Leading the charge against COVID-19

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The University of Illinois System is leading the charge in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic—from innovative testing solutions, to clinical trials for vaccines and treatments, to pioneering new research and innovations, to providing resources and assistance for our communities, and more.
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  • Student providing saliva sample into test tube

    1 million saliva tests milestone

    The University of Illinois System surpassed a COVID-19 testing milestone Wednesday, performing 1 million rapid, saliva-based tests across its three university campuses since August.

  • Social work professor Liliane Windsor

    Adapting HIV/AIDS interventions

    A research project being co-led by a UIUC social work professor is exploring whether interventions that have been effective at engaging high-risk populations in HIV/AIDS testing and treatment can be adapted to achieve similar effects in mitigating COVID-19.

  • Ruby Mendenhall and Robin Wilson

    Citizen COVID-19 blogging project

    Ruby Mendenhall and Robin Wilson at the University of Illinois have come together to lead a blogging project on COVID-19 throughout Illinois. They've signed-up citizen scientists to share their perspectives.

  • inhaler & African American woman

    Cleaning product use affecting asthma more during pandemic

    Those with asthma are experiencing less asthma control related to an increase in using household disinfectants — known asthma triggers — because of COVID-19, according to a survey co-conducted by UIC researchers.

  • Janet LIn

    Clinical trials for blood clot prevention

    UIC will conduct three clinical trials for studying blood clot prevention in patients with COVID-19. Blood clots are one of the leading complications of COVID-19.

  • Masked Alma Mater statue

    Comparing COVID-19 testing methods

    Students, faculty members and staff in Urbana-Champaign who are asked to quarantine after COVID-19 exposure or a positive test now have the opportunity to participate in a study that will help inform the national effort to manage the pandemic.

  • Tim Liao

    COVID-19 cases, deaths in U.S. increase with higher income inequality

    U.S. counties with higher income inequality faced higher rates of COVID-19 infections and deaths in the first 200 days of the pandemic, according to a new study led by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign's Tim Liao.

  • Junghwan Kim

    Culture shapes willingness to share personal data to reduce COVID-19 spread

    Junghwan Kim, a graduate student in geography and geographic information science at UIUC, co-led a study of people’s attitudes toward sharing their geographic data with public health officials.   

  • Detecting outbreaks through wastewater

    The Walder Foundation has awarded a Discovery Partners Institute science team led by UIC $1.25 million to develop a prototype capability for detecting COVID-19 outbreaks and trends in Chicago’s wastewater.

  • downward trend arrow with COVID-19 symbols

    Economic impact of COVID-19

    Kenneth Kritz, distinguished professor of public administration at UIS, examines the economic impact of the pandemic on the United States economy.

  • research team in the lab

    Fast, cheap COVID-19 antibody test developed

    Researchers in Urbana-Champaign have developed a simple, fast, cost-efficient COVID-19 testing system. The test demonstrates great potential for wide applications in diverse working environments.

  • Dr. Del Rios receiving vaccine

    First vaccine doses in Chicago

    Five front-line medical workers, including UI Health's Dr. Marina Del Rios, received the vaccine against COVID-19 in Chicago on Tuesday, December 15, marking an important milestone in the fight against the coronavirus.

  • Dummy head with mask in lab

    How masks affect speech acoustics

    Masks are an important tool for fighting COVID-19 but wearing one can make it difficult for others to hear us speak. Using a unique laboratory setup, UIUC researcher Ryan Corey tested how different types of masks affect the acoustics of speech.

  • U.S. Capitol

    Illinois public universities seek additional COVID-19 relief

    Presidents of the state's public universities sent a letter to Illinois federal legislators today seeking additional relief from increasing costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Illinois Capitol

    Illinois tax revenue losses lower than expected during pandemic

    The pandemic hit state tax revenues hard last spring when a widely restrictive stay-at-home order was in effect, but much of that early loss was recovered in subsequent months, according to the report from the University of Illinois’ Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

  • female student wearing Illini mask at desk in classroom

    K-12 Shield Playbook offers guidance for reopening schools

    A new resource is available to help guide teachers and school administrators as they reopen schools amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, assembled by researchers and experts at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. 

  • six feet apart sign in dining hall with worker

    Killeen recognizes innovation and work that have kept campuses open

    University of Illinois System President Tim Killeen on Thursday recognized the thousands of staff, faculty and students whose efforts made the challenging 2020-21 academic year not only possible at the three system universities but a model of success.

  • Delores Albarracin

    Negative mental health effects of pandemic fade over time

    Social distancing policies correlated with immediate increases in interest in information about “isolation” and “worry” – but those effects tapered off two to four weeks after their respective peaks, says a new UIUC study.

  • Chicago neighborhood with children playing

    Neighborhoods and death rates

    A new study led by researchers at the University of Illinois Chicago has found that Chicago neighborhoods with barriers to social distancing, including limited access to broadband internet and low rates of health insurance, had more COVID-19 deaths in spring 2020. 

  • Profs. Johnson and Wooldridge with Chancellor Jones outside trailer

    New mobile COVID-19 lab prototype

    The Grainger College of Engineering at UIUC has completed the prototype for a mobile laboratory designed to demonstrate a way to rapidly deploy the saliva-based test for COVID-19 developed at the university.

  • COVID red spiky ball image

    Novel COVID-19 drug blocks viral replication

    Researchers at the University of Illinois Chicago have identified a potent new antiviral compound that can effectively block viral replication in human cells.

  • M. Yanina Pepino with cup of coffee

    Online smell, taste challenge offered as early detection tool

    A brief smell and taste challenge, developed by the Global Consortium for Chemosensory Research, is a web-based tool people can use to easily monitor changes in these senses using their favorite morning beverage. 

  • surgical mask on pavement

    Pandemic impact on waste

    Anne-Marie Hanson, associate professor of environmental studies at the University of Illinois Springfield takes a look at the impact of COVID-19 on waste patterns, waste workers, and waste habits.

  • COVID-19 electrochemical sensing platform

    Paper-based detection sensor

    An Urbana-Champaign bioengineering graduate student has co-developed a rapid, ultrasensitive test using a paper-based electrochemical sensor that can detect the presence of the virus in less than five minutes. 

  • Maurice Shaw

    Pharmacies go on hiring sprees

    Maurice Shaw, pharmicist and instructor for the UIC College of Pharmacy, signed on to give out vaccines on weekends in addition to his full-time job, after receiving a flurry of pitches for help. (New York Times)

  • CDC coronavirus up close image

    Phase 3 monoclonal antibody clinical trial

    Researchers at UIC are now enrolling people into a phase 3 clinical trial that will test if a monoclonal antibody treatment will help protect uninfected individuals from acquiring or getting sick from COVID-19 after someone in the household tests positive for COVID-19.

  • Patient in rear-view car mirror getting testing instructions

    Pop-up Rantoul testing clinics

    An interdisciplinary team of scientists at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is working with clinicians and community researchers to expand access to COVID-19 testing by providing pop-up testing clinics for agricultural workers and others at various locations in Rantoul, Illinois.

  • Vanessa Oddo

    Precarious employment on the rise long before COVID-19

    A study led by a University of Illinois Chicago researcher uses a new approach to measure precarious, or low-quality, employment in the United States. And, according to those findings, precarious employment has increased 9% between 1988 and 2016. 

  • empty classroom desks

    Program innovates to help prisoners continue to learn during COVID

    UIUC's Education Justice Project was able to keep some of its prison courses going through paper correspondence and video instruction during the pandemic, when online learning was not an option.

  • Activated immune cells clear from the virus infection, which damaged respiratory cells

    Protective role sex steroids play

    A new paper from a UIC researcher shows evidence that suggests sex steroids may play a role in protecting against COVID-19 symptoms.

  • scientist wearing PPE working in lab

    Research funding led to COVID breakthroughs

    Jay Walsh, U of I System interim VP of economic development and innovation, and Peter Schiffer, Frederick W. Beinecke professor of applied physics at Yale University, write about the value of America's government-university research partnership in an op-ed in The Hill.

  • double-faced peptide-based boosters

    Retrained generic antibodies can recognize SARS-CoV-2

    Researchers at UIC and California State University at Sacramento have developed a novel strategy to train the immunity response to COVID-19.

  • Researcher in SHIELD lab carrying samples

    Rivian donates $500,000 to support SHIELD Illinois testing

    The University of Illinois System received a $500,000 donation from Rivian to support the recently opened SHIELD Illinois COVID-19 testing lab at Illinois State University (ISU), which is located within five miles of the electric automaker’s factory in Normal.

  • artist drawing of Shield logo

    Safer Community app has roots in U of I testing program

    William Sullivan, a professor of landscape architecture at UIUC, led the team that developed the Safer Illinois app. Since 1992, he said his focus at the university has been on how to create healthier cities. 

  • test tube samples in lab

    Saliva test being expanded in Champaign-Urbana community

    OSF HealthCare announced a new partnership with the University of Illinois Tuesday that will expand the U of I’s saliva-based COVID-19 test into the broader Champaign-Urbana community.

  • tampons

    Study launched to study vaccine relationship to menstrual cycle

    Kate Clancy from UIUC and a colleague are launching a study on the COVID vaccine and the relationship to the menstrual cycle after experiencing unusual side effects.

  • headshots for Ujjal Kumar Mukherjee and Sridhar Seshadri

    Study: Rapid bulk-testing for COVID-19 key to reopening universities

    A new paper co-written by business professors Gies College of Business professors shows that rapid bulk-testing for COVID-19 along with other standard mitigation measures such as mask-wearing and social distancing were the keys to successfully reopening college campuses during the pandemic.

  • UIUC student in COVID testing tent

    This is the safest place in Illinois

    How the U of I developed its own COVID-19 test and deployed it more than a million times (and counting).

  • Stephanie Crawford, Wayne Giles, Phoenix Matthews

    UIC experts part of vaccine work group

    Several UIC faculty are members of the Chicago Scientific COVID-19 Vaccine Work Group. This group, convened by the Chicago Department of Public Health, is tasked with independently evaluating whether or not the proper scientific and regulatory review has taken place for authorizing emergency use for COVID-19 vaccines.

  • Jason Brooks administers COVID-19 vaccine

    UIC nursing students help with vaccine effort in Urbana

    UIC Nursing students in Urbana are gaining valuable clinical skills and providing a critical service to the community by helping local public health departments administer the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • wastewater samples in test tubes in lab

    UIC tests Cook County Jail wastewater to catch early outbreaks

    On a recent morning, a UIC team, accompanied by doctors from the jail's Cermak Health Services and the Chicago Department of Health, showed NBC5 how they take samples from sewers at six different sites inside the jail complex.

  • woman giving COVID-vaccination to resident

    UIC vaccinating thousands at mass site, students pitch in

    An expansive stadium at the UIC campus is serving a new purpose during the pandemic: The Credit Union 1 Arena now operates as a mass COVID-19 vaccination site, offering about 1,000 coveted doses to eligible residents every day. (Chicago Tribune)

  • Lorraine Brown with arms in air and mask on celebrating vaccination

    UIC working to deliver vaccinations to city's most vulnerable

    The University of Illinois Chicago along with Protect Chicago Plus have partnered to provide 1,000 COVID-19 vaccines to residents in the Englewood neighborhood, with plans to expand to other city areas with vulnerable populations. 

  • student administering vaccine

    UI Health leads Chicago in providing vaccines for phase 1B

    On the first day it opened a community COVID-19 vaccination site, UIC and UI Health administered more than 1,600 shots to phase 1A and phase 1B eligible people, representing nearly a quarter of all vaccine doses (23%) distributed in Chicago on that day.

  • UI Health & UIC logo

    UI Health now operating 4 COVID-19 testing & triage clinics

    UI Health teams have worked together to plan, develop, and launch four COVID-19 triage and testing sites at various locations to help manage the flow and influx of patients with COVID-19 symptoms and exposure.

  • UIC Credit One Arena

    UI Health offering vaccines to people in Phase 1B

    UI Health is administering vaccinations to patients and some members of the public on the UIC campus by appointment.

  • COVID-19 molecule red and white rendering

    UIS hosts webinar on COVID-19 & marginalized populations

    UIS and the Community Health Roundtable will host a free public webinar titled “Implications of COVID-19 for Historically Marginalized Populations and the Aging Population” at Noon Friday, March 16 via Zoom.

  • Lincoln statue with UIS mask

    UIS hosts webinar on "Getting our Lives Back"

    The University of Illinois Springfield Innovation Hub and UIS Center for State Policy and Leadership will host a free public COVID-19 webinar titled “Getting our Lives Back: The Opportunities that Lie Ahead” at Noon Friday, March 12 via Zoom.

  • COVID visualization

    UIS hosts webinar on impact of COVID-19 on youth

    The UIS Innovation Hub, UIS Center for State Policy and Leadership and the Community Health Roundtable will host a free public webinar titled “Impact of COVID-19 on our Youth: Learning, Playing & Socializing” at Noon Friday, Feb. 19 via Zoom.

  • Close up of test tubes in lab

    U of I System receives FDA authorization for covidSHIELD test process

    The University of Illinois System received emergency use authorization (EUA) today from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for covidSHIELD, its innovative saliva-based COVID-19 test that was used on the U of I campuses to hold the virus in check by utilizing widespread testing with rapid results.