Illinois Department of Public Health | WGLT

Illinois Department of Public Health

sign at vaccination clinic
Emily Bollinger / WGLT

The state of Illinois is expanding eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine starting Thursday, but people with underlying medical conditions will likely still have a difficult time getting the vaccine in McLean County.

McLean County Nursing Home
Eric Stock / WGLT

Five nursing homes and retirement communities in McLean County have now gone a month without a new case of COVID-19, leading the Illinois Department of Public Health to remove them from the list of active outbreaks.

The pace of new COVID-19 infections at long-term care facilities in McLean County has slowed as vaccinations increase in those facilities and among those over the age of 65. Seven facilities with previous active outbreaks have had no new cases in two weeks.

Basketball player dribbling to the basket
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

The start of high school basketball in central Illinois is on the horizon, and a timetable has been set for football, volleyball, soccer and other sports.

Men in bowling alley
Seth Wenig / AP

UPDATED 5:40 P.M. | Central Illinois is officially moving out of additional mitigations as the region's COVID-19 statistics continue to improve.

Nurse receives vaccine
McLean County Health Department/OSF HealthCare

Nearly 4,000 people in McLean County have received their first dose of the COVID vaccine, based on new vaccination data provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).

Nursing home driveway entrance
Emily Bollinger / WGLT

Nursing home operators say once the coronavirus is in a community, it's nearly impossible to keep it out of their facilities.

Aperion Care
Eric Stock / WGLT

The rapid rise in COVID-19 cases in McLean County before Thanksgiving is now tracking through to a rise in deaths among older residents.

Basketball player shooting
WGLT file photo

The Illinois High School Association has invited Gov. JB Pritzker’s office and representatives from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to discuss the association’s plans to hold a basketball season this winter, against the state’s recommendation.

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.

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.

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.

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.

JB Pritzker at a podium.
Gov JB Pritzker / Facebook

State officials have set up digital medical programs with several partner outlets for people with COVID-19 symptoms to keep them in their homes until advanced medical services might be needed.

JB Pritzker
Vishesh Anand / Illinois Public Media

There are now 13 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in McLean County.

The McLean County Health Department released the latest tally Sunday afternoon. The new people with COVID-19 are a man in his 70s and a woman in her 30s. Both are self-isolating at home.

There has been one death and 120 negative tests in McLean County. There are 40 tests outstanding, according to the health department.

Pritzker at press conference
Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

A woman in intensive care in Bloomington-Normal has died of COVID-19, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The McLean County Health Department said she was in her 70s and tested positive last week. The department said the woman died late last week.

HIV stickers
Darron Cummings / AP

Central Illinois Friends began 30 years ago in the height of the AIDS epidemic as a hospice center for patients dying of the disease.

flu vaccine
David Goldman / AP

Health officials in McLean County say flu season has been relatively mild this fall.

Understanding McLean County's Low STD Rates

Aug 9, 2019
Medicine on a shelf
Mary Cullen / WGLT

McLean County reports lower sexually transmitted disease rates than its most similar Central Illinois neighbors, but the director of the Illinois Department of Public Health said that could point to a problem.

Creative Commons

The Illinois Department of Public Health has fined a Bloomington nursing home $25,000 for letting a 49-year-old woman with dementia wander away from the facility in stockinged feet.

Sue Keam
Eric Stock / WGLT

Vaccination rates remain high in McLean County despite what the medical community says are efforts by skeptics to sow confusion over settled science, and they claim it’s putting our health at greater risk.

Public health officials say they‘ll work to increase vaccination rates across Illinois.

The announcement comes as the the U.S. is expected to have the worst run of measles cases since the disease was deemed eliminated in the year 2000.

Daniel Sokulski with his wife
Courtesy

For years, health care providers have treated alcohol and drug addiction like an acute condition: when someone checks into a treatment center, they’re given psychiatric care under close supervision to help them get clean. After treatment, they’re referred to a recovery community like a 12-step program, to help them stay on the right path, and released back into the community.

Bread on a floor
McLean County Health Department

The head of McLean County’s restaurant inspection program says the state’s new method of tracking violations could make it harder for the public to quickly understand a business' food safety performance.

Mike Mozart / Flickr

Illinois public health officials warned Friday about an outbreak of salmonella traced to pre-cut melon sold at Walmart.

Mike Groll / AP

Records show that a top aide at the Illinois Department of Public Health took a leave of absence to work on political campaigns in the fall of 2016 while the agency faced the baffling return of deadly Legionnaires' disease at a state-run veterans home.

Darron Cummings / AP

State records show that the flu season in Illinois appears to be peaking early this year.

Staff / WGLT

Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal will pay a $55,000 fine for not having adequate staff on call at its emergency room last year and failing to follow state rules.

Illinois Department of Public Health

No parent wants to hear that their kid’s school has lead in its water, because no amount of lead exposure is safe for young children. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to panic.

A Chenoa retirement community faces a $25,000 fine after someone allegedly posted unauthorized photos and videos of residents on social media.