COVID-19

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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 
HOSPITAL:  Capacity by County

Illinois Emergency Management Agency Shares Lessons Learned From Pandemic

Apr 9, 2021
ILGA.gov

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency was forced to adapt quickly to a new role when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit last year, and the agency’s director told a legislative committee that more work needs to be done to prepare for the event of another statewide disaster.

State Tops Single-Day Vaccine Record at 154,201 as Universal Eligibility Nears

Apr 8, 2021
People
Blueroomstream.com

Gov. JB Pritzker reiterated Thursday that all Illinois residents age 16 and older will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine beginning Monday, April 12, as vaccine supply – but also virus transmission rates and hospitalizations – continues to increase.

More than 80 of the state’s 102 counties have already opened eligibility to individuals age 16 and over in advance of the April 12 eligibility expansion date.

BERLIN — The German government is preparing to enter into negotiations with Moscow to pre-order doses of Russia's coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V, breaking from the EU's joint vaccine procurement efforts.

Following a meeting with his EU counterparts on Wednesday, Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn said that because the EU Commission does not intend to purchase the Russian vaccine for the entire bloc, Germany will go it alone.

European countries can legally require childhood vaccinations, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Thursday. The decision covers preschool vaccinations for children, but it could also have an impact on the EU's battle to control the COVID-19 pandemic.

Compulsory vaccines can be seen as "necessary in a democratic society," the Strasbourg-based court said in its ruling, which came on a 16-1 vote.

A mass vaccination site in Commerce City, Colo., suspended operations Wednesday after almost a dozen people reported adverse reactions after getting their COVID-19 shots.

At least 11 people who received a Johnson & Johnson injection at the city's Dick's Sporting Goods Park said they experienced nausea and dizziness minutes after their jabs.

Medical staff determined that two people needed additional observation and were taken to nearby hospitals for further aid. The nine others who became sick were given juice and water before being cleared to go home.

COVID-19 Positivity Rate Reaches Highest Level Since Late January

Apr 7, 2021
Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois

Public health officials on Wednesday announced 3,790 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 out of 80,628 test results reported over the previous 24 hours, bringing the statewide seven-day rolling positivity rate to 4.1 percent, the highest that figure has stood since Jan. 30.

Statewide, COVID-19 hospitalizations also increased Wednesday, as the Illinois Department of Public Health reported a total of 1,710 individuals were hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Tuesday night. Of those, 353 patients were in the intensive care unit and 142 were on ventilators.

State Supreme Court Order Expands Legal Protections for Tenants

Apr 7, 2021
Capitol News Illinois file photo

The Illinois Supreme Court issued an order this week creating stronger safeguards for tenants seeking rent relief under the governor’s eviction moratorium.

The court’s revised order makes clear that landlords challenging a tenant’s eviction moratorium protections have to state the legal and factual basis for such a challenge, said Chief Judge Eugene G. Doherty, of the 17th Judicial Circuit, which spans Boone and Winnebago counties.

A more easily spread coronavirus variant first identified in England last year has now become the dominant strain in the U.S., the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

The variant, known as B.1.1.7, spread quickly across the United Kingdom and Ireland beginning last fall, with the more infectious version of the coronavirus thwarting restrictions and lockdowns that had earlier helped keep the original strain in check.

Updated April 7, 2021 at 11:52 AM ET

The European Union's drug regulator said Wednesday that the benefits of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine outweigh its risks, but that rare blood clotting events should be listed as a possible side effect.

A new surge of COVID-19 in Brazil is filling hospitals and morgues, as the country's record daily death toll from the disease is nearing even the grim U.S. peak in January.

With less than two-thirds the population of the U.S., Brazil logged nearly 4,200 deaths on Tuesday. That is close to the peak U.S. daily death toll of 4,476 recorded on Jan. 12, according to data maintained by Johns Hopkins University.

MUMBAI — India confirmed another record jump in COVID-19 cases Wednesday, as the world's biggest vaccine maker said it was "very stressed" and needs help from the Indian government to boost production.

India is struggling to speed up vaccinations amid its sharpest spike in coronavirus infections since the pandemic began. Authorities are also trying to balance stricter curbs on movement while also ensuring fair voting in five regions holding state elections throughout the month.

A resurgence of COVID-19 cases driven by virus variants throughout Canada has forced the country's largest city to suspend in-person learning.

All elementary and secondary school students in Toronto will return to remote learning Wednesday without the chance to return before April 18, city officials announced Tuesday.

COVID-19 Hospitalizations, Cases Increase; State Boosting Vaccination Resources

Apr 6, 2021
Graph
Capitol News Illinois

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continued to rise Tuesday as state officials announced that additional resources were being deployed in the state’s vaccination efforts.

Public health officials announced 2,931 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 out of 51,625 test results Tuesday, bringing the statewide seven-day rolling positivity rate to 3.9 percent, the highest that figure has been since Feb. 1.

California could lift most statewide COVID-19 restrictions by June 15 if vaccine supply is sufficient and hospitalizations are low, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Tuesday.

Newsom said the state would lift its tiered system of risk and restriction, known as the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, contingent on those public health indicators, with its mask mandate and other "commonsense health measures" to remain in place.

Updated April 6, 2021 at 5:56 PM ET

President Biden announced Tuesday that he is moving up the deadline for states to open up COVID-19 vaccinations to all U.S. residents 18 and older by about two weeks. Less than a month after directing states to expand eligibility to all adults by May 1, Biden changed that deadline to April 19.

North Korea says it will skip the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo, citing coronavirus concerns – a move that frustrates South Korea's hopes that the games might revive stalled peace talks between the bitter rivals.

The decision to sit out the already delayed Tokyo Games means the North's athletes will be a no-show at the Olympics for the first time since Pyongyang boycotted them in 1988, the year they were held in Seoul.

New Zealand and Australia will allow quarantine-free travel between the two countries starting April 19, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Tuesday.

Ardern called the new arrangement the Trans-Tasman bubble.

"The bubble will give our economic recovery a boost and represents a world leading arrangement of safely opening up international travel while continuing to pursue a strategy of elimination and keeping the virus out," Adern said at a press briefing Tuesday.

Pritzker Urges Schools to Focus COVID Relief Funds

Apr 5, 2021

Gov. JB Pritzker took to the road Monday to urge local school districts in Illinois to carefully target the roughly $7 billion in federal funds they will soon receive in order to help students overcome the learning loss they may have suffered during the pandemic.

COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalizations Continue to See an Uptick

Apr 5, 2021
Capitol News Illinois

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continued to rise in Illinois as the statewide seven-day rolling case positivity rate reached 3.8 percent for the third consecutive day Monday.

The case positivity rate had not been near 3.8 percent since the beginning of February, when it hit 3.9 percent on Feb. 1, and then continued to decline throughout the month and into March.

England To Offer Free Twice-A-Week COVID-19 Tests

Apr 5, 2021

England is aiming to offer free twice-a-week rapid COVID-19 tests for everyone in the coming weeks, but critics think it will do more harm than good because of the possibility of incorrect test results.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed Monday in a press conference that England will start easing lockdown restrictions April 12 in an effort to open the economy again, beginning with businesses including pubs and gyms.

Johnson cited vaccination rate in England, saying, "We think that these changes are fully justified by the data."

State and county health departments are partnering with health providers and pharmacies to help administer COVID-19 vaccine. Here is our list for the week of April 4-12:

Appointments also available through Illinois' COVID Vaccine Registration Page

A secret recording of an opulent clandestine pop-up restaurant in a private Paris mansion, with patrons flouting mask mandates, has sparked outrage and a police inquiry in France. The high-priced menu promises Champagne and foie gras; in the footage, a man tells a new visitor, "Once you pass through the door, there's no more COVID."

Paris chief prosecutor Rémy Heitz has ordered the judicial police's Brigade for Repression of Personal Delinquency to investigate the underground dinners, the prosecutor's office said in an email to NPR.

MUMBAI — India on Monday recorded its biggest daily jump in coronavirus infections, joining only a handful of countries, including the United States, to cross the threshold of 100,000 new cases in a single day.

A surge is happening across South Asia. Pakistan's prime minister and president are among those to test positive in recent weeks. A one-week lockdown began in Bangladesh on Monday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its domestic travel guidance for fully vaccinated people, lifting certain testing and self-quarantine requirements and recommending precautions like wearing a mask and avoiding crowds.

JERUSALEM — The historic walled Old City of Jerusalem came alive this week with Christian and Jewish religious festivals now that more than a third of the city is inoculated against COVID-19.

InFocus
WSIU Staff

WSIU’s team of reporters talk to leaders in healthcare, education, policy, and the arts about how the virus affected their operations over the past year.

On Thursday, Palau and Taiwan launched what is being touted as "Asia's first travel bubble," with an inaugural flight from Taipei landing at Palau International Airport just after 7:30 p.m. local time.

Palau has recorded zero cases of coronavirus infection, and Taiwan has kept the virus largely in check since the start of the pandemic.

3,526 New COVID-19 Cases Are One-Day High Since Feb. 5

Apr 1, 2021
Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois

The state reported 3,526 new confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 Thursday, the highest one-day total since Feb. 5.

That drove the seven-day rolling average case positivity rate to 3.5 percent, a high since Feb. 3, as more than 96,000 test results were reported over the previous 24 hours. Another 25 COVID-19-positive Illinoisans were reported to have died over the previous 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 21,326 since the pandemic began.

Economic fallout due to the pandemic has been "catastrophic" for the performing arts, according to new data from the industry consulting group TRG Arts.

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