Coronavirus | WGLT


microscopic image of COVID-19

Bloomington-Normal hospitals have a few more intensive care beds available than they did heading into the Thanksgiving weekend, but a rise in COVID testing positivity could increase demand for those beds soon.

McLean County Health Department sign
Staff / WGLT

Nearly all of Bloomington-Normal's ICU beds are now in use, and McLean County's COVID-19 testing positivity rate ticked up again Friday after several days of improvement.

City Hall exterior
Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

Five additional bars and restaurants in Bloomington are accused of violating the state's COVID-19 ban on indoor service, city officials said Wednesday.

The Hoefler Family

In late October, Adam and Nia Hoefler of Normal and their two children got the news that we’ve all come to dread: the entire family had tested positive for COVID-19. But despite having the same virus, the Hoeflers each displayed very different symptoms.

Senate Committee Grills Veterans Affairs Officials On LaSalle Home Outbreak

Nov 24, 2020
Linda speaks

Members of the state Senate Veterans Affairs Committee had pointed questions for officials with the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs about the agency’s response to an outbreak at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home that has resulted in at least 27 resident deaths from COVID-19-related complications.

Staff / WGLT / WGLT

The Town of Normal is using federal funds to launch a Small Business Relief Program that will offer companies with 50 or fewer full-time employees up to $15,000 in grants.

The town has received $450,000 from the Local CURE Economic Support program that uses federal dollars allocated to Illinois through the CARES Act. The City of Bloomington has a similar program.

Staff / WGLT

The McLean County Health Department is reporting 321 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and one death over the weekend, as the county’s testing positivity fell to 8.3%--the first time in more than a week the rate has been in the single digits.

Woman practicing yoga
Carmen Champion

If your business is stress management, then 2020 is your year.

Twelve Bloomington bars go before the liquor commission hearing Friday over alleged violations of the ban on indoor service to slow the spread of the coronavirus. However, there wouldn’t be violations without customers.

Heroes sign outside Carle Bromenn
Mike McCurdy / WGLT

The head of OSF St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington says staffing remains "solid" despite the need for increased personnel to care for more coronavirus patients.

Emily Bollinger / WGLT

McLean County’s testing positivity rate dropped to 11.3% on Thursday, down more than 3 percentage points from the day before.

Workers preparing COVID tests at drive-thru site
Reditus Labs

McLean County's testing positivity rate rose to a record 14.9% on Wednesday as the county surpassed 7,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and reached a new high for hospitalizations.

John McIntyre sitting at desk
Eric Stock / WGLT

The McLean County Board has approved keeping the property tax rate the same, as part of next year’s $104.5 million budget.

AP Photo / Ted S. Warren

COVID-19 is now so entrenched in daily life that some may not have noticed how it's bled onto the screen. From subtle mask wearing to celebrations of essential workers, the coronavirus pandemic has made its way into commercials and entertainment alike—sending different messages along the way.

Chris Koos
Cindy Le / WGLT

The mayor of Normal said he's had to eat his words from a couple weeks ago when he argued McLean County didn't need mitigation efforts that were as stiff as those in counties with higher COVID-19 testing positivity rates.

State Issues Stricter Mitigations Amid Hospitalization Surge

Nov 17, 2020
Pritzker speaks

Gov. JB Pritzker announced the entire state would enter Tier 3 of his mitigation plan starting Friday as he noted the best way for Illinoisans to avoid another stay-at-home order was by staying home.

Tari Renner speaks
Joe Deacon / WGLT

UPDATED 8:25 p.m. | The owners of 12 bars in Bloomington will face possible suspension or revocation of their liquor licenses for allegedly defying the state's latest COVID restrictions.

Reditus testing site
Staff / WGLT

McLean County public health officials on Tuesday urged people to celebrate Thanksgiving only with those living in their household, as they announced sobering new records for hospitalizations and testing positivity rate.

Tari Renner
Staff / WGLT

The City of Bloomington is gathering evidence to use against businesses that have defied the state's COVID restrictions on indoor bar and food service, officials said Monday.

McLean County Health Department sign
Staff / WGLT

McLean County reached its worst point in the pandemic yet on Monday, with the testing positivity rate and active case numbers reaching record highs. Two more deaths were reported.

Fan cutouts in stands
Ashley Landis / AP

Illinois State University athletics is selling photo cutouts that fans can buy to help fill the seats at Redbird Arena during the basketball and volleyball seasons.

McLean County Health Department sign
Staff / WGLT

UPDATED 8:35 p.m. | McLean County's head of COVID enforcement says there's a frustrating disconnect between the governor's office and local officials in enforcing the ban on indoor dining.

front of old Bloomington Fire Station that is now a restaurant
Epiphany Farms / Facebook

Epiphany Farms Restaurant Group in Bloomington laid off more than 80 people Friday. Three of its four restaurants are effectively closed.

Exterior of NCHS signage
Staff / WGLT

UPDATED 5:35 p.m. | Unit 5 schools will move to all-remote learning starting next Wednesday because of rising coronavirus infection numbers.

Sign calling for mask compliance
Eric Stock / WGLT

UPDATED 4:20 p.m. | Bloomington-Normal hospitals are running low on available beds as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage, officials said Friday.

Sue Rezin

Republicans on the Illinois House Veterans’ Affairs Committee called for a hearing this week to investigate a COVID-19 outbreak at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home where at least nine residents have died after testing positive for the virus.

OSF hospital
Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

How many people with COVID-19 are being treated right now at Bloomington-Normal’s two hospitals? It’s a simple question that apparently can’t be answered right now.

Vehicles parked at COVD-19 testing facility
Reditus Labs

McLean County health officials announced 421 new coronavirus cases and the 42th COVID-related death on Thursday, as the county’s testing positivity rate jumped to 10.9%. That’s the highest rate since Sept. 6, following a surge of new cases when Illinois State University students returned to campus.

testing site
Ryan Denham / WGLT

The Bloomington-Normal area is the No. 3 metro area in the country, per capita, for where new COVID-19 cases are increasing the fastest, according to a New York Times analysis.