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

Illinois has reached a COVID-19 testing milestone.  Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike gave the official number on Monday.

Illinois is starting to award grants to renters to help them catch up on late payments. But the need far outpaces the funding available and more than 50,000 applicants won't get help.

COVID-19’s effects on learning for Illinois students emerged in a state Senate committee this week.

Robin Steans, president of the education advocacy nonprofit Advance Illinois, said COVID-19 has placed a reliance on remote learning that has put students at a disadvantage.


SIU Medical School Researching COVID-19 And Brain Aging

Sep 16, 2020
Robina Weermeijer / Unsplash

Researchers at SIU School of Medicine are exploring possible links between Alzheimer’s Disease and COVID-19.

Kevin Hascup runs a research lab on the effects of aging and Alzheimer’s.His project recently received funding from the National Institutes of Health to study how COVID impacts brain aging.

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Governor JB Pritzker will update the state's COVID response at noon on Wednesday, September 16.

You can watch the governor's update by clicking here.

When the COVID shutdown hit, lots of people lost jobs and couldn’t pay their rent. States and cities responded by putting a moratorium on evictions, but those are ending. Housing advocates are now bracing for a flood of evictions — and a public health problem.

Teaching is already challenging enough without a pandemic shaking up how the classroom operates. As schools reopen, many districts are focused on keeping their staff and students safe from COVID-19. But the pandemic is also taking a toll on teachers’ mental health. 

SIUC's Chancellor says as more testing becomes available, the school may consider mandatory COVID-19 testing for students, faculty and staff.

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In-person learning is being paused this week for eighth grade students at Murphysboro Middle School.

The district notified parents Monday about a second eighth grade teacher and one eighth grade student who tested positive for COVID-19.

Remote Learning At Boys and Girls Club of Southern Illinois
Benjy Jeffords / WSIU

Schools weren't the only organizations trying to navigate a changing landscape this year.  

Support organizations like the Boys and Girls Club of Southern Illinois are making changes this fall to help area students.

COVID Scams Continue to Evolve

Sep 14, 2020

Much like the virus itself, COVID-19 scams continue to spread six months into the pandemic.

Since Wednesday, more than 194,000 complaints related to COVID-19 and stimulus payments have been submitted to the Federal Trade Commission, including roughly 1,200 fraud complaints and 400 identity-theft complaints from Missouri.

Sierra is in a bind. She and her husband have two children — ages three and nine years old — and they live in Urbana, a college town in east-central Illinois. 

COVID-19 cases in Williamson county have been rising significantly since mid-August. On September 10th, the Franklin-Williamson Bicounty Health Department reported 46 new cases in Williamson county.

While some of the cases are connected to outbreaks in long-term care facilities, Director of Health Education Carrie Eldridge said community spread is a significant factor.

While the world fights the pandemic, health experts say there's a chronic epidemic that continues to hide in the shadows. September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and in Illinois, one person takes his or her own life, on average, every six hours.

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In his COVID-19 briefing on Thursday, Governor JB Pritzker said nine out of 11 regions in the state are showing decreased positivity rates of the virus.  However, he added, region four, in the Metro East, is continuing to see high rates of community spread.

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Governor JB Pritzker updates the state's COVID-19 statistics and response.

You can watch the event by clicking here.

On a Friday evening in late June, Liliana Quintero received a call from one of the Spanish interpreters working at a COVID-19 testing site in Goshen, Indiana. The area has one of Indiana’s higher Latinx populations and higher rates of COVID-19 cases, according to state data.

“[He was] saying, ‘Liliana I need to inform you that the nurse who is in charge of this site just told me that each time that she sees Hispanics coming to this site, she's going to call the police,’” recalls Quintero, director of the Northern Indiana Hispanic Health Coalition, an Elkhart-based health education and advocacy nonprofit.

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Southern 7 Health Dept.

The Southern Seven Health Department is hosting a drive-thru COVID-19 testing unit at its Pulaski County office this weekend.

The weekly COVID-19 case count from SIU-Carbondale shows another jump in positive tests from last week.

The statewide COVID-19 test positivity rate hit its lowest point since July 26 on Wednesday as the Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,337 new cases of the virus among 48,029 test results reported over the previous 24 hours.

The rolling seven-day average positivity rate was driven downward to 3.7 percent after Wednesday saw a 2.8 percent one-day positivity rate. 

That came as Region 7 of the state’s COVID-19 reopening plan saw its fourth straight day below an 8 percent positivity rate, the threshold at which the state increases economic restrictions in an effort to mitigate spread. The rate in Region 7, which includes Will and Kankakee Counties, was 7.4 percent as of Sunday. That was still higher than the 6.5 percent rate at which the state would start to relax some of the added mitigations, which include closing bars and restaurants to indoor service.

Eighteen young people tested positive for COVID-19 in Sangamon County during the week of August 23.

The weekly number of new cases among those less than 20 years old in each county is one of four metrics the Illinois Department of Public Health began publishing late last month to assist local schools and health departments in making decisions about in-person learning.

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Jefferson Co. Health Dept.

A drive-thru COVID-19 testing site is coming to Jefferson County this weekend.

No appointment is needed and anyone can be tested. You must have a valid telephone number since you will be called with the test results.

Illinois Governer JB Pritzker announced Tuesday the final round of COVID-19 response fund grants have been released.

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Gov. Pritzker discusses the impact of the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund and to announce the final round of funding. This event is scheduled for 2:00pm on Tuesday, September 8.

Click here to watch Gov. Pritzker.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported a new peak in new COVID-19 cases at 5,368. But department officials say the spike is due to a backlog of data.

After a second student tested positive for COVID-19, Centralia High School is switching to remote-only learning until September 21.

More than 7,000 college-age people in Missouri have tested positive for COVID-19 since colleges and universities opened for the fall semester, fueling spikes in cases in college towns across the state.

Fairfield High School will begin full remote learning as of Thursday afternoon.

A couple hundred students, staff and faculty at the University of Illinois Springfield waited more than 48 hours for results from their saliva-based COVID-19 tests taken last week. Initial university instructions said results should be sent within a day or two.

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