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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

Franny Cole’s now-estranged husband had been emotionally abusive and financially controlling. She thinks sometimes about what might have happened had she not gathered the strength to leave prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Southern Five Regional Planning District and Development Commission has been awarded a $550,000 federal grant.

Illinois State University on Tuesday pointed to the unexpected loss of on-campus testing capacity and rising cases as major reasons why classes will be primarily online this fall.

One inmate at the United States Penitentiary in Marion has died from COVID-19.

Jennifer Fuller/WSIU

Governor JB Pritzker says young people need to do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Southern Illinois is experiencing what Pritzker calls a surge in COVID-19 cases -- mainly among people in their teens and 20s. Seven of the eleven counties statewide currently in warning status are in southern Illinois.

8-4-2020: Governor Pritzker Press Briefing at SIUC

Aug 4, 2020
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Governor JB Pritzker holds a press briefing on the campus of Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Carbondale / Carbondale

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Carbondale Mayor Mike Henry and City Manager Gary Williams, as the city continues to deal with COVID-19 and prepares for thousands more students to return for classes at SIUC this month.

8-3-2020: Governor Pritzker Press Briefing (COVID-19)

Aug 3, 2020
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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. Begins at 11am.

More than 100 new cases of COVID-19 were added in the southern Illinois region over the weekend - with several counties still to report their numbers on Monday.


The end of July brought another day with an increase in the number of new COVID-19 infections in Illinois. The state reported 1,941 new cases on Friday, along with 21 deaths connected to the coronavirus.

Overall, Illinois has recorded 178,837 cases of COVID-19, and 7,495 deaths.

With cases continuing to rise, the overall statewide positivity grew a tenth of a percent - to 3.9% for the week ending July 30. Health officials report 1,369 people were hospitalized across Illinois with COVID-19. Of those, 346 were in the ICU, and 148 were on ventilators.

Carbondale / Carbondale

Masks are now required in Carbondale - in all public places where distancing isn't possible.

Jackson County Holds Educational Forum For Young Adults

Jul 31, 2020

The Carbondale Public Library and Carbondale NAACP hosted an online conference directed at young adults addressing the spike in COVID-19 cases in Jackson County.

Jackson County Health officials are concerned about the drastic increase in COVID-19 cases in young adults.

Illinois Department of Public Health

The state has put 11 counties in "warning" status because of their COVID-19 metrics - and seven of those counties are in southern Illinois.

Illinois Doctors Encourage Wearing Masks

Jul 31, 2020
A woman wears a face mask while shopping.
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With COVID-19 cases on the rise, Illinois doctors are urging people to wear masks in public to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Doctor Robert Panton, president of the Illinois State Medical Society, said wearing a mask is about protecting the community.


Illinois COVID-19 report showed nearly 1,800 new infections on Thursday, as Governor JB Pritzker warned several parts of the state are "moving in the wrong direction" when it comes to positivity rates and other metrics.

With 1,773 new positive cases reported, Illinois' overall COVID-19 total is now 176,896. Further, another 18 people died from complications associated with the coronavirus. That pushes the death toll to 7,478.

The overall statewide positivity remained at 3.8% for the week ending July 29, and health officials report 1,452 people were hospitalized across Illinois with COVID-19. Of those, 353 were in the ICU, and 149 were on ventilators.

Kristina Ortiz and Tim Himes aren’t brother and sister by blood, but they might as well be. They’ve never known life apart. Ortiz was six months old when her foster mother brought Himes home from the hospital.  

“I’m always there for you,” Himes said on a video call with Ortiz. 


Wednesday brought another 1,393 cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, along with 18 more deaths attributed to the coronavirus. Those new infections pushed the overall case total to 175,124, and the death toll climbed to 7,462.

Meanwhile, the overall statewide positivity rate held steady at 3.8% for the week ending July 28, and health officials report 1,491 people were hospitalized across Illinois with COVID-19. Of those, 355 were in the ICU, and 152 were on ventilators.

One southern Illinois school district is reminding parents to register their children for the upcoming school year -- even if they plan on their students taking part in remote or blended learning.

7-29-20: Gov. Pritzker Updates COVID-19, Athletics Guidelines

Jul 29, 2020
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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 noon.

As universities prepare to welcome students back to campus for the fall semester, some are counting on widespread COVID-19 testing to help clamp down on potential outbreaks. 

At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, large white tents, with signs reading “Walk-Up COVID-19 Testing,” have been popping up across campus.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States has experienced unemployment figures not seen since the Great Depression. But Bill Polley, Associate Professor of Economics at Western Illinois University, said the Great Depression is more akin to the Great Recession of 2008 than to this year's economic freefall.

Schools nationwide are grappling with how to get back to the classroom, while keeping everybody safe from COVID-19.  Regional Superintendent of Schools for Franklin, Johnson, Massac and Williamson counties Lorie LeQuatte says right now, schools are leaning towards a hybrid school day.


Illinois recorded 1,076 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, lifting the overall case count to 173,731. The day's data also showed 30 more deaths attributed to the coronavirus, pushing the death toll to 7,446.

The overall positivity rate held stead at 3.8% for the week ending July 27, and health officials report 1,383 people were hospitalized across Illinois with COVID-19. Of those, 329 were in the ICU, and 128 were on ventilators.

Bradley University said a COVID-19 outbreak among 12 students was traced back to a small, off-campus gathering where no mask-wearing or social distancing happened.

Southern Illinois University

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIU President Dan Mahony about how the university system is preparing for students to return amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governor J.B. Pritzker’s Monday stop in the county seat of Quincy was no social call.  Appearing at the Adams County Department of Public Health, he pointed out the numbers there are going in the wrong direction.


Illinois' COVID-19 cases rose by 1,231 on Monday, and another 18 deaths were recorded.

The new totals bring Illinois' overall COVID-19 case count to 172,655 and the overall death toll to 7,416.

The overall positivity ticked up a tenth of a point to 3.8% for the week ending July 26, and health officials report 1,417 people were hospitalized across Illinois with COVID-19. Of those, 350 were in the ICU, and 124 were on ventilators.

Jackson County Reports Record Number Of COVID-19 Cases

Jul 27, 2020

Jackson County reported record numbers of COVID-19 cases over the weekend.

With 31 cases reported on Saturday and 38 on Sunday, the department issued a public health alert directed toward young people. Almost seventy percent of recent cases have been in people in their teens to mid-twenties. The department warns that younger people need to take action immediately to halt the spread of the coronavirus..


The next time an unfamiliar number pops up on your phone, Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker says you might want to take the call.

A blood drive next week in Carbondale will also check donations for COVID-19 antibodies.

Blood will be collected from 10am to 3pm on August 4 at the Carbondale Civic Center.