Gail O'Neill

People waiting for extra COVID-19 vaccine doses are assigned a numbered parking spot at the Sangamon County Department of Public Health's vaccination clinic.
Rachel Otwell / Illinois Times

The COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Sangamon County Department of Public Health has a new process for giving out doses left at the end of each day, department director Gail O’Neill confirmed Monday.

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

Just over a quarter of appointments booked at Sangamon County’s COVID-19 vaccine clinic for Feb. 1 through March 15 went to the county’s targeted population – healthcare workers and residents 85 and older.

The first shipment of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine arrived in Illinois at the state's Strategic National Stockpile on Monday, Dec. 14.
Screenshot from video provided by Gov. J.B. Pritzker's office

Update: The Sangamon County Department of Public Health on Monday announced it will prioritize COVID-19 vaccine doses for seniors, starting with those 85 and older. Read more here

Asima Rahman has a new routine since she’s been back teaching in her third grade classroom at Ridgely Elementary in Springfield.

She checks the Sangamon County Department of Public Health and Walgreens websites before work in the morning, at lunchtime and after school, searching for an open COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

Sangamon County Department of Public Health Director Gail O'Neill talks about the importance of flu shots during COVID-19 pandemic.
Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Sangamon County will begin Monday vaccinating seniors over 65 and essential frontline workers against COVID-19, the next priority group behind healthcare workers.

Just days into their two-week plan to allow bars and restaurants to continue indoor service despite Gov. JB Pritzker’s order to curb COVID-19’s rapid resurgence in the region, Sangamon County and Springfield officials are reversing course.

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

For the third time in recent weeks, Sangamon County set a record of new COVID-19 cases recorded in a single day. On Thursday, the county reported 105 new cases and two additional deaths.

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

A month ago, Sangamon County confirmed a dozen COVID-19 cases in one week. So far this week, more than 50 people have tested positive.

The Illinois Department of Public Health publishes a map of outbreaks at nursing homes and senior living centers in Illinois.
Illinois Department of Public Health

COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has spread to residents and staff at a nursing home in Sherman, just north of Springfield.

The Sangamon County Department of Public Health confirmed the outbreak Tuesday night, the first at a senior living center in the county.

Memorial Health System's Respiratory Clinic is on Sixth Street in Springfield.
Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois

The Sangamon County Department of Public Health is asking residents to call its hotline if they think they’ve been exposed to COVID-19. But because testing is still limited by lack of supply, calling the line is no guarantee of finding out whether you actually have the disease.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Testing for the novel coronavirus is still restricted in Sangamon County on Sunday, despite the first two confirmed cases being announced Saturday evening.

The two private hospitals in Springfield — Memorial Medical Center and HSHS St. John’s — have contracted with private companies to get test kits for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

But they have not begun using the tests, as the Illinois Department of Public Health still determines who should be tested, according to a St. John’s spokesperson.

Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois

Sangamon County health officials are limiting the number of participants at large public gatherings, hours after the St. Patrick's Day parade was canceled.

Beginning Saturday and for the next 30 days, all indoor events will be limited to 250 people and outdoor events will be limited to 500. The order will be reassessed in early April as the coronavirus situation develops, health officials said.

Dr. Brian Miller, president of the Sangamon County Board of Health, said at a news conference Thursday afternoon the measures are precautionary and meant to protect residents.

Wikimedia Commons

The Sangamon County Department of Public Health is opening a phone line dedicated to answering questions about the new coronavirus, starting at 8 a.m. Tuesday. The number is (217) 321-2606.

The new hotline comes after a passenger on an Amtrak train that passed through Springfield later tested positive for COVID-19, the disease spread by the novel coronavirus.