Updated: The latest on Wisconsin and Illinois, plus reliable pandemic resources

Updated: The latest on Wisconsin and Illinois, plus reliable pandemic resources

Last updated Oct. 21 at 8:45 a.m.

Even though COVID-19 has dominated much of the public conversation for months, it can still be difficult to sort out which resources have clear, trustworthy information you can turn to. This article will be updated regularly with the latest updates and a collection of reliable resources.

The number of cases and deaths in Wisconsin continues to climb, with 4,591 new cases reported on Tuesday, the total death toll reaching 1,633.

Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Nkem Iroegbu told the Today show on Tuesday that he worries about the coming flu season. It’s more important than ever to get a flu shot this year, and early in the season, as the health care system is already fighting COVID-19.

In Illinois, meanwhile, Gov. J.B. Pritzker put new restrictions in place in several counties to try to fight rising case numbers there.

Advocate Sherman Hospital interim Chief Medical Officer Dr. Justin Macariola-Coad urged people to keep taking action to stop the spread of the virus.

“Actions we take today to slow the spread of the virus will define what happens in the coming weeks to months,” Dr. Macariola-Coad said. “Wearing a mask, washing your hands and keeping distance from one another will prevent the spread of this illness and ultimately save lives.”

Both states’ public health agencies provide daily updates. Here is Wisconsin’s. Here is Illinois’.

Those big numbers in both states are another reminder that everyone needs to take basic actions to try to slow the number of cases. Keeping your distance from others helps reduce the likelihood of the virus being passed. Wearing a mask helps, too.


Wearing a cloth mask over your nose and mouth can help people protect each other from the spread of COVID-19. And in some places, wearing a mask when you’re indoors or can’t keep distance from others is the law.

Watch below to learn what to look for in a cloth mask.


You need wear a mask and keep your distance from others even if you don’t feel sick. You can pass the virus along even if you don’t have symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control says that symptoms typically appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus and include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If you feel like symptoms, you can start with Advocate Aurora Health’s COVID-19 Symptom Checker here.

Get the care you need

Just because COVID-19 rightly has dominated everyone’s attention for months doesn’t mean your other health issues have gone away. News reports have suggested that people aren’t seeking the basic health care they need – even for serious conditions such as heart attacks and strokes. Ignoring what seem like small health issues now can create big problems in the future.

With that in mind, Advocate Aurora Health has made a Safe Care Promise to patients so that you can feel safe going to see the doctor. Here’s what that means:

  • All patients, team members, providers and approved guests will be screened before entering a hospital, office or other care site.
  • Patients, team members, providers and approved guests are all provided with a mask before entering.
  • Social distancing will be observed. Our newly designed waiting areas and staggered appointment times reduce traffic, minimizing contact and creating safe spaces for all.
  • Virtual check-ins through the LiveWell mobile phone app provides for seamless, low-contact arrivals.
  • All public and treatment areas will undergo additional disinfectant and cleaning throughout the day and hand sanitizer will be readily available.


Parents face an endless series of difficult choices in normal times, and the pandemic has made just about all of them more difficult.

Knowing that, a group of top Advocate Aurora Health doctors gathered for a Facebook Live event on Wednesday, answering viewer questions about sports, screen time, school and more.

You can watch the full session below.

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About the Author

Mike Riopell
Mike Riopell

Mike Riopell, health enews contributor, is a media relations coordinator with Advocate Aurora Health. He previously worked as a reporter and editor covering politics and government for the Chicago Tribune, Daily Herald and Bloomington Pantagraph, among others. He enjoys bicycles, home repair, flannel shirts and being outside.