State ramping up vaccine booster campaign

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker on Tuesday urged eligible Illinoisans to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot and called on skilled nursing facilities to make booster shots available to patients and staff by Thanksgiving. Currently anyone who received the Pfizer vaccine and is over 65 years of age or at higher risk of COVID-19 because […]

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 […]

Judge rules Vermilion County teachers, parents must follow state COVID-19 rules in schools

DANVILLE — Protestors from the group Vermilion County Health Advocates stood outside the Vermilion County Courthouse on Friday afternoon holding signs and wearing t-shirts saying “Unmask our Children” while cars honked in support.  Meanwhile — inside the courthouse — Judge Karen Wall ruled against both Danville District 118 teachers and parents from Hoopeston Area School […]

Illinois Man Dies Of Rabies After Apparent Bat Bite

SPRINGFIELD — A northern Illinois man has died of rabies after apparently being bitten by a bat — the first human case of rabies in the state since 1954. The Illinois Department of Public Health said Tuesday in a release that the diagnosis has been confirmed by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. […]

Masks Mandated At Schools, Day Cares, Long-Term Care Facilities

SPRINGFIELD – Masks will be required at all Illinois long-term care facilities, day cares and Pre-K-12 schools, Gov. JB Pritzker announced Wednesday amid a nationwide surge of COVID-19. “Every time we think we know where this virus is headed, it changes and it shifts,” Pritzker said at a COVID-19 briefing in Chicago. “For example, unlike […]

Statewide COVID-19 ICU Bed Usage Jumps 15 Percent Overnight

SPRINGFIELD – Hospitalizations for COVID-19 jumped by more than 13 percent from Sunday to Monday night while intensive care bed usage jumped 15 percent as the delta variant of the virus continued to cause a surge nationwide. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, 1,107 individuals with COVID-19-like illness were hospitalized as of Monday […]

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, […]

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, […]

Pritzker Warns COVID-19 Delta Variant Could Dominate In Illinois By Fall

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker stressed the importance of COVID-19 vaccinations Monday as positivity rates and hospitalizations continued to decline but variants of the virus have proven to be more transmissible and dangerous to those who are not vaccinated. The governor cited a central Illinois youth camp that has led to more than 85 associated […]

Illinois To Enter Phase 5, Full Reopening

SPRINGFIELD – Starting Friday, Illinois will be in Phase 5 of the COVID-19 reopening plan, meaning businesses and organizations can resume normal activity, although some limited restrictions will remain in place. Under Phase 5 guidelines, capacity limits are being lifted for both indoor and outdoor activities while people who have been fully vaccinated are no longer […]

Chicago To Join Illinois In Fully Reopening June 11

CHICAGO — Chicago’s mayor has moved up the city’s timetable for reopening to match the rest of the state. Mayor Lori Lightfoot had planned to allow bars, restaurants, hotels and sports stadiums to open to full capacity on July 4. On Thursday, Lightfoot said the city is ready to join the rest of the state […]

Fully Vaccinated Illinoisans Can Ditch Their Masks In Most Circumstances: Pritzker

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. JB Pritzker on Monday said Illinoisans who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer need to wear face masks in most circumstances. Pritzker’s announcement follows updated guidelines released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . The updated executive order allows vaccinated people to ditch their masks, both outdoors […]

Pritzker: Broader Reopening To Begin Next Week

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker said Thursday that Illinois will enter the “bridge” phase to full reopening on Friday, May 14. And barring any reversal of current trends, Phase 5, or full reopening, will begin on June 11. He also announced that residents can now obtain COVID-19 vaccines from their physicians’ offices, rather than just […]

217 Today: April 30, 2021

Friday, April 30, 2021 Today’s Headlines: Gov. JB Pritzker has made public a long-awaited investigation into a COVID outbreak at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home last fall that killed 36 residents.  A new report from the Illinois Department of Public Health finds Black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white […]