Tim Shelley / Peoria Public Radio

Tazewell County Now At 'Coronavirus Warning Level'

Tazewell County is now considered to be at a "coronavirus warning level" by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

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Pritzker Issues New Mask Orders

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.

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Coronavirus Cases Are Surging. The Contact Tracing Workforce Is Not

The United States needs as many as 100,000 contact tracers to fight the pandemic, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told Congress in June. We need billions of dollars to fund them, public health leaders pleaded in April . But in August, with coronavirus cases increasing in more than half of states , America has neither the staff nor the resources to be able to trace the contacts of every new case — a key step in the COVID-19 public health response. Contact tracers...

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Democrats are haunted by the ghosts of 2016.

Hillary Clinton led in many polls over Donald Trump throughout that election cycle, and while the national polls were pretty dead-on when it came to the popular vote, some key battleground state polls got it wrong.

Decades before Sarah Palin or Geraldine Ferraro were put on presidential tickets, India Edwards was in contention for the vice presidency. At their 1952 convention, Democrats put forth Edwards, then vice chair of the party, as a potential running mate for Adlai Stevenson.

Edwards didn't want the job.

"First of all, I had no aspiration to be vice president of the United States," she told NPR in 1984. She added with a chuckle, "I also didn't think the Democratic Party was ready for a woman vice president."

Five months after the coronavirus forced houses of worship across the country to close their doors, a new survey finds that two-thirds of regular churchgoers feel it's now safe to resume in-person worship.

It's a busy time for the tomato-producing farms in eastern Tennessee. Farms have staffed up with hundreds of workers, most of whom are Latino. Some live locally. Others are migrant workers who travel from farm to farm, chasing the summer growing seasons. Still others come from Mexico or Central America on temporary agricultural visas to work at certain farms.

But, this year, the season is taking place under a cloud of coronavirus worries that, for these agricultural workers, hit close to home.

Most international travel destinations are off-limits to Americans at the moment because of the United States' high rate of coronavirus infections and its own restrictions on incoming visitors. Ireland, however, has decided to let Americans in.

Even so, U.S. travelers heading to Ireland may not get the traditional Irish greeting of a "hundred-thousand welcomes." There's a perception that Americans are resistant to wearing masks and are refusing to follow Ireland's rule to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival.

Jerry Falwell Jr., a prominent evangelical ally of President Trump's, is taking "an indefinite leave of absence" from his positions as the president and chancellor of Liberty University in Virginia.

The move comes days after Falwell received criticism for posting a photo to social media that showed him with his pants unzipped alongside a woman who is not his wife.

STACEY VANEK SMITH, HOST:

Most of us have heard of saving the elephants or saving the polar bears, but what about saving their parasites? Scientists are increasingly finding that parasites are a key part of ecosystems, and many are at risk of extinction. NPR's Lauren Sommer explains.

VANEK SMITH: When your job is to study parasitic worms, not everyone wants to hear what you do for a living.

CHELSEA WOOD: It's not a popular topic of conversation at cocktail parties, I can tell you that.

When Westerners think of Beirut, they might rely on dated notions of the city: a 15-year civil war that ended in 1990; a war with Israel and sporadic airstrikes; bombings of the U.S. Marine barracks and the U.S. Embassy; an attack 15 years ago on the prime minister's convoy.

Schools across New York state will be allowed to open for in-person learning this fall because of low coronavirus infection rates, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday.

"We've been smart from day one. We do the masks, we do the social distancing, we've kept that infection rate down," Cuomo said during the announcement. "And we can bring the same level of intelligence to the school reopening that we brought to the economic reopening."

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a variant of the anesthetic and party drug ketamine for suicidal patients with major depression.

The drug is a nasal spray called Spravato and it contains esketamine, a chemical cousin of ketamine.

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