Audit finds IDPH failed to intervene in early days of LaSalle Veterans’ Home outbreak

SPRINGFIELD – A new report from the state’s auditor general found more fault with the Illinois Department of Public Health in its response to a deadly COVID-19 outbreak at a state-run veterans home than was found by a previous watchdog report that investigated the matter. A November 2020 COVID-19 outbreak at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home resulted in […]

IDPH says it won’t renew COVID testing contract with Reditus

PEKIN — The Illinois Department of Public Health said Wednesday it will not renew its lucrative COVID testing contract with Reditus Labs. The Interstate Center testing site in Bloomington will close March 31. Reditus Labs CEO Aaron Rossi was indicted last week on federal tax fraud charges. He also faces a civil lawsuit in Tazewell […]

IDPH Director Ezike to step down March 14

Pritzker declares March 1 ‘Dr. Ngozi Ezike Day’ in Illinois SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike will resign on March 14 after three years leading the agency and two years navigating a deadly pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than 32,000 Illinoisans.  Ezike, who was appointed IDPH director […]

COVID surge prompts multiple state responses

SPRINGFIELD – A continuing sharp spike in COVID-19 cases being driven by the omicron variant has pushed the state’s hospital capacity to its limits and is prompting the state to bring in additional health care workers from other states and countries. Gov. JB Pritzker said Wednesday that more than 2,000 additional health care workers have […]

First case of omicron COVID-19 variant detected in Illinois

URBANA – Health officials reported late Tuesday that the omicron COVID-19 variant has been confirmed in a case in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Public Health and the Chicago Department of Public Health said the case was confirmed in a Chicago resident. That patient had been in contact with a person from another state who […]

As Pritzker admin. pushes for nursing home reform, report details weaknesses in oversight

This story has been updated. In the early days, weeks and months of the pandemic, COVID-19 ravaged nursing homes, killing thousands of elderly and frail residents and forcing the isolation of thousands more. Though long-term care facilities statewide locked down, forbidding outside visits from family members, staff from the Illinois Department of Public Health charged […]

Dozens of McLean County Schools Face COVID Exposure

School-aged children make up the largest share of new coronavirus cases in McLean County. The McLean County Health Department (MCHD) on Wednesday announced 84 daily coronavirus cases and 435 cases for the week. About 29% of the weekly cases (127) involve kids age 17 and under. Those under age 12, who are not eligible for […]

Mitigations Put in Place for Upcoming Du Quoin State Fair

Mitigations will be in place to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant during the upcoming Du Quoin State Fair. Illinois officials say per CDC and State Department of Public Health guidance, all fair attendees, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear masks in public indoor settings and all Grandstand concert […]

IDPH ‘Fully Aligns’ With New Stricter CDC Mask Guidance

SPRINGFIELD – The state will have new COVID-19 guidance on face coverings after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance Tuesday to reflect that even individuals vaccinated against COVID-19 should wear masks while indoors in areas of the country where the virus is surging. CDC officials also recommended all teachers, staff, […]

New Illinois Initiative Aims To Reduce Racial Disparities, Improve Childbirth Outcomes

SPRINGFIELD – As racial disparities in maternal and child health outcomes persist in the U.S., a new statewide initiative aims to promote equity in maternal health and improve outcomes for all women and children. The latest report from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) found that about 75 women in Illinois die from pregnancy-related […]

Mental Health A Leading Cause Of Maternal Death In Illinois, New Report Finds

SPRINGFIELD – Each year, 75 Illinois women die while pregnant or within 12 months of pregnancy, according to a report released Thursday by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).  The report is based on data from maternal deaths that occurred in 2016 and 2017, and were reviewed by the state’s Maternal Mortality Review Committee. […]

217 Today — March 30, 2021

Tuesday, March 30, 2021 https://will.illinois.edu/nfs/217Today3-30-21.mp3 Today’s headlines: U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says he hopes Democrats and Republicans can come to an accord which avoids the elimination of the filibuster. Public colleges and universities in Illinois are asking the Governor and Illinois Department of Public Health to force college students to get coronavirus vaccines or not attend classes […]

Senators Question Public Health Officials On Vaccine Rollout

SPRINGFIELD – State senators questioned public health officials regarding the state’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts in a Thursday hearing, one day after Gov. JB Pritzker announced that the state would expand vaccine eligibility under Phase 1B by Feb. 25. Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike and Deputy Director Andrew Friend testified before the […]