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

Missouri health officials expect to vaccinate all health care workers by the end of January, followed by teachers and other essential workers.

Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET

Rebekah Jones, the data scientist who helped create Florida's COVID-19 dashboard, has turned herself in to police, in response to an arrest warrant issued by the state.

Jones is charged with one count of "offenses against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks and electronic devices," the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said in a statement Monday.

Cheers erupted in hospital wards across India on Saturday as a first group of nurses and sanitation workers rolled up their sleeves and got vaccinated against COVID-19, at the start of what's likely to become the biggest national vaccination campaign in history.

India aims to vaccinate 300 million people by July, though it could take an additional two or more years to inoculate all nearly 1.4 billion Indians. The shots are voluntary. Hospitals and clinics have been setting up and rehearsing for weeks.

The Egyptian Health Department says all of its COVID-19 vaccination appointments are full at this time.

Officials ask residents of Saline, White and Gallatin counties to monitor the Harrisburg Medical Center Facebook page for further announcements as more vaccine becomes available.

Phase 1B Of COVID Vaccination Begins In Southern Illinois

Jan 15, 2021
Images
OSF HealthCare

Some local health departments have has moved into phase 1B of CO VID-19 vaccine distribution.

Phase 1B includes frontline essential workers and people over the age of 65. Jackson County Health Department Administrator Bart Hagston said all COVID-19 vaccines for the county are currently being distributed through the health department.

“Right now in Jackson County, we are utilizing the doses that are being sent to us to vaccinate individuals at a mass vaccination clinic that we are holding at the Banterra center,” Hagston said.

New COVID Variant Discovered By SIU Lab

Jan 15, 2021

An SIU research project has identified a new variant of the novel coronavirus.

Keith Gagnon is an associate professor of biochemistry at SIU. His lab has been doing genomic sequencing of the novel coronavirus and has identified a new variant that is spreading in the US, known as 20C-US.

The variant is widespread in the US, Gagnon said, but had not been previously studied.

“It was completely unnoticed, uncharacterized, sort of right in our backyard, it just grew and basically took over the virus variant population and nobody even knew,” Gagnon said.

COVID-19 Update: New Guidance on Indoor Dining, Vaccination plan, New Virus Strain, Sports

Jan 15, 2021
Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois

Gov. JB Pritzker announced revisions to his COVID-19 mitigation tiers Friday that would allow earlier indoor dining, but no regions have thus far met the requirements.

He also announced that the whole state would move to Phase 1B of vaccination efforts as of Jan. 25, while some counties might already individually have entered that phase. As well, a new, more contagious strain of the coronavirus has been confirmed to be spreading in Illinois.

Biden Outlines His COVID-19 Vaccination Plan

Jan 15, 2021
Whitehouse Image
NPR | Annette Elizabeth Allen

President-elect Joe Biden is outlining his COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan in Wilmington, Del. Biden has been critical of the current administration's effort and is seeking to speed up the process. The announcement comes a day after Biden proposed a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. Watch his remarks live. This event to begin at 2:40 CST

The White House push to vaccinate against the coronavirus will have a new name and new leadership under the Biden administration.

The "Operation Warp Speed" name will be retired, incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted on Friday. She said there was an "urgent need to address the failures of the Trump team approach to vaccine distribution." Psaki did not say what the new name will be.

The coronavirus pandemic appears to have shortened the average life expectancy in the United States, according to new research, and the impact is most dire for racial and ethnic minorities.

The deaths caused by COVID-19 have reduced overall life expectancy by 1.13 years, according to the analysis by researchers at the University of Southern California and Princeton University.

That would be the largest single-year decline in life expectancy in the past 40 years and cut U.S. life expectancy to 77.48 years — the lowest it's been since 2003, the researchers say.

Health care workers across the country have been under tremendous strain as they grapple with surging coronavirus caseloads — with no end to the pandemic in sight.

This month, the U.S. hit a staggering new record of more than 302,500 new cases daily, according to Johns Hopkins University. Just this week, the country reached an all-time single-day high of 4,462 deaths.

Lydia Mobley, an intensive care unit nurse, has witnessed the abysmal human toll firsthand.

Pandemic Fuels Record Overdose Deaths

Jan 14, 2021

After their son died, Jackie and Robert Watson found a stack of popsicle sticks in his Milwaukee apartment. He'd written an affirmation on each one.

"I am a fighter." "Don't sweat the small stuff." "My kids love me."

Brandon Cullins, 31, had been working with a drug counselor, who advised him to write the messages to himself.

Picking up the popsicle sticks, the Watsons were able to see how hard their son wanted to kick his battle with cocaine. But they also wondered why he hadn't asked them for help.

It's 8:45 a.m. on a weekday in Washington, D.C., and if anyone needs a reminder why the coronavirus vaccine is important, there's one arriving at the Takoma Metro stop: an almost empty train pulling up to an almost empty subway platform at the height of rush hour.

Statewide COVID-19 Positivity Rate Continues to Drop

Jan 14, 2021
Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois

The statewide seven-day rolling COVID-19 case positivity rate decreased slightly on Thursday to 6.8 percent, remaining below 8 percent for a sixth consecutive day.

The rate dropped from 7.3 percent the day prior. The Illinois Department of Public Health on Thursday reported 6,652 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in the state, with an additional 88 deaths. The state has reported 1,052,682 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and 17,928 deaths across the state’s 102 counties.

In Los Angeles, COVID-19 cases continue to soar at an astonishing rate. In the first seven days of the year, for instance, roughly seven people died each hour.

The Jackson County Health Department is offering appointments for administering the COVID-19 vaccine during Phase 1B of the state's plan.

This includes those 65 and older as well as frontline workers. The department estimates around 12,000 people in Jackson County are eligible under this phase.

Israel's health minister announced Thursday the country would vaccinate Palestinian prisoners against COVID-19, after Israel's president said withholding vaccines was against Israel's Jewish and democratic values.

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said the prisoners would be vaccinated early next week, on Monday or Tuesday. The minister informed NPR of the decision before making a public announcement.

The White House
Annette Elizabeth / NPR

President-elect Biden is set to deliver remarks in which he will "outline his vaccination and economic rescue legislative package." Biden has long said that the most recent coronavirus relief legislation did not go far enough in delivering critical help, and that a new package would be a top priority for his incoming administration.

Updated at 9:35 a.m. ET

A team of 13 World Health Organization scientists have now arrived in Wuhan, China, where they will investigate the origins of the coronavirus that has caused a global pandemic. Nearly 2 million people have died due to COVID-19, with more than 92 million infections, according to Johns Hopkins University.

A Davenport PE coach started making videos to keep his students active during quarantine. Now, he’s gone viral internationally. 

 

As COVID-19 deaths and illnesses mount, essential workers — who are denied the chance to work from home — are struggling to stay safe. And it's far from clear whether the federal government is doing enough to protect them, according to a former top federal workplace safety official.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration official, Deborah Berkowitz, said the Trump administration has neglected COVID-19 safety at meatpacking plants and many other workplaces.

Statewide Positivity Rate Drops for Fifth Straight Day as IDPH Reports 5,862 Cases Wednesday

Jan 13, 2021
Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois

The state’s rolling COVID-19 positivity rate dropped for the fifth straight day as Illinois Department of Public Health officials reported 5,862 new confirmed and probable cases with an additional 97 deaths Wednesday.

The seven-day rolling positivity rate stood was 7.3 percent, down from 8.5 percent one week ago and down two-tenths of a percentage point from Tuesday. The state has reported 1,046,030 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and the death toll is now 17,840 across the state’s 102 counties.

Several workers in masks pushing a dolly full of boxes.
Carle Richland Memorial Hospital

The COVID-19 vaccine holds promise for bringing an end to the pandemic. But some have questioned the rapid development of the vaccine — so I talked with some scientists about how pharmaceutical companies were able to work so quickly.

Michael Olson is an assistant professor of immunology with SIU School of Medicine. He saidthe first thing to understand how the body develops an immune response.

State’s Positivity Rate Decreases Again, Remains Below 8 Percent

Jan 12, 2021
Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois

The statewide seven-day rolling COVID-19 case positivity rate remained below 8 percent for a third consecutive day Tuesday after decreasing for a fourth straight day.

Tuesday’s seven-day rolling positivity rate was 7.5 percent, a decrease of one-tenth of a percentage point from Monday.

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SIU Salukis

The Missouri Valley Conference has postponed the SIU men's basketball series set for this weekend against Valparaiso.

The Southern Seven Health Department says it'll be wrapping up phase 1A of the COVID vaccine program soon.

Some Illinois Counties Entering Next Phase of Vaccine Distribution

Jan 11, 2021
Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois

Some regions of the state could see loosened COVID-19 restrictions as early as Friday as some counties have already transitioned to the next phase of vaccine distribution, Gov. JB Pritzker announced Monday.

Although the state remains in Phase 1A of its vaccine distribution plan, some communities which have substantially completed Phase 1A have moved to the early stages of Phase 1B.

Images
CMS

Ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration next week, the FBI says it has information indicating armed protests are planned at the U.S. Capitol and all 50 state capitols.

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker Monday didn't go into specific security measures going on at the Illinois capitol in Springfield, but says Illinois State Police is getting prepared.

State Veterans Affairs Director Resigns in Aftermath of Deadly COVID-19 Outbreak

Jan 11, 2021
People
Blueroomstream.com

Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Linda Chapa LaVia resigned Monday, more than two months after an outbreak was first reported at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home that has killed more than a quarter of the facility’s residents.

State COVID-19 Rolling Positivity Rate Falls Below 8 Percent

Jan 10, 2021
Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois

Illinois reported another 4,711 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 81 additional virus-related deaths Sunday as the rolling seven-day average positivity rate fell below 8 percent.

The state is now reporting a total 1,028,750 cases, including 17,574 total deaths across the state’s 102 counties.

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