90 percent of OSF HealthCare employees fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as mandate takes effect

PEORIA — Ninety percent of OSF HealthCare’s more than 24,000 employees system wide are vaccinated against COVID-19. The organization required employees to get vaccinated or obtain an exemption by the end of September. An OSF spokesperson says the healthcare system has granted both religious and medical exemptions from vaccination requirements. Those employees are subject to […]

OSF HealthCare Requiring All Employees To Receive COVID Vaccines By End of September

PEORIA — OSF HealthCare now says it will require all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of September. Previously, the health care organization recommended vaccines, but left the final decision up to individuals. OSF chief operating officer Mike Cruz said the health care group is “ethically obligated” to be vigilant about patient […]

Urbana Hospitals Not Requiring COVID-19 Vaccine For Employees Yet

URBANA – Urbana’s two hospitals are not requiring employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, but vaccinations are strongly encouraged. At OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center, 64% of all staff – including leadership, frontline workers and support staff – are fully vaccinated, according to Deborah McCarter, the hospital’s vice president and chief nursing officer. A […]

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 […]

New State Program Aims For ‘One-On-One Connections’ In Communities To Combat COVID-19

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. JB Pritzker announced a new state program Monday that aims to increase vaccine access in low-income, vulnerable communities and to connect residents across the state to COVID-19 assistance programs for transportation, food, utilities or other resources. The COVID-19 Pandemic Health Navigator Program serves areas of the state outside of Chicago and Cook […]

217 Today: April 16, 2021

Friday, April 16, 2021 Today’s headlines: Video of the fatal Chicago police shooting of Adam Toledo shows the 13-year-old raising his arms above his head the moment he is shot. COVID-19 is seeing a new resurgence in Region 2 of Illinois. The president of OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria says his hospital is currently at […]

Slow Coronavirus Vaccine Rollout Continues In Illinois, As More Become Eligible

URBANA – Supply chain issues and logistical challenges are causing the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine in Illinois to move slower than expected. But the vaccine is now going out to older adults in some parts of the state. The first phase of the state’s rollout of the vaccine included both health care personnel and […]

Where To Find Locations To Get Tested For COVID-19

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. Illinois has expanded COVID-19 testing criteria to allow anyone to get tested, regardless of symptoms. Illinois Department of Public Health IDPH’s database features testing locations in Champaign, Urbana, Savoy, Danville, Decatur, Mattoon, Hoopeston and Pontiac, including, but […]

Illinois Hospitals Face Ethical Questions: ‘If Everybody’s At Capacity, What Do You Do Then?’

URBANA – Across Illinois’ Region 6, which includes 21 counties in east-central Illinois, hospitals have less than 30% capacity remaining in their medical-surgical and intensive care units, local health officials reported this week. Hospitals are filling up with COVID-19 patients as rates of community transmission rise throughout the region, says Champaign-Urbana Public Health Administrator Julie […]

New Restrictions Begin In Champaign-Urbana Due To Rising COVID-19 Rates

CHAMPAIGN – From schools to restaurants to hospitals, restrictions are once again underway around Champaign County as COVID-19 cases rise. Friday will be the last day for in-person classes at Champaign Unit 4 Schools and Urbana School District 116. Both districts are switching to remote instruction only, starting Monday. At a Thursday news conference, Champaign-Urbana […]

News Around Illinois – Aug. 12, 2020

Wind Knocks Down Wall Of Fire-Gutted Historic Chicago Church CHICAGO (AP) — Strong winds caused additional damage to a historic Chicago church but may have also swept in a badly needed “blessing” for a sanctuary where Mahalia Jackson and other famed gospel singers often sang and the man considered the father of gospel music led […]

Health Care Providers Take Precautions As Non-Emergency Care Resumes

While emergency medical procedures have continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, non-emergency or “elective” surgeries and medical procedures have been put on hold. But starting Monday, May 11, the state of Illinois allows health care providers to resume those procedures. Providers in east-central Illinois say they’re taking precautions to protect patients as they gear up to […]

CU Health Care Providers Sanitizing, Reusing Masks To Conserve Supplies

URBANA – In an effort to conserve supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic, some central Illinois health care providers say they are following guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to safely reuse N95 masks and other protective gear.  Under normal conditions, protective gear like N95 respirator masks are typically used once and […]