Fauci: Gilead’s remdesivir can block coronavirus

By Marilyn Marchione AP Chief Medical Writer For the first time, a major study has found that an experimental drug works against the new coronavirus, and U.S. government officials said Wednesday that they would work to make it available to appropriate patients as quickly as possible. In a study of 1,063 patients sick enough to be hospitalized, Gilead Sciences's remdesivir shortened the time to recovery by 31% — 11 days on average versus 15 days for those just given usual care. The drug…

Coronavirus Update: Judge overturns Illinois stay-at-home order

By Jim Hagerty Reporter CLAY COUNTY, Ill. - A Clay County judge on Monday granted a restraining order to temporarily block Illinois'stay-at-home order extension that's set to start May 1. Judge Michael McHaney's ruling is in response to a lawsuit brought by Illinois Rep. Darren Bailey (R), which claims Gov. J.B. Pritzker exceeded his authority when he announced he would extend the order until the end of May. Monday's ruling keeps the current stay-at-home edict in place. Pritzker said…

Tyson shutters Iowa pork plant amid coronavirus downturn

By Ryan J. Foley Associated Press IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Tyson Foods suspended operations Wednesday at an Iowa plant that is critical to the nation's pork supply but had been blamed for fueling a massive coronavirus outbreak in the community. The company said the indefinite closure of the Waterloo, Iowa, plant would deny a vital market to hog farmers and further disrupt the nation's meat supply. Tyson had kept the facility, its largest pork plant, open in recent days over the objections…

Winnebago County jailer tests positive for coronavirus while off duty

Staff Report ROCKFORD - A Winnebago County corrections officer has tested positive for COVID-19, the sheriff's office confirmed Friday, April 17. The officer has been off duty since March 5 and tested positive after that date. The sheriff's office reported that the officer has not had any contact with inmates or staff and is recovering at home. The officer will not return to work until he has been cleared by his doctor. As of the report, three Winnebago County detainees have been tested for…

Rockford Rescue Mission employee tests positive for coronavirus

By Jim Hagerty Reporter ROCKFORD - An employee of the Rockford Rescue Mission has tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The staff member's age and name have not been released. Mission CEO Sherry Pitney said in a statement that she continues to work with the Winnebago County Health Department, as her team has since the beginning of the pandemic. She said many of the mission's clients have compromised immune systems, prompting extra precautions to avoid…

Best Buy to furlough 51K workers amid coronavirus pandemic

By Jim Hagerty Reporter MINNEAPOLIS - Best Buy, beginning, April 19, will temporarily furlough around 51,000 hourly store employees and almost all part-time workers, the electronic retailer announced Wednesday, April 15. Furloughed employees will retain health benefits at no cost for a minimum of three months. The company says it will retain approximately 82% of its full-time store and field employees on its payroll, including the majority of In-Home Advisors and Geek Squad Agents.…

Woodward to close Rock Cut plant amid coronavirus uncertainty

By Jim Hagerty Reporter ROCKFORD - Woodward, Inc. plans to close its Rock Cut plant, the company announced Friday. "Woodward is conducting permanent layoffs and temporary furloughs because we are temporarily closing business lines, departments, and portions of facilities due to the public health emergency and physical calamity resulting from the sudden and widespread impact of the infectious disease pandemic known as Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)," the company said in a statement.…

Sports marketing: Coronavirus shutdown presents challenges for teams, sponsors

By Jay Cohen AP Sports Writer CHICAGO (AP) — There are no sponsored power plays at the moment. No doughnut races in the fourth quarter. No calls to the bullpen presented by phone companies. Amid the coronavirus shutdown, sports business executives are having tough conversations about lucrative advertising and marketing contracts with no games on the horizon. Everyone involved knows the relative insignificance of the talks in the greater scheme of things, but billions of dollars are…

Coronavirus peak: Countries start thinking about easing up on restrictions

By Marina Villenueve and Lori Hinnant Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — Even as coronavirus deaths mount across Europe and New York, the U.S. and other countries are starting to contemplate an exit strategy and thinking about a staggered and carefully calibrated easing of restrictions designed to curb the scourge. "To end the confinement, we're not going to go from black to white; we're going to go from black to gray," top French epidemiologist Jean-François Delfraissy said in a radio…

Wall Street climbs 3.4%, holds as coronavirus outbreak moves toward peak

By Stan Choe and Alex Veiga AP Business Writers NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks shot to a 3.4% gain on Wall Street Wednesday as investors chose to focus on the optimistic side of data about the coronavirus outbreak's trajectory. It's the latest about-face in this brutally volatile stretch for the U.S. stock market, which has flip-flopped from gains to losses for six straight days. Just a day before, stocks had been headed for a similar gain only for it to vanish in the last minutes of trading. The…

Trump removes inspector general in charge of $2T coronavirus rescue

By Eric Tucker, Matthew Daly and Mary Clare Jalonick Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has removed the inspector general tapped to chair a special oversight board of the $2.2 trillion economic package intended to help businesses and individuals affected by the coronavirus, officials said Tuesday. Glenn Fine, the acting Defense Department inspector general and a veteran watchdog, had been selected by peers last month for the position. Now it's unclear who will…

Should Americans wear masks in public during coronavirus outbreak?

By Lauren Neergaar AP Medical Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — If you're not sick with the new coronavirus, should you wear a mask in public? Global health authorities say no. Amid a shortage of masks, the U.S. is sticking with that advice but Tuesday, President Donald Trump suggested people who are worried wear a scarf. That shortage is so severe that the  Joint Commission, which accredits U.S. hospitals, said Tuesday that if facilities can't provide proper masks, health workers are allowed to…

Coronavirus shutters Wimbledon for 1st time since World War II

By Howard Fendrich AP Tennis Writer For the first time in its nearly century-and-a-half history, Wimbledon was canceled for a reason other than war, scrapped in 2020 on Wednesday because of the coronavirus pandemic. With Britain under a nationwide lockdown, the All England Club announced its decision to call off its storied two-week grass-court tennis tournament, something that hadn't happened to the sport's oldest Grand Slam event in 75 years. "It has weighed heavily on our minds that…

Belvidere Chrysler plant to remain closed through April 14 amid coronavirus pandemic

Staff Report ROCKFORD - The Belvidere Assembly Plant will be closed through the middle of April. The closure is part of Fiat Chrysler's decision to close all North American plants through April 14 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Belvidere plant is currently on a scheduled two-week shutdown. "FCA continues to take important steps to help flatten the curve of the spread of COVID-19, and put the health and safety of our workforce, and the communities where we live and work first" Fiat…

Sports Illustrated launches coronavirus podcast

Staff Report NEW YORK -  Maven Media Brands and Sports Illustrated announce the launch of Coronavirus + Sports, a free podcast sharing candid stories of how the global COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the world of sports. Hosted by Luis Miguel Echegaray, the series features SI reporters, athletes, experts, and sports figures telling daily stories of how those in and around sports are responding to the unprecedented event that brought sports to a halt around the world. "Sports Illustrated…