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WGLT's reporting on the coronavirus pandemic, which began in McLean County in March 2020.

Coronavirus Blog 4/23/20: OSF Adds Patients To Home-Monitoring Program

OSF digital triage center
OSF HealthCare
OSF HealthCare says it now has around 184 patients from Bloomington-Normal and Peoria enrolled in its new Pandemic Health Worker (PHW) program.

The coronavirus story is developing quickly in Illinois. Here are updates from WGLT's newsroom and our partners at Illinois Public Radio, NPR, and The Associated Press.

You can also see (or add to) our list of cancellations, closures, and rescheduled events. Find all of our coverage at WGLT.org/Coronavirus.

3:23 p.m. Thursday, May 23

The U.S. Department of Justice is advising the public to steer clear of online scams.

Websites or phone calls that ask for money for COVID-19 research or economic repair could be fake. Already, hundreds of fraudulent sites have been disrupted.

The challenge is, these sites might use domain names that include “covid19” or "coronavirus," tricking an already vulnerable population. They might also claim to be affiliated with public health organization or agencies.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to collaborate with federal, state and local law enforcement and private sector partners to combat online COVID-19 related crime," said John Milhiser, the top federal prosecutor in central Illinois. "We are not only learning to navigate the health uncertainties of this pandemic, but also economic hardships that are exploited in these evolving online threats.”

To ensure your online safety and security, the Department of Justice offers a few tips.

— Jolie Sherman | WGLT

2:45 p.m. Thursday, April 23

Hy-Vee shoppers are turning to the hair and beauty aisles as salons, barbershops, and spas remain closed.

Since the beginning of the stay-at-home order, hair coloring and nail care products have more than doubled in sales. Hair trimmers have more than trippled. Hy-Vee stores have also seen increased demand for hair accessories for mask-making purposes. 

“At Hy-Vee, our goal has always been to be a convenient one-stop shop for our customers," said Hy-Vee's executive vice president and chief merchandising officer Darren Baty. "That mission has never been more important than now, especially as we serve those who don’t want to travel to multiple stores to pick up their essentials.” 

This beauty-buying behavior is prompting a 15% discount at Hy-Vee locations on Friday and Saturday.

— Jolie Sherman | WGLT


7 a.m. Thursday, April 23

OSF HealthCare says it now has around 184 patients from Bloomington-Normal and Peoria enrolled in its new Pandemic Health Worker (PHW) program.

The home-monitoring program is meant for those with COVID-19 symptoms or who are at high risk for contracting the virus. After being triaged by OSF's COVID-19 Nurse Hotline, patients who are invited into the program get a daily check-in from a Pandemic Health Worker by phone or app, for two weeks.

There are now 184 patients enrolled, said Dr. John Vozenilek, vice president and chief medical officer for innovation and digital health at OSF. That's up 77 on April 13, just after launch.

The PHW program will expand to serve communities across East Central and North Central Illinois, including Champaign-Urbana, Evergreen Park, Danville, Galesburg, Kewanee, Monmouth, Ottawa, Mendota, Streator, Pontiac, and Rockford. OSF expects to serve 8,400 people each month when in place in all communities.

— Ryan Denham/WGLT and Tim Shelley/WCBU

We’re living in unprecedented times when information changes by the minute. WGLT will continue to be here for you, keeping you up-to-date with the live, local and trusted news you need. Help ensure WGLT can continue with its in-depth and comprehensive COVID-19 coverage as the situation evolves by making a contribution.

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