Champaign County Launching COVID Booster Clinics And Preparing To Vaccinate Kids

CHAMPAIGN — Champaign-area residents who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and qualify for a booster have many options for getting the shot locally. Awais Vaid, deputy administrator and epidemiologist with the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, says all local pharmacies and other providers are offering boosters — as well as first and second doses — to anyone […]

‘Welcoming Plan’ Aims To Make Champaign County More Immigrant-Inclusive

CHAMPAIGN – Immigrants make up about 12% of Champaign County’s total population and have contributed to the county’s economic growth in recent years, contributing tens of millions of dollars in state and local taxes and injecting hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy. At the same time, the rapid rise in the immigrant […]

Man Arrested After Teen Found Dead In Urbana Ditch

URBANA – Arraignment is scheduled on Monday for a man accused of killing a teenager. On Friday morning, bicyclists found a body laying in a ditch along East Washington Street in Urbana. The Champaign County Coroner’s office identified the victim as 14-year-old Steven Butler III. His family reported him missing the night before. An autopsy […]

Only One Elder Care Facility In Champaign-Urbana Is Requiring Staff Vaccinations

URBANA – More than 10,000 residents of long-term care facilities in Illinois have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, according to state data. But in Champaign County, only one long-term care facility is currently mandating that its staff receive the COVID-19 vaccine.  Clark-Lindsey, a long-term care facility and nursing home in Urbana, […]

Here’s Where To Catch This Weekend’s Local Fireworks

fireworks, university of illinois

After taking a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fireworks shows are returning to central Illinois. Here’s where you can see all the area’s displays: July 3: Monticello Freedom Fest: Fireworks at Lodge Park at dusk. Fisher Fireworks: Fireworks at Fisher Fairgrounds at dusk. Seymour Fireworks: Near the Seymour Fire Department at dusk. Hoopeston […]

Deaths From Overdose And Homicide Rising In Champaign County — And Illinois

CHAMPAIGN — Following state and national trends, Champaign County is seeing an uptick in drug overdose deaths and homicides. Over the past five years, the number of people who’ve died from a drug overdose — in both Champaign County and the state of Illinois — has roughly doubled.  Last year, 52 Champaign County residents died […]

Organizers In Champaign County Prepare For Juneteenth

CHAMPAIGN – Organizers throughout Champaign County say Juneteenth is about history, but also about bringing attention to systemic issues that the African American community still faces. Juneteenth, which falls on June 19, is also now an official state holiday, after Gov. JB Pritzker signed legislation on Wednesday. Rantoul resident Debbra Sweat was having coffee with […]

People Of Color Are The Least Vaccinated In C-U; Local Organizations Are Trying To Help

Editor’s Note: A prior version of this story incorrectly stated the percentage of Black and Hispanic residents in Champaign County who are fully vaccinated. The correct values are now reported below. CHAMPAIGN- When Dr. Wanda Ward, a University of Illinois employee with SHIELD CU, first heard that COVID-19 vaccines were being rolled out, she says […]

Champaign County’s Boneyard Arts Festival Bounces Back

CHAMPAIGN – Artists from the Champaign-Urbana area will once again be showcased at the 19th annual Boneyard Arts Festival, June 18-20, named for the creek that runs through Champaign and Urbana.  It’s a comeback for the festival, which was limited to a virtual edition last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Artists will be showing […]

Where Can You Get Tested for COVID-19 In Central Illinois?

For health questions about COVID-19, call the Illinois Department of Public Health hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email dph.sick@illinois.gov. IDPH has also compiled a list of testing sites across the state, including information on testing eligibility and contact information. Public testing sites offer free testing regardless of insurance, with no need for a doctor’s referral. Illinois […]

Where Can You Get Your COVID-19 Vaccine In Central Illinois?

Updated June 6, 2021 at 12:30 p.m.  This is an updated post on which Illinoisans can receive the COVID-19 vaccine, when and where. Illinois has started its newest vaccination phase covering essential workers and residents ages 65 and older.  COVID-19 vaccine and appointment availability: coronavirus.illinois.gov  Illinois COVID-19 vaccine hotline: 833.621.1284 WHO CAN BE VACCINATED? December 15, […]

Ballot Drop Boxes Reopen In Champaign County

URBANA – Champaign County voters can once again use election drop boxes to send in their mail-in ballots for Tuesday’s local elections. The seven drop boxes in Champaign and Urbana were used during the November election. But local election officials say there was no state law authorizing their use in other elections. That changed last […]

217 Today — March 26, 2021

Friday, March 26, 2021 Today’s headlines: More than two-thirds of staff at Illinois prisons rejected their chance at getting the COVID-19 vaccine. A bill state legislators say would expand voting rights is on its way to the governor after passing the Senate. It would increase vote by mail options and allow curbside voting. Larger cities in Illinois […]

COVID-19 Came To Champaign County One Year Ago

URBANA – Champaign County has been living with COVID-19 for one year. Sunday, March 15, 2020, was the day when the first COVID-19 case was announced in Champaign County. The news turned the coronavirus from a headline for county residents, to an eminent danger that has yet to let up. An effort was made to […]

Gov. J.B. Pritzker Tours Champaign Vaccination Site, Praises Local Partnerships

CHAMPAIGN – Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker visited the vaccination site located at the I Hotel and Conference Center in Champaign on Wednesday. During a press briefing following a tour led by Champaign-Urbana Public Health administrator Julie Pryde, Pritzker praised Champaign County for leading the way in building local partnerships to get the vaccine out to […]