Health and Medicine | WGLT

Health and Medicine

Sign posted on fence outside a nursing home
Emily Bollinger / WGLT

McLean County health officials said Tuesday four more county residents have died of COVID-19 complications, while hospital capacity has become increasingly strained by a rise in more serious cases.

Vaccine drill
Eric Stock / WGLT

Two years after McLean County health officials led a full-scale disaster drill for a mass vaccination, the real thing will soon be here.

Drive-through virus testing
Lynne Sladky / AP

With plans for saliva-based testing held up at the federal level, Illinois State University will begin in-house rapid antigen testing in January.

McLean County Nursing Home
Eric Stock / WGLT

The McLean County Nursing Home in Normal is seeing a spike in coronavirus cases.

Staff / WGLT

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner is isolating at home after receiving a positive test for the coronavirus on Tuesday. Renner said he immediately sought a test after his son tested positive.

Renner told WGLT in an interview Tuesday evening he "sort of lost his voice" the day before Thanksgiving and had some upper respiratory symptoms six days later.

Dana Vollmer / WGLT

The Carle Mobile Health Clinic made its Bloomington debut Monday, partnering with District 87 to offer physicals and immunizations for students.

Kelly Parker manages Carle's mobile health services. She said transportation, scheduling and cost already  are barriers for some families to get their kids' health care squared away.

Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic adds another element.

Drive-through virus testing
Lynne Sladky / AP

Illinois State University plans up to 20,000 rapid coronavirus tests per week with the help of a new lab.

Reditus testing site
Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

UPDATED 5:25 P.M. | McLean County’s COVID-19 testing positivity rate dropped below 11% on Friday after a week of gradual increases.

Prairie Pride Coalition / Facebook

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was the AIDS crisis—one of the great public health challenges in the country's history. It changed the way we view science, medicine and the role of government during a national emergency.

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.

Woman practicing yoga
Carmen Champion

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

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.

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.

Courtesy Tim Kater

Names and faces get lost in the din of COVID-19 statistics. It's easy to become numb to it. But the family of McLean County's youngest coronavirus victim wants to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Patti Welander

A LeRoy family is pushing back against the narrative that young people don't have much to worry about with COVID-19.

image of State Senator Bill brady
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Bloomington state Sen. Bill Brady is calling again for Senate hearings on mitigation rules as coronavirus positivity rates spike statewide.

McLean County Health Department
Eric Stock / WGLT

McLean County’s seven-day testing positivity rate for the coronavirus has topped 5% for the first time since a late summer surge tied to Illinois State University students’ return to campus.

face masks hang from IV pole
Jenny Kane / AP

Top doctors in McLean County say they have a better handle on how to treat COVID-19 patients than they did at the start of the pandemic, but also say patient care is still very much trial and error.

McLean County COVID-19 data
McLean County Health Department

McLean County health officials announced 34 new confirmed coronavirus cases Thursday as the county’s seven-day testing positivity rate rose to 4.4%.

Larry Dietz at news conference
Illinois State University

Illinois State University's president does not have too much concern about a potential spike in COVID-19 cases to start the second semester.

McLean County Health Department sign
Staff / WGLT

McLean County health officials have announced 76 new confirmed coronavirus cases since Friday, as the county saw an increase in hospitalizations to its highest level since the start of the pandemic.

McLean County Health Department sign
Emily Bollinger / WGLT

UPDATED 5:05 P.M. | McLean County health officials announced 35 new coronavirus cases on Friday, and an equal number of patients recovering.

Watterson Towers residence hall at ISU

Illinois State University trustees will consider a contract to use space in two hotels to house any potential overflow of students who become sick, or who have come in close contact with someone who tests positive for the coronavirus.

Breanna Grow / WGLT

Members of the McLean County Board of Health looked to health department administrators Wednesday night for reassurance the agency will be prepared for a potential surge in COVID-19 this winter.

Women working at table preparing a flu vaccine
Eric Stock / WGLT

Chestnut Health Systems of Bloomington conducted an exercise Wednesday to test its preparedness to administer a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available.

McLean County Health Department sign
Staff / WGLT

McLean County health officials reported 35 new coronavirus cases on Saturday while the county’s seven-day testing positivity rate held steady at 3%.

(clockwise from top right) Stacey Hirsch, Ava Roper, Gaynett Hoskins and LaNell Greenberg

Some frontline workers in this coronavirus pandemic are people you never see, but you may hear from them. Health experts say contact tracers are crucial to containing the spread of COVID-19, but only if the public cooperates.

AP Photo/LM Otero

Stress is abundant during the COVID-19 pandemic. Job loss, health fears, time spent away from loved ones — it piles up. And that stress takes a toll on the body. For some, the effects are more visible. Some are even losing hair over it.

College buildings
Lincoln College

Lincoln College will go back to hybrid learning Monday after a two-week quarantine and virtual learning period.

LM Otero / AP

McLean County doctors and public health professionals say the pandemic has made it more important than ever to get a flu shot, and that getting one won’t increase your chances of getting COVID-19 or make it worse if you do.