Preparing a shot
Hans Pennink, File / AP

Some central Illinois counties should expect to receive their first COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of this month.

Joe Deacon / WCBU

The grim consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to grow as Tri-County health officials on Friday reported eight new deaths in one day.

The latest fatalities bring the death toll for Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford counties to 277 since the start of the pandemic, with 65 added in the last two weeks – and 20 in just the past three days.

The region added 356 new COVID-19 cases Friday, bringing the tally to 19,431 since mid-March. Peoria County has produced more than half of the cases (9,941) and almost half of the deaths (138).

Kristin McHugh

Peoria-area hospitals are seeing more bed space used by COVID-19 patients, but it's been manageable--so far.

Dr. Samer Sader is chief medical officer for UnityPoint's central Illinois hospitals.

"We have had a significant increase in the numbers of patients who are requiring hospitalization," Sader said. "This has been going on for the last few weeks. Every few days, we seem to get a little bit better, and then we immediately have a bit of a spike again."

Tim Shelley / WCBU

The Tri-County area eclipsed 19,000 cases of COVID-19 on Thursday as health officials reported the second-highest increase in infections in one day since the start of the pandemic.

" class="wysiwyg-break drupal-content" src="/sites/all/modules/contrib/wysiwyg/plugins/break/images/spacer.gif" title="<--break-->">The region has added 429 new cases in the preceding 24 hours, pushing the tally to 19,075 – a gain of nearly 1,099 in the last three days.

Mike Rundle / WCBU

Perhaps the best way to describe Steve Roach, an usher known for his antics at Dozer Park and the Peoria Civic Center, is to recall a photograph taken in July 2018." class="wysiwyg-break drupal-content" src="/sites/all/modules/contrib/wysiwyg/plugins/break/images/spacer.gif" title="<--break-->">

Tim Shelley / WCBU

Tri-County Area health officials Wednesday reported seven new COVID-19 related fatalities in the past day as Illinois posted its deadliest 24 hours since the start of the pandemic.

Hawkeye Hotels

The alternate COVID-19 housing site at the Four Points by Sheraton hotel in downtown Peoria has quietly reopened in time for winter." class="wysiwyg-break drupal-content" src="/sites/all/modules/contrib/wysiwyg/plugins/break/images/spacer.gif" title="<--break-->">

Adam Duvall is the housing navigator for Advocates for Access. He's subcontracted with the Heart of Illinois Continuum of Care to manage referrals to the site that reopened last month after a summer lull in COVID-19 cases.

Joe Deacon / WCBU

Nearly 250 patients are now being treated for COVID-19 in Peoria-area hospitals as Tri-County area health officials Monday reported a daily average of almost 380 new cases over the four-day holiday weekend.

(AP Photo/Juan Karita, FILE)

Studies show blood plasma donated by people recently recovered from COVID-19 can provide some real benefits to those currently battling the disease. But in central Illinois, there's not enough to go around.

Tim Shelley / WCBU

For a second straight day, Tri-County health officials on Wednesday reported 10 more COVID-19 related deaths in the last 24 hours.

Tory Dahlhoff / WCBU

Public health recommendations are causing changes to many families’ Thanksgiving plans this year. But the pandemic also has had an impact on how area social service organizations distribute Thanksgiving meals to families struggling to keep food on the table.

Joe Deacon / WCBU

Ten more Tri-County residents have died from COVID-19 complications in the past day, and health officials reported Tuesday a total of 209 coronavirus patients being treated at the Peoria-area’s four hospitals.

Jeff Smudde / WGLT

The 10th Judicial Circuit is pausing jury trials until January as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in central Illinois.

Tim Shelley / WCBU

The Tri-County region reports 1,043  new COVID-19 cases over the weekend, and eight more deaths.

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

For many families, this Thanksgiving will look like no other.

Tim Shelley / Peoria Public Radio

For the second consecutive day, the Tri-County Area added more than 400 new COVID-19 cases, and more than 200 patients are hospitalized in the region as the pandemic’s second wave continues to surge.

Tim Shelley / Peoria Public Radio

The Par-A-Dice casino will shut down to comply with Gov. JB Pritzker's new Tier 3 COVID-19 mitigations.

(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

With COVID-19 spread's now exponentially increasing in every region of the state, all 11 regions will move into Tier 3 restrictions on Friday. With the new mitigations in place, certain businesses and entities are going to have to again rethink the way they operate.

Tim Shelley / Peoria Public Radio

The East Peoria City Council is standing by its non-enforcement of Gov. JB Pritzker's COVID-19 restrictions on businesses.

The Tazewell County Health Department and Illinois Department of Public Health are opening a temporary mobile COVID-19 test site this weekend  in Washington.

Jeffrey Smudde / WGLT

Peoria Public Schools District 150 will phase back to full remote learning after Thanksgiving.

Tim Shelley / WCBU

The Tri-County region is reporting 1,059 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend.

Tim Shelley / WCBU

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos has tested positive for COVID-19.

Monica speaks at podium
Joe Deacon / WCBU

A sharp rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the Tri-County area is threatening to overburden the region’s health care system.

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

When it comes to assessing scientific evidence, conservatives place more value on personal anecdotes, while liberals put more stock into what the experts are saying. Those are among the recent findings by Eureka College's Alexander Swan and his colleagues.

Daniel Musisi / WCBU

Local blood collection workers at the American Red Cross say the organization needs to beef up safety and worker protections during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Farmington CUSD 265

Several central Illinois school districts are temporarily moving all instruction online as COVID-19 cases surge across the region--particularly among teachers and other staff.

Jeffrey Smudde / WGLT

Peoria Public Schools students will learn remotely for the first two weeks of the spring semester.

Tim Shelley / Peoria Public Radio

The Peoria Public Schools board has voted 5-1 to suspend its basketball program until next spring.

The Tri-County region is reporting more than 10,000 people infected with the coronavirus since the pandemic first struck this spring.