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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


WSIU's Brad Palmer talks with Natalie Fry, the principal and curriculum coordinator at Harrisburg East Side Intermediate School, about distance learning and the uncertainty for schools in the fall.

More than 1,600 new cases of COVID-19 were reported on Tuesday. The state's Department of Public Health confirms 1,614 new positive test results, bringing the overall total to 122,848.

In addition, another 113 people died due to COVID-19. The state's death toll is now 5,525.

Illinois reported 974 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, the first time the new case count dipped below 1,000 since early April. While one day's totals don't indicate a trend, health leaders say they're hopeful the numbers will continue to drop.

The state's total infections now tops 120,000 - at 121,234 positive cases. In addition, 23 new deaths were reported, bringing the death toll to 5,412.

  May came to a close with Illinois adding 1,343 new positive test results for COVID-19. The state's overall total now stands at 120,260.

Another 60 deaths were also recorded, bringing the death toll 5,390.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said he is worried the mass protests over police brutality happening across the country could spread the coronavirus. 

As Illinoisans navigate Phase 3 of the governor's "Reopen Illinois" plan, another 1,462 cases of COVID-19 were reported, and another 61 deaths.

State leaders say the numbers are still trending down, as more patients recover from the illness. Still, the overall total positive cases stands at 118,917 on Saturday, and 5,330 have died.

As the state moved into Phase 3 of Governor JB Pritzker's reopening plan, many local businesses are working on how they'll adapt to new rules and some easing of restrictions.

After 82 days, Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker Friday announced he is ending his daily COVID-19 briefings and will do more in the future on an as needed basis.

Asked what lessons he's learned during the past few months, the governor says Illinoisans should be proud of how state government has responded to the pandemic.

More than 1,600 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Friday, the same day the state moved to the next level in its reopening plan.

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Doctor Ngoze Ezike says with the additional 1,622 new cases, the state's overall total now stands at 117,455 positive test results.

An additional 86 Illinoisans also died of COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 5,270.

Ferrell Hospital Offering Emergency Childcare

May 29, 2020
Ferrell Hospital

Ferrell Hospital has received a grant to provide emergency childcare for healthcare workers

Healthcare workers who have continued to work throughout the coronavirus pandemic have had to deal with daycare closures and school cancellations that disrupted previous childcare arrangements. Ferrell received the funding to open the daycare through the Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network.

Caleigh Bruce, director of human resources at Ferrell hospital, said the service is free to employees and has been popular with the staff.

Senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin announced that Illinois will receive more than 11 million dollars in funding to support COVID-19 testing in rural areas. The funding is part of the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, and each clinic will receive roughly $50,000.

A number of southern Illinois facilities are among the 200 receiving aid, including clinics in Jackson, Williamson, Saline, and Franklin counties, among others.

Here’s something that might surprise you: A new national survey shows that regardless of political affiliation, Americans mostly agree on how to reopen the economy during the coronavirus pandemic—slowly—and with protective measures like face masks.

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Governor JB Pritzker holds a press briefing on the state’s current response and action plan for managing COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Illinois.

The live stream will begin at 2:30 p.m.

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As Illinois moves into phase three of the Restore Illinois plan,  Carbondale's Hickory Ridge Golf Course is easing restrictions as well.  Starting Friday May 29th,  groups of up to four people can play, motorized carts can be used with just one person, unless they're in the same family. 

As University of Illinois officials deliberate over how to reopen the Urbana campus this fall, a group of faculty members say they don’t believe the university can safely allow tens of thousands of students back into residence halls and classrooms this year. 


Gov. J.B. Pritzker today (Thursday) announced new guidance for places of worship. It comes as he has faced multiple lawsuits over his ban on gatherings of more than 10 people. Pritzker now says faith leaders should try to limit attendance to a quarter of a building’s capacity or 100 attendees, whichever is lower, along with social distancing. 

Tri-County Detention Center

Congregate facilities have resulted in a large number of COVID-19 cases in Illinois.

One location in deep southern Illinois to experience an outbreak is the federally-run Tri-County Detention Center in Ullin, which is a field office for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.


Four republican members of the Illinois House are calling for an audit of the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

The issue started two weeks ago when a constituent of Representative Terri Bryant alerted her they were able to see personal information of others as they were filing an unemployment claim.

The state's overall COVID-19 cases topped 115,000 on Thursday, as 1,527 new cases were reported.

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Doctor Ngoze Ezike also reported an additional 104 deaths, bringing the overall death toll to 5,186.

Heartland Regional Medical Center Resumes Services

May 28, 2020

Heartland Regional Medical Center will be resuming all normal services as part of Illinois’ Phase 3 reopening plan.

Previously restricted services include sleep clinic studies, cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation and diagnostic imaging. Inpatient and outpatient areas will continue to follow enhanced infection control procedures, including cleaning protocols, use of personal protective equipment and separate areas of care.

debate graphic
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Governor JB Pritzker holds a press briefing on the state’s current response and action plan for managing COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Illinois.

The live stream will begin at 2:30 p.m.

Illinois is on track for salons, some offices and outdoor seating at restaurants to open this weekend as the state moves into its next phase of reopening. The state’s movie theaters, which have been shut down since March, said Wednesday they want to welcome customers during that phase too.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a health organization in East St. Louis will lend its help to the state's COVID-19 contact tracing initiative. Meanwhile, the governor said Wednesday the state’s casinos will remain shuttered for now.

Flooding is beginning to feel like an annual event in some areas along the Illinois River.  The governor and head of the Illinois Emergency Management agency visited flood fighting efforts in west-central Illinois  Wednesday.

State of Illinois

Illinois added 1,111 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, and recorded another 160 new deaths attributed to the disease.

The total COVID-19 infection number now stands at 114,306 - with more than 800,000 tests administered. The death toll is now 5,083.

Jackson County Experiences Surge In COVID-19 Cases

May 27, 2020

As southern Illinois prepares for Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan, COVID-19 cases in Jackson County are on the rise.

Outbreaks at meat processing facilities have sickened workers and stalled production throughout the Midwest. Side Effects reporters Natalie Krebs (Iowa Public Radio) and Sebastián Martínez Valdivia (KBIA, Missouri), and Ohio Valley ReSource reporter Liam Niemeyer (WKMS, Kentucky) joined engagement specialist Brittani Howell on Facebook Live to talk about how the story has unfolded in their states. 

COVID-19 Hits Volunteer Fire Departments' Funding

May 27, 2020

Since public gatherings in Illinois are still limited to 10 or fewer people, the Campbell Hill Fire Department has not been able to have its usual public chicken dinners and other fundraisers.

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Governor JB Pritzker holds a press briefing on the state’s current response and action plan for managing COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Illinois.

The live stream will begin at 2:30 p.m.

Illinois COVID-19 cases grew by another 11-hundred on Tuesday, with 39 deaths added.

Public Health Director Ngoze Ezike says 1,178 new COVID-19 positive test results were logged, bringing the state's overall total to 113,195. The deatl toll stands at 4,923.