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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

Daily COVID-19 Update (July 5)

Jul 5, 2020

New COVID-19 statistics were not released on July 5th, due to the holiday. But Governor JB Pritzker and Public Health Director Dr. Ngoze Ezeke warned the virus remains in the community, and is growing rapidly in other states.

Leaders say social distancing, wearing masks, and avoiding large crowds will go a long way at preventing a similar spike in cases in Illinois.

Daily COVID-19 Update (July 4)

Jul 4, 2020

Asthe U.S. celebrates Independence Day holiday, state leaders urged Illinoisans to use caution when celebrating this weekend.

New COVID-19 statistics were not released on July 4th, due to the holiday. But Governor JB Pritzker and Public Health Director Dr. Ngoze Ezeke warned the virus remains in the community, and is growing rapidly in other states.


A day before the Independence Day holiday, state leaders urged Illinoisans to use caution when celebrating this weekend.

State offices were closed Friday, so new COVID-19 statistics were not released. But Governor JB Pritzker and Public Health Director Dr. Ngoze Ezeke warned the virus remains in the community, and is growing rapidly in other states.

A Clay County judge ruled today Governor J-B Pritzker had no authority to issue multiple Executive Orders to keep the State of Illinois locked down during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Illinois confirmed an additional 869 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, along with 36 more deaths.

The daily announcement brings the overall number of positive tests in the state to 144,882, with 6,987 deaths.

Local Health Center Receives Grant For Dental Services

Jul 2, 2020

Community Health and Emergency Services, Inc. is one of several organizations receiving grant money to help provide dental services during the coronavirus pandemic.

The money will be used to bring on additional staff. CEO Fred Bernstein said they are expecting the extra help will be needed to handle back-to-school dental appointments.

Perry County Health Dept.

Perry County in southeast Missouri is strongly discouraging social gatherings of any kind after it jumped into the top 10 counties in the State of Missouri for the highest number positive cases of COVID-19 per capita.


As the calendar turned to July, Illinois' total COVID-19 cases grew to 144,013, and its death toll rose to 6,951.

The new totals included 828 new cases Wednesday, and 30 new deaths from the virus.


The last day of June saw 724 new cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, and an additional 23 deaths..

The state's overall COVID-19 total is now 143,185, and its death toll 6,923.

US Capitol
Liam James Doyle | NPR

The Senate Health Committee discusses plans for reopening schools and offices that have been shuttered by the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

Voluntary workouts began Monday morning for 50 Saluki football and basketball student-athletes.

The SIU-C Athletics Department reports the workouts were given the green light after there were no positive COVID tests among those who entered through the Gate 1 return plan.

Local Hospitals Loosen Visitor Restrictions

Jun 29, 2020
Patients hand with monitors attached

As Illinois continues to Phase 4 of re-opening, local hospitals are loosening visitor restrictions.

SIH will now allow one visitor for non-COVID-19 patients, as well as one support person for patients undergoing surgical procedures. Visitors will be allowed for COVID-19 patients in end-of-life situations.


Illinois reported 738 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, along with 14 additional deaths.

Monday's report bring's the state's overal COVID-19 total to 142,461, and its death toll to 6,902.

When physician Erik Martin left his home in southwest Missouri to help with New York’s COVID-19 outbreak in April, his county had fewer than 10 confirmed cases of the virus. Now he’s back — and watching those numbers skyrocket. More than 400 Jasper County residents have tested positive, and more than 800 are in quarantine.

“I never expected that within such a short period of time, my home town would become a COVID hotspot, as it has now," Martin says. He was alarmed when he learned a patient who tested positive worked at the Butterball poultry processing plant in nearby Carthage. After seeing a second Butterball worker, Martin alerted the county health department to the potential outbreak.

Illinois has 646 new confirmed cases and 15 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 141,723 confirmed cases and 6,888 deaths in the state.

The State of Illinois reported an additional 786 additional cases of COVID-19 on Saturday. This bring the state's overall total to 141,077.

Illinois also reported 26 deaths to bring that total to 6,873.

30,237 tests were conducted in the past 24 hours. Illinois has now performed 1,521,189 tests since the pandemic started.

Taylor Wilcox/unsplash

Schools are poring over the 63 pages of guidelines the Illinois State Board of Education released on how to safely return to in person classes in several months.  Shane Gordon, Superintendent of  Bluford School District says the state will buy the masks, but, just one per child.

Local Restaurant Owners Move Into Phase 4

Jun 26, 2020

Now that Phase 4 of the governor's COVID-19 recovery plan is here, restaurants can open to inside dining, but at 50 percent capacity.  David Hays owns Mary's Restaurant in Herrin and  says, because of mandatory safety measures, his diners will notice a difference.


On the first day of Phase 4 for Illinois' reopening plan, the state confirmed another 857 new cases of COVID-19, and 39 additional deaths.

The White House
Annette Elizabeth / NPR

The White House coronavirus task force, led by Vice President Pence, is holding a briefing at the Department of Health and Human Services. Watch the remarks live.

The entire State of Illinois is set to move into Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan on Friday.

Local Business Owners Prepare for Next Phase

Jun 25, 2020


The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Illinois grew again on Thursday, the day before the state is slated to enter Phase 4 of Governor JB Pritzker's Reopening Plan.

More than 31,000 tests were logged from June 24-25, and 894 came back positive. An additional 41 people died, as well.

Aline Ponce / Pixabay

As Illinois continues to re-open, one challenge facing many families is childcare.

Lori Longueville, director of Child Care Resource and Referral at John A. Logan College, said there has been an increase in families looking for childcare, as their traditional options, like summer camps, have been cancelled due to the pandemic.

It’s a problem that continues to grow, she said, as people who have been furloughed or working remotely return to their offices.


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

Click here to access the video stream. The live stream will begin at 2:30 p.m.


Another 715 positive COVID-19 tests were recorded on Wednesday, bringing the statewide total to 138,540. In addition, Illinois added 64 deaths - the death toll in the state from COVID-19 is 6,770.

The state's positivity rate - a number comparing positive tests with the overall test count -  bumped up to 3% for June 17-23. Illinois has processed 1.43 million tests since the pandemic arrived.

LOCAL CASES (6:00pm Update)

Effingham County Health Department:

Now that the State of Illinois has released guidelines to help school districts prepare for the return of students to the classroom this fall, the state's leading health official says it's time to get young people ready from a health standpoint.

Southeast Missouri State University has announced what the upcoming Fall 2020 semester will look like amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


The State of Illinois rolled out its guidance for in-person school learning to return this fall.

During a special briefing Tuesday, Governor J.B Pritzker said one of the most essential mitigations will be face coverings.

Governor Releases Fall Plans for Schools And Colleges

Jun 23, 2020

Governor J.B. Pritzker wants to see kids in the classroom this fall.  He released guidance Tuesday for students returning to school and college.