Medical personnel at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, conduct drive-thru COVID-19 testing in Park Ridge, Ill., Thursday, March 19, 2020.

Nam Y. Huh/AP

The 217 Today Podcast - November 25, 2020

217 Today: Wednesday November 25, 2020

In today’s deep dive, across Illinois’ Region 6 hospitals have less than 30% capacity remaining. Health reporter Christine Herman continues her check-ins with area hospitals amid the continued rise in COVID-19 cases.

On any other Thanksgiving, dozens of Olga Garcia's family members would squeeze into her home for the holiday. But this year, everyone will sit down to eat in their own homes at precisely 6:30 p.m. and join a group phone call.

Elaine Thompson/AP

The 217 Today Podcast - November 24, 2020

217 Today: Tuesday November 24, 2020

In today’s deep dive, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Illinois Department of Public Health warn this Thanksgiving could become a super-spreader COVID-19 event if the proper precautions aren't taken.

A gas pump in Iowa shows ethanol being available.

Clay Masters/Iowa Public Radio

The 217 Today Podcast - November 23, 2020

217 Today: Monday November 23, 2020

In today’s deep dive, at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, ethanol producers feared what mass quarantines would do to their bottom lines. About half of U.S. plants shuttered their doors. Most plants have reopened, but some are questioning if the industry should go back to business as usual.

Students stand in line at a U of I testing site along Goodwin Avenue at the start of the semester in August.

Christine Herman/Illinois Newsroom

The 217 Today Podcast - November 20, 2020

217 Today: Friday November 20, 2020

In today’s deep dive, as the fall semester comes to a closeon the University of Illinois Urbana campus, we’ll find out what lessons officials have learned reopening the campus during a pandemic.

Courtesy of Carle Foundation Hospital.

The 217 Today Podcast - November 19, 2020

217 Today: Thursday November 19, 2020

In today’s deep dive, Carle’s five central Illinois hospitals are seeing a rise in COVID-19 patients in recent weeks. Carle recently launched a program aimed at freeing up hospital beds --by providing virtual monitoring to COVID-positive patients safely at home.

 At the beginning of the pandemic, many 12-step programs had to suspend in person meetings.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

The 217 Today Podcast - November 18, 2020

217 Today: Wednesday November 18, 2020

In today’s deep dive, the continued stress from COVID-19 has heightened mental health problems nationwide. Some experts say that has led to an increase in drug overdoses.

A worker at Swiss Meat and Sausage prepares bacon for sale in this 2019 file photo.

Jonathan Ahl/Harvest Public Media

The 217 Today Podcast - November 17, 2020

217 Today: Tuesday November 17, 2020

In today’s deep dive, the coronavirus pandemic has made it difficult for small farmers to find places to butcher their meat. We’ll hear about one state’s efforts to break the logjam by helping small meatpacking operations increase capacity.

Leal Elementary School in Urbana. Urbana District 116 has about 68% of the funding it needs to adequately serve students, according to the 2020 Illinois School Report Card.

Urbana School District 116

The 217 Today Podcast - November 16, 2020

217 Today: Monday November 16, 2020

In today's deep dive, we’ll hear how voters rejecting the graduated income tax amendment earlier this month could affect funding for K-12 schools in Illinois.

 Memorial Health System's five central Illinois hospitals are seeing an increase in COVID-19 patients and a rising test positivity rate. MHS began publishing daily updates on a public COVID-19 dashboard released this week.

Screenshot from MHS COVID-19 dashboard

The 217 Today Podcast - November 13, 2020

217 Today: Friday November 13, 2020

In today’s deep dive, as COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to rise across Illinois, we’ll hear from Decatur Memorial Hospital’s Chief Medical Officer to see how they’re coping.

Champaign-Urbana Public Health District administrator Julie Pryde at a coronavirus news conference in January.

Jim Meadows/Illinois Newsroom

The 217 Today Podcast - November 12, 2020

217 Today: Thursday November 12, 2020

In today’s deep dive, we’ll hear from the administrator of the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Champaign County, across Illinois, and throughout the country.

Dusty Spurgeon co-owns and operates Spurgeon Veggies with her mother-in-law, Eloise.

Dana Cronin/Illinois Newsroom

The 217 Today Podcast - November 11, 2020

217 Today: Wednesday November 11, 2020

In today’s deep dive, with men dominating the farming world, farm equipment is designed to be used by male farmers.Illinois Newsroom’s Dana Cronin will tell us what’s being done to help female farmers.

Miami Correctional Facility, operating since 1998, houses high, medium and minimum security adult males.

Jake Harper/Side Effects Public Media

The 217 Today Podcast - November 10, 2020

217 Today: Tuesday November 10, 2020

In today’s deep dive, Indiana’s state prisons have been plagued by staffing issues for years. But the Miami Correctional Facility suffers the most, and the pandemic has only made staffing issues worse.

Farmer Zack Smith, who calls himself

Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

The 217 Today Podcast - November 09, 2020

217 Today: Monday November 9, 2020

In today's deep dive, as the harvest season comes to a close, there’s one midwest farmer looking at harnessing the most modern technology for his livestock.

 The Jupiter String Quartet is (left to right) Daniel McDonough, Liz Freivogel, Nelson Lee, and Meg Freivogel.

Sarah Gardner

The 217 Today Podcast - November 06, 2020

217 Today: Friday November 6, 2020

In today's deeper dive, the Jupiter String Quartet has a concert today, a virtual one of course. We’ll talk with the quartet and a University of Illinois environmental sciences professor about a piece that’s a tribute to the “beauty and vitality of the natural world.”

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