Some Health Officials Find Their Hands Tied On COVID-19 Restrictions

ROCKFORD – Sandra Martell is in a tough spot. As public health administrator in northern Illinois’ Winnebago County, Martell was threatened with lawsuits from several area bar owners after she included them on a list of businesses allegedly defying the governor’s orders to halt indoor dining.  The county is part of a region that faced […]

Tips For A Spooky — And Safe — Halloween

CHAMPAIGN – Halloween is just around the corner, and public health officials are encouraging everyone to celebrate safely.  The biggest advice is the same we’ve been hearing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic: practice social distancing, avoid large gatherings, and wear a mask.  But a spooky plastic mask is no substitute for a cloth face covering, when […]

How Addiction Treatment Prepared One Woman To ‘Face The Pandemic Head On’

SPRINGFIELD – When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Barbara Allen’s life became more complicated overnight. Allen, 39, lives in Springfield, Illinois, where she cares for people who have disabilities and live in group homes. As an essential worker, she never stopped working full time. Then schools closed and she was forced to navigate virtual learning with […]

As COVID-19 Cases Rise In Macon County, Officials Urge Residents To Take Precautions

DECATUR – Half all Illinois counties are now considered at a warning level for the coronavirus, according to the state’s public health department. Macon County, in central Illinois, is among them. In the county of just over 100,000 people, 52 residents have died from the virus, and there are now more than a thousand active […]

Well-Fitted, Layered Cloth Masks Rival Surgical Masks, Research Suggests

URBANA – When choosing a mask or face covering to wear during the pandemic, research from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign suggests that a well-fitted mask made of two layers of a breathable material can be nearly as effective as a surgical mask at blocking respiratory droplets, which are released when people cough, sneeze […]

Monticello Father Hopes To Raise Awareness About Deaths From Medical Errors

MONTICELLO – A group of advocates for patient safety from across the U.S. will gather in Washington D.C. this week to raise awareness about medical mistakes. Among them will be Monticello resident Tony Galbo, whose daughter Gabby died in 2012 at the age of 5 after getting a tick bite and developing a sepsis infection […]

Mental Health Providers Take Steps To Meet Growing Need During The Pandemic

PAXTON, IL – Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are reporting symptoms of depression, according to a recent study in the journal JAMA Network Open. The study finds those with lower incomes and high exposure to coronavirus stressors are at greatest risk. In rural Ford County, more people have reached out for help […]

Migrant Clinics Offering COVID-19 Testing To Farmworkers Face Challenges

CHICAGO – The U.S. food supply depends on millions of migrant and seasonal farmworkers, who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 because of circumstances in which they live and work. Outbreaks of COVID-19 on farms have killed more than a dozen farmworkers nationwide, and infected thousands more, according to tracking from the Food and Environment Reporting […]

Checking In With The Shield Team: How’s The U Of I Doing Handling COVID-19?

URBANA – Since Aug. 16, when twice-a-week COVID-19 testing was made mandatory for students arriving back to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 679 positive COVID-19 cases have been identified among students, faculty and staff, according to the U of I’s public database. Most of these are among students who arrived back to campus already […]

U Of I Launches COVID-19 Database, Reports More Than 300 Positive Cases In Past Week

URBANA – The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign launched a public database Monday, which reports how many saliva-based COVID-19 tests are being performed on the campus each day — and how many positive cases have been identified. Out of 50,945 tests run on students, faculty and staff from Aug. 17 through Aug. 23, 311 positive […]

U Of I Officials: ‘Bump’ In COVID-19 Cases Expected As Semester Kicks Off

EDITOR’S NOTE, Sept. 29: This story is no longer up-to-date, as University of Illinois officials claimed the campus’ saliva-based test had received FDA emergency use authorization on Aug. 19, but an FDA spokesperson tells Illinois Newsroom the test has never operated under an EUA. For more information on the newly learned details, click here. URBANA – […]

U Of I’s Saliva-Based COVID-19 Test Receives FDA Emergency Authorization

EDITOR’S NOTE, Sept. 29: This story is no longer up-to-date, as University of Illinois officials claimed the campus’ saliva-based test had received FDA emergency use authorization on Aug. 19, but an FDA spokesperson tells Illinois Newsroom the test has never operated under an EUA. For more information on the newly learned details, click here. CHAMPAIGN […]