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


An internal medicine specialist who takes care of COVID patients with Southern Illinois Healthcare says the hospitalization rate is increasing along with the number of cases in the region.

Dr. Craig Davis says COVID-related admissions to Memorial Hospital in Carbondale and Herrin Hospital now stand at 28...the highest number since the pandemic began.

After more than three days of  COVID-19 positivity rates above eight percent, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has ordered additional restrictions for southern Illinois starting Thursday. The Governor says this means restaurants and bars will see stricter rules, and gatherings will be smaller.

Pritzker Back to Daily Briefings as Pandemic Picture Worsens

Oct 19, 2020

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 and the rolling seven-day test positivity rate for the virus increased again in Illinois on Monday, mirroring national trends.

Gov. JB Pritzker said at a Jackson County news conference Monday the state would increase mitigations in southern Illinois and announced he would once again hold daily weekday COVID-19 briefings until metrics start to decrease.

10-19-20 | WATCH: Gov. Pritzker COVID-19 Update

Oct 19, 2020
Kane Reinholdtsen /

Gov. Pritzker joins local health experts from the Jackson County Health Department to give a COVID-19 update. Begins at 2:30pm.

Watch Live | Listen Live

Pritzker to Extend Moratorium on Evictions

Oct 16, 2020

Gov. JB Pritzker issued an executive order Friday extending the statewide moratorium on residential evictions for another 30 days.

Pritzker first put a hold on residential evictions through an executive order on March 20, the same day he issued a statewide stay-at-home order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He has reissued the order every 30 days, most recently on Sept 18. That order would have expired Saturday.

COVID-19 Hospitalizations Top 2,000 for First Time Since June

Oct 16, 2020
Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois

More than 2,000 people with COVID-19 were hospitalized in Illinois as of Thursday night, a high not seen since June 12.

At that time, COVID-19 hospitalizations were quickly declining after peaking at 5,037 on April 28. Now, they are on the rise after falling as low as the 1,300s in July. Intensive care bed usage is up as well, with 410 COVID-19 patients occupying ICU beds and 151 on ventilators as of Thursday night.

State’s COVID-19 Cases, New Unemployment Claims Spike

Oct 15, 2020
Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois

As COVID-19 case counts and positivity rates continue to rise in Illinois, so do new unemployment claims.

The seven-day rolling average test positivity rate increased to 4.9 percent Thursday as the state reported another 4,015 confirmed cases of the virus, the largest one-day total aside from Sept. 4, when multiple days of test results were reported due to a data backlog being cleared.

Judge Weighing Dismissal of COVID-19 Lawsuits

Oct 15, 2020

A circuit court judge in Springfield is now weighing whether to dismiss lawsuits by Republican Rep. Darren Bailey and others challenging Gov. JB Pritzker’s use of emergency powers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

WATCH: Gov. JB Pritzker Provides COVID-19 Update (Oct 14)

Oct 14, 2020
Kane Reinholdtsen /

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker will update the state's reaction and mitigation measures for COVID-19.

You can watch Gov. Pritzker's remarks live. The event starts at 12:00pm CDT.

Watch Live | Listen Only

State COVID-19 Positivity Rates Remain on the Rise; Southern Illinois Hits 8%

Oct 13, 2020
Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois

COVID-19 test positivity rates and hospitalizations continue to increase in Illinois as virus-related deaths in the state surpassed 9,000 Tuesday.

“More than 9,000 Illinoisans — our mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, family, friends, and neighbors — have had their lives cut short by COVID-19, leaving tens of thousands more to grieve loved ones lost too soon,” Gov. JB Pritzker said in a news release.

Southern Illinois University

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIUC Chancellor Austin Lane about how the campus is handling COVID-19, along with what he's working on to boost enrollment in the future.

Illinois Nears 9,000 COVID-19 Deaths

Oct 12, 2020
Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported Monday that an additional 53 people in the state had died of COVID-19 over the weekend, pushing the statewide total to just under 9,000.

Republican Representative Mike Bost of Murphysboro says he was tested after experiencing a mild cough and loss of taste and smell. 

Daily COVID Update

Oct 9, 2020

(October 20) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 3,714 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, along with 41 additional deaths. The overall number of coronavirus cases is 350,875 since the pandemic began, and the death toll stands at 9,277

Mitigations Lifted in Metro East Area; Hospitalizations Rise

Oct 9, 2020
Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois

State officials announced Friday that they are lifting the enhanced restrictions that have been in place for more than a month in the Metro East region after the area’s COVID-19 test positivity rate fell below 6 percent.

Region 4 Nearing Lifted Mitigations; New State Unemployment Claims Rise 23%

Oct 8, 2020
Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois

Region 4 of the state’s COVID-19 mitigation plan saw its test positivity rate dip again Thursday, putting it one day away from having mitigations lifted if the downward trend continues.

The region, which includes the Metro East area on the Missouri border near St. Louis, saw its rate dip to 6.1 percent, the second day below a 6.5 percent threshold that will allow the state to reenter Phase 4 of Gov. JB Pritzker’s reopening plan.

Southern 7's Head Start Adapts to COVID-19

Oct 8, 2020
Courtesy of Shawnna Rhine Southern Seven Health Department.

COVID-19 has affected every aspect of our lives and educators are busy keeping up with delivering to students, while keeping everybody safe.

Illinois Passes the Six Million COVID-19 Test mark.

Oct 7, 2020

Illinois  has passed over six million tests in the battle against COVID-19.  Governor JB Pritzker says harsher restrictions in Region four, the Metro East, could be lifted this week.

IDPH Urges Flu Shots as COVID-19 Continues to Spread

Oct 6, 2020
Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois

State officials on Tuesday urged Illinoisans to get their seasonal flu vaccinations as a way to conserve medical resources for COVID-19 patients.

Weekly COVID-19 Hospitalization Averages Tick Upward

Oct 5, 2020
Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois

Illinois surpassed 300,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 8,800 virus-related deaths over the weekend as it approached 6 million tests conducted since the pandemic first reached the state.

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 62 additional virus-related deaths from Saturday through Monday, bringing total casualties in the state to 8,805.

At 47, daily COVID-19 death count highest since June 24

Oct 2, 2020
Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois

Twenty-eight Illinois counties are at a warning level for COVID-19 spread as of Friday, the same day the rolling seven-day average positivity rate in the state decreased to 3.4 percent.

The Illinois Department of Public Health also announced another 47 virus-related deaths – the highest number since June 24, when there were 63 casualties.


After a member of his staff recently tested positive for COVID-19, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker  Wednesday gave his weekly  briefing from quarantine, and reported nine out of 11 regions have seen positivity rates decline, over the last two weeks.  But  Region one, in the northwest part of the state, has surpassed a positivity rate of eight percent for three days in a row.  As a result, the Governor says, stricter measures will be in force, including no indoor bar service or dining in that region.

Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois

The state announced Halloween COVID-19 guidance encouraging social distancing while trick-or-treating, and the governor took questions in a virtual news conference Wednesday.

The Women's Center

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Andrea Stephens, the Domestic Violence Program Coordinator for The Women's Center in Carbondale.

Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois

A staffer who recently traveled with Gov. JB Pritzker has tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the governor and others to self-isolate for a period of two weeks, his office announced Tuesday.

Southern Illinois University

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIU President Dan Mahony about the university's response and plans surrounding COVID-19, and also recent "Conversations of Understanding" and initiatives combatting racism throughout the system.

InFocus: Covid-19

Sep 27, 2020

When the novel coronavirus arrived in Illinois, it forced dramatic changes to the way we all live and work. In this episode of InFocus, we explore how those changes affected policy, education, healthcare, and the arts. We learn more about organizations that are stepping up to fill the gaps for people who need help.

Governor JB Pritzker was upbeat in talking on Wednesday about the latest COVID-19 numbers for Region Four, the Metro East, a region that once had a positivity rate of 10 %.

After weekend protests against postponing many fall high school sports, Gov. JB Pritzker again defended the decision.

Illinois State Senator Paul Schimpf (R-Waterloo) is calling on Governor JB Pritzker to immediately remove the tightened restrictions on the Metro east, because of what the Senator says, are flaws in the way the Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting the state's COVID-19 cases.  Schimpf says roughly 30 percent of Metro east resident cross the river to Barnes-Jewish Healthcare, in St. Louis, and he says there were reports BJC HealthCare was only reporting positive cases to IDPH.