Health and Safety | WGLT

Health and Safety

graphic showingcoronavirus disease cases in McLean County
McLean County Health Department

The McLean County Health Department reported 28 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Saturday.

Picture of University High School
Staff / WGLT

The Illinois State University Lab Schools are following Unit 5 and District 87 in telling parents and families the fall term will start with online classes.

Carleigh Gray / WGLT

Gov. JB Pritzker has created new enforcement rules for mask wearing.

Pritzker said the statewide emergency order allows warnings and then fines of up to $2,500 against businesses and other organizations that do not ensure that people wear masks on the premises. He said Friday during a news conference many businesses already do this, but some do not.

McLean County Health Department sign
Staff / WGLT

McLean County health officials announced 13 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday as the number of active cases dropped slightly.

Vehicles parked at COVD-19 testing facility

The Pekin company that manages COVID-19 testing in Bloomington, Peoria and five other locations in Illinois has seen a sharp increase in demand, but the head of the company said it has taken steps to manage that demand.

Maribeth Lartz / Maribeth Lartz

Masks have saved thousands of lives during the pandemic, but they also have affected people who are deaf or hard of hearing and how they communicate with others.

McLean County Health Department sign
Staff / WGLT

McLean County has witnessed another resurgence in COVID-19 with 18 new cases reported on Tuesday, though the county’s coronavirus hospitalizations remain at two.

Driver wearing a mask
Nam Y. Huh / AP

McLean County health officials announced 18 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday even as the county's testing positivity rate drops amid record testing.

Target store entrance
Ashley Binkowski / WGLT

McLean County health officials announced 14 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday.

Car driving up to COVID-19 testing site

McLean County health officials announced 11 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday even as the county’s seven-day testing positivity rate dipped slightly to 2%.

Shirk Center sign
Eric Stock / WGLT

Illinois Wesleyan University has learned its fall sports season will be suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

zip code map of cases
McLean County Health Department

The McLean County Health Department reported five new cases of COVID-19 Sunday. That brought the total in the county during the pandemic to 458 cases.

Lake Bloomington shoreline
WGLT file photo

The City of Bloomington plans to explore additional water supplies to meet an anticipated rise in demand over the next two decades. That's included in the city's proposed 20-year water master plan.

A picture of a brewery
Destihl Brewery

McLean County’s largest commercial brewery has temporarily closed associated restaurants because one of its employees has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Normal Fire Department Headquarters Building
Carleigh Gray / WGLT

Ten Town of Normal firefighters have returned to work following two weeks under quarantine, while five others remain sidelined as they recover from COVID-19.

Students sitting on grass on ISU Quad
Illinois State University

Illinois State University professors have deferred round two of an all-faculty meeting continued from last week. The meeting would have been Monday evening, and included consideration of nearly two dozen resolutions left over from the lengthy proceeding last Thursday.


The Illinois governor took the unusual step Thursday of preemptively filing a lawsuit to ensure school children wear face coverings to prevent the spread of the coronavirus when schools re-open.

The action filed late Thursday in Sangamon County Circuit Court seeks a judge's approval of Gov. J.B. Pritzker's order that schoolchildren wear facemasks to reduce the chance that the highly contagious and potentially deadly virus can spread.

Person getting swabbed
Mark Lennihan / AP

Arrowsmith, LeRoy, Bellflower, Heyworth, and even Ellsworth might see convenient COVID-19 testing soon after the McLean County Board of Health's approval of a program to offer rural testing of the virus.

Health Department Administrator Jessica McKnight said this won't necessarily be a good gauge of how much coronavirus is present in the rural areas around Bloomington-Normal, but it will help overall data reliability.

Larry Dietz
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Illinois State University is confirming a lot of plans for a pandemic-related fall class schedule. But in a news conference on Thursday, university President Larry Dietz said things are still pretty fluid.

Chris Koos watches results
Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

Normal Mayor Chris Koos offered a rebuttal to council member Stan Nord’s view of council involvement in appointments to boards and commissions during a WGLT interview Tuesday.

Chris Carlson / AP

The Fourth of July is coming up, and McLean County police departments and the coroner’s office want drivers to be safe. 

There have been five traffic crash fatalities in the last few weeks and numerous other accidents in the area, said McLean County Coroner Kathleen Yoder. By comparison, McLean County had 11 total traffic crash fatalities in 2018 and 14 total traffic crash fatalities in 2019. 

Kelly Cookson (mscaprikell) / Flickr

Three complaints have been filed against Pizza Ranch in Bloomington for opening indoor food service ahead of the end of the month target in the Restore Illinois pandemic recovery plan.

Kelly Cookson (mscaprikell) / Flickr

Some Twin City restaurants have not waited until the recommended end of June to reopen indoor dining.

Lisa Slater / Illinois Heart and Lung Foundation

The Illinois Heart and Lung Foundation is working with local partners to collect and distribute nonmedical masks to people who need them, especially now that businesses are starting to reopen.

Larry Dietz speaks to crowd
Lyndsie Schlink / Illinois State University

Up to 1,000 Illinois State University students who would normally live in residence halls may have to rent apartments for the fall semester. ISU President Larry Dietz said Thursday that's one social-distancing goal.

an old house with an antique ambulance driving up to it.
McLean County Museum of History

The influenza pandemic of 1918 claimed the lives of some 600,000 Americans and perhaps more than 50 million people worldwide. Bloomington-Normal also felt profound effects.

McLean County Museum of History Librarian and Archivist Bill Kemp said you could hardly think of a worse year for that flu disaster to happen.

a zoom meeting grid
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The McLean County Board of Health neither endorsed nor rejected the 11-county Heart of Illinois plan to reopen businesses during the pandemic, but during a nearly three-hour meeting Thursday night members expressed reservations and pointed out unknowns.

Don Knapp
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

The McLean County state’s attorney and sheriff said it’s not so easy to say how they will enforce executive orders from Gov. JB Pritzker.

OSF St. Joseph Medical Center
OSF Healthcare / OSF Healthcare

In some areas of the country, demographers point to so-called hidden deaths from the pandemic. Those are deaths far above expected average death rates, even considering confirmed COVID-19 fatalities.

Graphic showing coronavirus cases in McLean County
McLean County Health Department

McLean County reported one new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Saturday while the state logged 2,119 new cases and 80 additional deaths. Two of those deaths were in central Illinois: one in Macon County, the other in Kankakee County.