The decision from U.S. District Judge Dabney L. Friedrich involves the eviction moratorium issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that applied to all rental properties nationwide.

Pfizer and its partner, Germany's BioNTech, announced Thursday that they have agreed to donate vaccines to competitors and staff at the Tokyo Games, set to be held this summer despite ongoing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Less than three weeks after launching a quarantine-free "travel bubble" between New Zealand and Australia, officials in Wellington, New Zealand's capital, announced Thursday that flights from Sydney would be temporarily suspended after new coronavirus cases were detected there.

Updated May 6, 2021 at 10:20 AM ET

India has been setting daily records for positive coronavirus tests — more than 400,000 people on Wednesday alone.

In New Delhi, the Holy Family Hospital is at 140% capacity.

Updated May 5, 2021 at 6:43 PM ET

President Biden threw his support behind a World Trade Organization proposal on Wednesday to waive intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines, clearing a hurdle for vaccine-strapped countries to manufacture their own vaccines even though the patents are privately held.

The coronavirus pandemic has reached the top of the world, where it has reportedly disrupted the annual climb up Mount Everest and other Himalayan peaks just as the window for summiting the mountains opens up.

In recent days, reports have emerged of an outbreak at Everest Base Camp in Nepal, at 17,597 feet (5,364 meters), where hundreds of climbers assemble each year to adjust to the oxygen-starved altitude as they prepare to ascend the 29,032-foot (8,849-meter) peak.

MUMBAI, India — India's top diplomat and his entourage have been forced to self-isolate, participating in a G-7 foreign ministers meeting only virtually — from hotel rooms near the venue in London — after at least two members of the Indian delegation tested positive for the coronavirus.

Updated May 5, 2021 at 10:25 AM ET

The pace of COVID-19 vaccinations is slowing down — not because of any vaccine shortage, but because some Americans don't want to get vaccinated.

Study Shows Working Mothers Hard Hit by Pandemic-Related Child Care Burdens

May 5, 2021
People
L. Brian Stauffer, news.illinois.edu

New research shows pandemic-related child care burdens have magnified economic inequalities for women in the workforce in Illinois.

That research was included in The Child Care Crisis in Illinois: A Survey of Working Mothers During the COVID-19 Pandemic, conducted by the Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Illinois Economic Policy Institute nonprofit research organization.

COVID Remembrance Day Observed In Southern Illinois

May 4, 2021

Local leaders held a moment of silence today for victims of COVID-19.

The Southern 7 Health Department declared May 4th to be COVID Remembrance Day. On May 4th 2020, the first COVID death in Union County was reported. Bishop Derek Eurales of the First Opportunity Free Will Baptist Church in Carrier Mills opened with a prayer.

Chicago Auto Show to Return in July as State Prepares for Return of Large Events

May 4, 2021
People
Illinois.gov

Gov. JB Pritzker announced Tuesday the Chicago Auto Show will return in July, signaling the return of some larger-scale events amid declining COVID-19 positivity rates.

The announcement comes one day after Pritzker announced the state could be moving forward to the “bridge” phase of reopening as early as next week, which allows for large-capacity venues such as convention halls and outdoor events to resume operations with capacity guidelines and safety measures in place.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children 12 to 15 years old, a decision that could come by some time early next week. The vaccine is currently authorized only for people age 16 and older.

A ruling should come "shortly," Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla told investors in a conference call Tuesday morning.

India has now reported more than 20 million coronavirus infections, including nearly 3.5 million people who are actively being treated for COVID-19. The country's health system is in a state of collapse as hospitals and clinics face dire shortages of beds and lifesaving supplies.

Pages