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217 Today — Dec. 4, 2020

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Friday December 4, 2020

Today’s headlines:

  • Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger is blaming Democratic Governor JB Pritzker for not controlling a fatal COVID outbreak at an Illinois veterans’ home.

  • Illinois’ blood supply is again experiencing a critical shortage as the Coronavirus pandemic wears on.

  • State health officials announced nearly 11,000 new COVID-19 cases yesterday and almost 200 additional deaths. 

  • Farmers are feeling more pessimistic in the aftermath of the presidential election.

In today’s deep dive, more than 80% of all ICU beds are now occupied according to data from the state’s department of public health. That’s raising concerns about hospitals potentially filling up in the coming weeks. Illinois Newsroom’s Christine Herman talks with an emergency room doctor.

217 Today is produced by Olivia Butts. Reporting today contributed by Dave McKinney, Hannah Meisel, Dana Cronin, and Christine Herman.


Thursday December 3, 2020 

Today’s headlines:

  • An Illinois House panel is opening an investigation into a COVID-19 outbreak at the state-run veterans’ home in LaSalle.

  • Despite a pre-Thanksgiving drop in the number of Illinoisans hospitalized with Coronavirus, that number still exceeds the peak in hospitalizations from COVID’s first wave in the spring.

  • The Urbana Park District and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources recently completed the first phase of a restoration project at Crystal Lake Park.

  • Champaign County reported 151 new COVID-19 cases yesterday. That brings the total number of cases reported in the county to more than 11,000. Macon County reported four COVID-19 related deaths yesterday, and 73 new cases. Coles and DeWitt Counties reported one COVID fatality each, along with dozens of new cases.

In today’s deep dive, drug manufacturers have released promising early results for their COVID-19 vaccines, but skepticism among Americans remains high — especially for African Americans. Details from Side Effects Public Media’s Carter Barrett.

217 Today is produced by Olivia Butts and hosted by Brin Moline. Reporting today contributed by Hannah Meisel, Lecia Bushak, and Carter Barrett.


Wednesday December 2, 2020

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois has planned for how it will distribute a COVID-19 vaccine. But there could be changes as the process moves along.

  • The Flash Index stalled in November, interrupting five months of slow recovery from a steep drop caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The total number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. could increase by millions within the next two months.

  • Illinois public health officials reported more than 12,500 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday. They also reported 125 new deaths in the last day, for a total of more than 12,000 since the pandemic began.

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about the challenges that central Illinois hospitals are facing with COVID-19. Eric Stock talks with a pair of Carle nursing officers.

217 Today is produced by Olivia Butts and hosted by Brian Moline. Reporting today contributed by Sean Crawford, Jim Meadows, Shahla Farzan, and Eric Stock.


Tuesday December 1, 2020

Today’s headlines:

  • Despite slight drops in COVID-19 positivity rates and overall hospitalizations statewide in the past two weeks, the entire state of Illinois will remain under stricter mitigations for much of December.

  • Two separate coronavirus vaccine makers have already asked federal regulators for emergency use authorization following promising clinical trials, and a third may do so this month.

  • Essential workers are more likely to be exposed to the coronavirus — and often face additional barriers to getting tested.

  • Public health officials in Illinois reported 85 more deaths from COVID-19 today, and more than 6,100 new cases — both confirmed and probable.

In today’s deep dive, during the first three months of the pandemic, the number of Americans dying, not just from COVID-19, increased compared to previous years

That’s it for today. 217 Today is produced by Olivia Butts and hosted by Brian Moline. Reporting today contributed by Hannah Meisel and Christine Herman.


Monday November 30, 2020

Today’s headlines:

  • Thousands of Illinoisans will cast their votes tomorrow in township caucus-style elections all over the state, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Like larger hospitals in Illinois, rural hospitals are having a hard time finding enough nurses, doctors and other staff to treat an influx of COVID-19 patients.

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on in-person shopping, especially at small, local businesses. Those are just the type of businesses hoping to grab shoppers’ attention, during a promotional event that starts tomorrow in Champaign.

  • Public health officials in Illinois reported 57 more deaths from COVID-19 yesterday, and more than 7,100 new cases.

In today’s deep dive, millions more Americans are facing food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ll learn about a new data-driven map tracking food insecurity rates from Illinois Newsroom’s Dana Cronin.

217 Today is produced by Olivia Butts and hosted by Brian Moline. Reporting today contributed by Hannah Meisel, Mary Hansen, Jim Meadows, and Dana Cronin.

COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. We recommend checking the Coronavirus Information Center for the most recent numbers and guidance.

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Jose Zepeda

Jose Zepeda

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