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McLean County COVID-19 cases
McLean County Health Department

Lots of people were out and about over the weekend in Bloomington-Normal—and not just at the racial justice rally.

McLean County Health Department sign
Staff / WGLT

The McLean County Health Department announced two new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, bringing the county’s total of confirmed cases to 220.

McLean County Health Department sign
Staff / WGLT

McLean County reported no new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday. It was the third time in eight days that that's happened.

Martin Health Center
Westminster Village

Nursing home managers in McLean County are scrambling to get COVID-19 tests after Gov. JB Pritzker ordered long-term care facilities to test all residents and staff.

For Rent signage
David Zalubowski / AP

McLean County residents struggling financially because of COVID-19 could need up to $2.7 million in housing assistance in just the next three months—and a new community coalition says it’s got a plan to meet that challenge.

Exterior of Bloomington Rehab
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Two more residents of a Bloomington nursing home have died after contracting COVID-19, bringing that outbreak’s death toll to 10, public health officials said Friday.

Minnesote protesters hold sign
John Minchillo / AP

As police made their first arrest in the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the Bloomington-Normal branch of the NAACP said it is imperative to be on the battlefield for justice.

Closed sign at business
Ashley Binkowski

The Bloomington-Normal area's unemployment rate shot up to 12.8% in April, as the coronavirus shutdown took its toll on the economy, state officials announced Friday.

For Rent sign
Nati Harnik / AP

Janis Hollins is a landlord who knows what it’s like to be on hard times.

Hollins and her husband, Andrew, were literally homeless for four days after losing their jobs and their house during the real estate crash of the Great Recession.

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.

McLean County Health Department sign
Staff / WGLT

McLean County reported no new confirmed cases on Thursday, with the number of active cases falling to their lowest levels in two weeks.

Raptor scanners

A Bloomington businessman says his new company’s temperature scanners may help speed up reopening the economy by giving workers and customers peace of mind.

Davis and LaHood tour testing site
Staff / WGLT

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis said he wants Congress to do more to help people who have lost their job afford health insurance through COBRA—just not as part of a larger coronavirus relief package supported by Democrats.

District 87 headquarters
Eric Stock / WGLT

District 87 has assembled a task force of administrators, teachers and other district employees to help fine tune its e-learning program if schools remain closed in the fall because of the pandemic.

Jessica McKnight
Eric Stock / WGLT

The top public health official in McLean County says her department doesn’t have the “necessary systems in place nor resources to safely move forward on our own” with a speedier reopening plan being considered Thursday night.

Exterior of Bloomington Rehabilitation and Health Care Center
Ryan Denham / WGLT

UPDATED 9 p.m. | A 56-year-old certified nursing assistant is the first employee at the Bloomington Rehab nursing home to die after contracting COVID-19, the McLean County Health Department said Wednesday.

Pamela L. Hair died Monday at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal. Her obituary says she had COVID-19.

Kids play at child care
Elaine Thompson / AP

Child care facilities will be able to operate again once Illinois enters the third phase of its reopening plan, which is expected Friday. 

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.

McLean County Health Department sign
Staff / WGLT

UPDATED 3:25 p.m. | Another McLean County resident has died after contracting COVID-19, the health department reported Tuesday.

Bone Student Center
Eric Stock / WGLT

UPDATED 2 p.m. | Two freshmen have filed a lawsuit claiming Illinois State University did not refund enough of their mandatory student fees after abruptly shifting to online-only classes because of COVID-19.

Chris Koos at council chambers
Staff / WGLT

Normal Mayor Chris Koos has convened a group of business leaders, health care specialists, educators, bankers and others to explore ways to navigate the pandemic and prepare for reopening.

Villa puts on mask

Workers who caught COVID-19 on the job will be eligible for workers compensation benefits.

Downtown Blm
Ashley Binkowski

The Bloomington City Council votes Tuesday on a plan to allow the city manager to temporarily close streets, city parking lots and alleys to allow for businesses to expand their outdoor footprint during the pandemic.

McLean County Health Department

The McLean County Health Department reported two new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Sunday. Both are women, one in her 20s, the other in her 30s. People in their 20s continue to be the most impacted age group in McLean County.

Madigan in a mask
Justin L. Fowler / The State Journal-Register via AP, Pool

The Illinois General Assembly passed a $40 billion state budget along party-line votes Saturday night in the House and early Sunday morning in the Senate: 68-44 in the House and 37-19 in the Senate.

PRitzker in studio
Cindy Le / WGLT

Gov. JB Pritzker released industry-specific guidelines Sunday that tell businesses what they must do in the next phase of reopening during the pandemic.

All four regions of the state are on track to advance to Phase 3 of the plan in the coming days, said Pritzker. Retail, offices, manufacturing, barbershops and salons, summer programs, various outdoor recreation activities and bars and restaurants for outdoor dining will all be able to resume business in some form under the plan.

Exterior of Bloomington Rehab
Ryan Denham / WGLT

A 10th person has died after contracting COVID-19 in McLean County, public health officials reported Saturday.

Baby after birth
Birth Center of Bloomington-Normal

Those running a standalone birthing center in Bloomington-Normal say they’ve seen increased interest from expectant moms who have concerns about delivering at a hospital because of COVID-19.

Family Photo

Robyn Rodriguez was frightened when she got the call on Mother’s Day that her mother had tested positive for the coronavirus at her Bloomington nursing home and was being moved to a hospital ICU.

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.