Coronavirus | WGLT


Health administrator at podium
Tim Shelley / WCBU

The first downstate cases of coronavirus disease were announced Saturday. Two are in Central Illinois.

J.B. Pritzker closeup
Amr Alfiky / AP

UPDATED 5:30 p.m. | Gov. JB Pritzker announced Friday that all schools in Illinois will be closed from Tuesday, March 17, through Monday, March 30, due to the coronavirus.

Pritzker said keeping people at home — including school kids and their parents — is critical for stopping the spread of the coronavirus disease.

Renner and Carrillo at the meeting
Breanna Grow / WGLT

A Bloomington City Council member is trying to build support for an emergency planning meeting between local governments in hopes of enacting “humane and compassionate” measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Women eat at JJ's
Staff / WGLT

The coronavirus is about the exact an economic cost on the many businesses and workers who rely on consumer spending from Illinois State University students.

Staff / WGLT

The coronavirus pandemic is scary for many who live on tight margins or don’t have the security of a steady paycheck. That includes independent musicians, venue owners, promoters, and others whose livelihood depends on a thriving and functioning arts and music scene.

hotel exterior
Google Maps

The Bloomington-Normal hotel industry started 2020 off strong.

Booking were solid thanks to big events like the Illinois High School Theatre Festival at Illinois State University. And Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington hosted three state finals for wrestling, competitive cheer, and competitive dance.


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.

Students walk in the quad
Cindy Le / WGLT

Illinois State University continues to work to retrieve students studying abroad. At the start of the semester spokesperson Eric Jome says that number was about 116 students in other countries.

Man walks down hallway at empty school
Alvaro Barrientos / AP

Concerns about the coronavirus in Bloomington-Normal have led to several canceled or rescheduled events, plus other closures and changes. See our updated list below.

Daniel Jenky giving blessings
South Bend Tribune, Robert Franklin, Pool / AP

The Catholic Diocese of Peoria will be closing its schools next week, including Central Catholic High School and Corpus Christi and St. Mary's grade schools in Bloomington and Epiphany school in Normal, due to concerns about COVID-19.

State Farm HQ
Staff / WGLT

UPDATED 7:30 a.m. | State Farm late Thursday issued an updated statement clarifying how it plans to allow most employees to work from home.

Nurse with a test
Martin Meissner / AP

"Limited resources" continue to restrict who can be tested for COVID-19 in McLean County, officials said Thursday.

Young America

The Young America apartment management company is offering around 100 vacant beds rent-free to Illinois State University students displaced by the coronavirus.

People stranded at airport
Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

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.

Heartland building exterior
Carleigh Gray / WGLT

While Illinois State University has told students to stay away due to the coronavirus, Illinois Wesleyan and Heartland Community College have yet to take similar extraordinary measures.

Martin Health Center
Westminster Village

Concerns about the coronavirus prompted the two election authorities in McLean County to move several polling sites less than one week before the Illinois primary election.

a fence and field with Special Olympics signs.
Special Olympics Illinois / Twitter

Special Olympics Illinois has canceled its state basketball tournament this weekend in Bloomington-Normal and Peoria.

District 87 headquarters
Eric Stock / WGLT

The state schools superintendent is telling school districts to prepare for digital learning days if the coronavirus prompts extended school closings.

Child getting a vaccine
Nam Y. Huh / AP

Health care workers in Central Illinois say they are better prepared to respond to the coronavirus than previous pandemics because of digital technology.

Mike McCurdy / WGLT

The coronavirus is affecting businesses in central Illinois even before the first actual case comes to the region.

Mark Jontry
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Parents should be prepared for their child’s school to close for at least a week if a student or staff member there becomes potentially infected or confirmed to have the coronavirus, the regional superintendent for Central Illinois said Monday.

Eric Stock / WGLT

Amtrak is notifying passengers and employees who may have been on a train carrying a passenger who may have the coronavirus. That train traveling from Chicago to St. Louis last Wednesday stopped at Uptown Station in Normal.

Asahiyama Zoo
Darren Sampson

Concerns over the coronavirus have prompted Bloomington-Normal Sister Cities to cancel this year's junior ambassador trip.

State Farm HQ building
Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

State Farm has suspended all non-essential business travel through the end of March as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus.

Sign at Tokyo Station
Eugene Hoshiko / AP

Illinois State University is urging its students studying abroad in Italy and Japan to return to the U.S. due to concerns over the coronavirus.

Alex Azar speaks at press conference
Patrick Semansky / AP

UPDATED 9:55 a.m. | Illinois State University said Tuesday that a small number of students, faculty, and staff who recently traveled to China have not yet shown any symptoms associated with the novel coronavirus.