Coronavirus | WGLT

Coronavirus

Emily Bollinger / WGLT

UPDATED 2:05 p.m. | The Illinois Department of Public Health on Friday placed McLean County into a warning level after an alarming spike in COVID-19 cases and testing positivity rate.

Students walk the Quad
Emily Bollinger / WGLT

Illinois State University reported 68 new cases of COVID-19 among its students Thursday, as the county’s testing positivity rate increased again.

Students walk past sign at U of I
Christine Herman / Illinois Newsroom

UPDATED 7:30 a.m. | About a thousand students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have tested positive for COVID-19 since twice-a-week coronavirus testing became mandatory for all students on Aug. 16.

Health Committee meeting
YouTube

Several Democrats on the McLean County Board are expressing concern that the community has “lost control” of COVID-19’s spread and raising questions about why the health department’s contact tracing program has not grown more quickly.

Downtown Bloomington
Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

The City of Bloomington moved Wednesday to suspend the operation of downtown shuttles, calling them a "public health and safety risk" due to COVID-19.

Move-in helper
Illinois State University

UPDATED 5:55 p.m. | There are now nine people hospitalized with COVID-19 in McLean County—including three in intensive care—as Illinois State University reported 87 new cases among its students.

Reditus Labs

McLean County health officials confirmed 71 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, with the county’s testing positivity rate increasing to 10.7%.

Iowa governor speaks
Charlie Neibergall / AP

More than 1,023 Illinois State University students have tested positive for COVID-19—an alarming number given it’s only about two weeks into the fall semester.

McLean County Health Department sign
Staff / WGLT

McLean County’s COVID-19 testing positivity rate ticked up again Monday as Illinois State University reported 39 more cases among its students.

Students walk the Quad
Emily Bollinger / WGLT

The huge gap between the capacity at the University of Illinois and the capacity at Illinois State University to test for the virus that causes COVID-19 may soon disappear.

On-campus testing at ISU
Illinois State University

McLean County health officials on Sunday urged the public to stop “placing blame” for a recent surge in COVID-19 that has now driven the local testing positivity rate into the double digits.

COVID testing on the Quad
Emily Bollinger / WGLT

Illinois State University reported 234 new coronavirus cases Saturday as McLean County's COVID-19 testing positivity rate rose to 8.7%.

McLean County Health Department sign
Emily Bollinger / WGLT

McLean County Health Department Administrator Jessica McKnight said Friday it’s too soon to say whether the county will see restrictions or other mitigation actions stemming from the recent surge in coronavirus cases, but that it's up to everyone to take precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.

Koos and Dietz at an event
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

UPDATED 5:45 p.m. | The Town of Normal moved Friday to slow the alarming spread of COVID-19 among Illinois State University students by temporarily prohibiting large gatherings near campus and requiring bar and restaurant patrons to be seated.

Cars at the testing site
Reditus Labs

UPDATED 2:55 p.m. | An additional 102 Illinois State University students have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past day, the university said Friday.

Family portrait in stairwell
Charles Frost

Multiple organizations, including the YMCA, YWCA and the Children's Discovery Museum, have stepped in to offer day care and remote learning help for District 87 and Unit 5 students to start the school year.

But there may not be enough help for everyone who needs it.

Testing site on the Quad
Emily Bollinger / WGLT

McLean County’s testing positivity rate ticked up higher into the warning zone Thursday, as Illinois State University reported 57 more students have contracted COVID-19.

Kristen Weikle
WGLT

Wednesday's Unit 5 school board meeting got off to an emotional start when some parents expressed their frustration with remote learning. 

Appellate Court: Pritzker Has Authority To Set Inmate Transfer Protocols

Aug 26, 2020
Kankakee County Sheriff Mike Downey
Capitol News Illinois file photo

A state appellate court has temporarily halted a Logan County court order that required state prisons to accept inmates from county jails.

Jason and Brittany
Courtesy

When Jason Borchardt of Bloomington learned of his positive COVID-19 test result last week, he panicked. But not for himself. For his 8-month-old daughter.

Staff / WGLT

UPDATED 4 p.m. | McLean County’s COVID-19 testing positivity rate has surpassed 8%—a benchmark that, if it continues, could trigger tighter restrictions under the Restore Illinois plan.

Women at a restaurant
Andres Kudacki / AP

An Illinois State University biomathematician is reminding people that herd immunity won’t be a magical COVID-19 solution that happens on its own without widespread vaccination.

In-Person Fundraiser Fuels Social Media Safety Buzz

Aug 25, 2020
Marlene and Larry Dietz wearing facemasks
Illinois State University

A weekend fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club held indoors at Rob Dob's Restaurant that attracted donors and community leaders also attracted social media criticism, though guidelines were followed.

COVID testing on the Quad
Emily Bollinger / WGLT

McLean County’s COVID-19 testing positivity rate rose to 7.4% on Tuesday as the county announced 43 new coronavirus cases.

Larry Dietz at podium
Staff / WGLT

Illinois State University President Larry Dietz said Monday he's closely monitoring the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases among students.

McLean County Health Department sign
Staff / WGLT

Despite an alarming spike in cases, McLean County still has time to avoid backtracking into additional state-required mitigations, as other parts of the state have experienced.

McLean County is part of Region 2, which also includes Peoria, LaSalle, and 17 other counties. The region’s testing positivity rate is 5.9%. A region faces additional mitigations when it records three straight days with a positivity rate of 8% or above, or if there is a sustained increase in positivity rate, and more hospital admissions or declining hospital capacity.

Students talking while wearing masks
Emily Bolllinger / WGLT

Illinois State University already has seen 273 students test positive for COVID-19, a university spokesperson said Monday.

ISU students walk the Quad
Emily Bollinger / WGLT

McLean County’s COVID-19 testing positivity rate shot up Sunday above statewide and national averages, as a surge of 98 new cases overwhelmed local contact-tracing capacity.

COVID testing on the Quad
Emily Bollinger / WGLT

Public health officials on Saturday pointed the finger at crowded bars and large in-person gatherings as key factors in McLean County’s surge in cases – especially among college-aged young people.

Emily Bollinger / WGLT

The hustle of running late to class, the passion students have for a course, and the persistence of earning a degree—it’s all been moved online.

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