CDC Director: 'Very Aggressive' Contact Tracing Needed For U.S. To Return To Normal

It's the question on everyone's minds: What will it take for us to come out of this period of extreme social distancing and return to some semblance of normal life? It turns out that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been working on a plan to allow the U.S. to safely begin to scale back those policies. CDC Director Robert Redfield spoke with NPR on Thursday, saying that the plan relies on not only ramped-up testing but "very aggressive" contact tracing of those who do test...

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Help Make Face Masks

5 hours ago
Facebook/Sewing Masks for the Greater Rockford Area

There is an essential need for personal protection equipment (PPE) in the fight against COVID-19. But some people don’t have access to one piece of protective gear -- a mask. A few Rockford organizations are coming together to make sure cloth masks are available for some.  

On this week's Statewide, a nurse talks about the the risk of being on the front lines of the coronavirus fight. 

"As a healthcare worker, I think we're resigning ourselves to the fact that we're probably going to get it and we hope it doesn't affect us," said Thomas McClure, who works for Memorial Medical Center in Springfield. 

We also learn about a project to document how Illinois residents are coping during COVID-19. 

And, a group of neighbors found a way to gather for a block party - while still keeping a safe distance from each other.   

Concerts, festivals and other large events could be called off this summer. Gov. J.B. Pritzker urged organizers to “think seriously” about cancellations as restrictions could still be in place to stop the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

Perspective: Good Friday

9 hours ago
Katie Andraski

“You’ll be gone by spring,” said the same voice that drove me to retire. I was afraid this might be true, that I’d be dead by the time the weather warmed. Recent estate planning put death on my mind. I’ve heard enough about the frailty of old age, that it’d be all right by me to leave here with my faculties intact.

Sessions from Studio A - Dark Heart News

18 hours ago
WNIJ

Dark Heart News is a high-energy rock and roll trio from Chicago. They have a wide range of influences from rock legends like Led Zeppelin, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and The White Stripes, to blues masters such as Stevie Ray Vaughan. Hear Dark Heart News' full performance in Studio A right here!

You can keep up with the band and purchase their music at their website

Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos says there continues to be a disconnect between Washington D.C. and Illinois on the availability of COVID-19 test kits.

The Democrat says she was recently on a call with Vice President Mike Pence and national health experts Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx.

Bustos says they indicated they were doing “great” on getting test kits out.

Susan Stephens

A student emergency fund unveiled Monday at Northern Illinois University aims to help with hardships related to COVID-19.

It provides up to $500 per student to cover various needs caused by the pandemic and social distancing. These can include the cost of technology to take remote spring courses, childcare costs, and emergency medical expenses. Assistant Dean of Students Kelly Olson said there’s been significant interest.

City of Rockford

Rockford’s mayor says city services have remained relatively uninterrupted during the pandemic. 

Mayor Tom McNamara said a key measure early on was making sure staff could take care of themselves and loved ones.

“Where we provided all staff 14 days of paid sick leave to ensure that none of them were coming to work or doing work while they were sick, or while they had a family member who was sick with COVID-19, so that they could focus on what was most important to them, which should be their family.”

The Illinois Auditor General's office released the most recent compliance report for several Illinois public universities, including Northern Illinois University. In the NIU report, auditors noted that in their test sample, two employees were paid beyond their termination date.

The report includes the university's reponse to the finding.

Illinois is allowing garden centers to reopen for deliveries and curbside pickup, after initially shutting them down during the shelter-in-place order.

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News From NPR

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Prine told Terry Gross in 2018 that he began playing music and writing songs for fun: "I didn't expect to do this for a living," he said. Prine died of complications related to COVID-19 on April 7.

As coronavirus numbers have ticked steadily upwards in some U.S. states and cities, officials have watched one specific figure to see if they're facing a flattening curve or runaway outbreak: the doubling rate.

Simply put, it's how many days it takes for the number of coronavirus cases, hospitalizations or deaths to double. The shorter the time frame, the steeper the curve and faster the growth.

Updated at 2:31 p.m. ET

The White House's coronavirus response task force convened a briefing Friday afternoon as the conversation in Washington turns toward how America could reactivate after going dormant to slow the pandemic.

President Trump is expected to receive recommendations about when and how the nation could reopen for business. He and advisers must make difficult decisions about how to balance economic, social, public health and other priorities.

Updated at 1:44 p.m. ET

Just over a week ago, the worldwide death toll linked to the coronavirus stood at around 50,000 — a staggering sum for a virus that was still largely unknown to the world at the start of the year. Now, that death toll has doubled.

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