COVID-19

NPR Illinois

Amid growing calls to allow contact sports to resume this fall, Illinois’ governor Tuesday appeared to double down on postponement of the seasons.

HSHS Medical Group is offering COVID-19 testing in Springfield and Decatur.
HSHS Medical Group

HSHS Medical Group is offering COVID-19 testing in Springfield and Decatur. The medical group is using federal funds from the first coronavirus aid package to set up the drive-through sites.

Three smoke stacks from Springfield's City Water, Light and Power sit on the lake.
Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

City Water, Light and Power is encouraging customers with past due bills to contact its customer service department to get on a payment plan. They can call 217-789-2030 or visit CWLP’s website.

School desks
Flickr user: dcJohn www.flickr.com/photos/dcjohn/

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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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

This week, confirmed cases of the new coronavirus have spiked on university campuses throughout the state.  Meanwhile, many kids are beginning the new school year with virtual, remote learning only.  And the Illinois House has created a committee to look into possible wrongdoing by House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Illinois Newsroom's Lee Gaines, WNIJ's Peter Medlin, and WGLT's Dana Vollmer join the panel.

Signs outside a store in downtown Springfield encourage handwashing and the use of face masks.
Mary Hanse / NPR Illinois

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.

Campus entry signage
University of Illinois Springfield

The University of Illinois’ COVID-19 testing program – SHIELD – plans to put a lab on the Springfield campus, an official with the program confirmed Thursday.

A hand puts  a vile of saliva for a COVID-19 test into a biohazard bag.
University of Illinois Springfield

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.

Christine Herman/Illinois Newsroom

URBANA – About a thousand students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have tested positive for COVID-19 since twice-a-week coronavirus testing became mandatory for all students on Aug. 16.

A COVID-19 testing site outside of Sangamon County Health Department.
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

A rise in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations landed Sangamon County on the list of counties at a warning level, according to Illinois Department of Public Health. Morgan, Cass, Pike and Greene are on the list as well.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

This week, rising COVID-19 positivity rates prompted Governor J.B. Pritzker to once again shut down indoor service for restaurants and bars in Will and Kankakee counties, and warned that the same might soon happen for the Metro East counties.  Local governments are becoming more worried about declining tax revenues due to the pandemic.  And energy company Exelon announced that it may have to close two of its nuclear plants.  

Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois and Kelsey Landis of the Belleville News-Democrat join the panel.

Economic Policy Institute/University of Illinois

For this week's Statewide,  we interviewed Elizabeth Powers, an economist with the Institute of Government and Public Policy at the University of Illinois and Heidi Shierholz, an economist and policy director at the Washington, D.C,-based Economic Policy Institute. Powers  was a member of former President George H.W. administration, while Shierholz served in former President Barack Obama's administration. They discussed the impact of COVID-19 on women in the workforce.

frowning piggy bank
Carter Staley / NPR Illinois

Nearly 200 cities told the Illinois Municipal League that they expect to bring in less money from taxes on shopping, gaming, gas and other sources due to the coronavirus pandemic. The responses come from a survey conducted between June and July.

Beginning Wednesday, restaurant and bar patrons must wear a mask when interacting with servers and bartenders in an effort to stem the recent spread of COVID-19.

Christine Herman/Illinois Newsroom

CHAMPAIGN – A saliva-based COVID-19 test created by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has received authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA emergency use authorization was granted to the U of I’s test on the basis that it performs at least as well as a recently approved saliva-testing protocol developed at Yale University, setting a precedent that could allow other labs to follow suit. 

The state has placed tighter rules on a portion of southwest Illinois after seeing more community spread of the coronavirus disease.  But Gov. J.B. Pritzker admits it might not be enough to slow the spread of COVID-19.  

University of Illinois Springfield

The University of Illinois Springfield is requiring weekly screening of COVID-19 for students, faculty and staff who regularly go to campus. The university is offering a saliva test developed by researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, named SHIELD Testing.

Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Chicago’s election agency plans to allow voters to drop off their mail-in ballots at all early voting sites starting in mid-October. In Champaign County, the county clerk plans to have up to six drop boxes for voters to put their ballots in through Election Day.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

This week, the Illinois General Assembly's Joint Committee on Administrative Rules approved Governor Pritzker's intent to fine business owners who don't enforce the state's COVID-19 mitigation orders.  Also, state Senator Terry Link has been charged with tax fraud.

Amanda Vinicky of WTTW's Chicago Tonight joins the panel.

The Springfield School District 186 board reconsidered Thursday night its decision of how to start the school year. In an emergency meeting, the board voted 5-2 for nearly all students to begin online just over a week after they voted to move forward with a plan that offered both in-person and online options.

School desks
Flickr user: dcJohn www.flickr.com/photos/dcjohn/

This fall, if a student has a fever, cough or other symptom that is commonly linked to COVID-19, they cannot enter a school building.

A COVID-19 testing site outside of Sangamon County Health Department.
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Sangamon County came off the Illinois Department of Public Health’s list of counties at a warning level due to the spread of COVID-19.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Amid the pandemic, the state's ongoing budget woes received some attention this week, with uncertainty over federal aid to states and local governments.  Also, novel coronavirus positivity rates continue to slowly rise, prompting Governor J.B. Pritzker to issue new emergency guidelines for businesses, schools, and daycare centers.

WBEZ Public Radio's Tony Arnold and Capitol News Illinois' Peter Hancock join the panel.

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, a Taylorville Republican, announced Wednesday he has contracted the coronavirus disease.

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HM Treasury / Flickr

The Illinois Department of Public Health will test people for COVID-19 at the State Fairgrounds on Wednesdays, beginning today.

Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder signing a Declaration of State of Emergency
City of Springfield

Patrons of bars and restaurants must have an assigned table or seat, and shouldn’t leave their seats unless they’re going to the restroom or leaving.

Orange indicates there are warning signs of increased COVID-19 risk in the county.
Illinois Department of Public Health

Sangamon County is one of several counties that are now at a warning level due to the spread of COVID-19.

The county has had 70 new cases per 100,000 people in the last week, surpassing the Illinois Department of Public Health’s target number of 50 cases. The number of emergency room visits of people with COVID-19 symptoms is also rising.

Practice field at Glenwood High School in Chatham, Illinois.
Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

The Illinois High School Association announced a new sports schedule following new public health guidelines issued by the state.

Illinois Information Service

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.

An employee at a COVID-19 drive-through testing site funded by the Illinois Department of Public Health directs drivers.
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

COVID-19 testing will again be available in the parking lot of the Sangamon County Department of Public Health building, at 2833 South Grand Avenue East, on Monday with new hours.

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