Coronavirus

The U.S. Response to COVID-19

Read our latest investigations into the crisis response and public health infrastructure.

How My Mom Followed Her Instincts to Find Her First Coronavirus Patient

Reporter Akilah Johnson’s mom is a pediatrician and internist who tested two patients for coronavirus. One had a mild cold and had recently traveled to China. The other had a toothache — and tested positive.

Chicago Public Libraries Are Staying Open Even Though Librarians Say It Is Not Safe

At least seven city library branches didn’t open or closed early Wednesday because not enough staff showed up to work.

As Coronavirus Cases Rise, Members of Some Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Communities Continue to Congregate

On Wednesday afternoon in New York City, a large group of men moved prayers outside, but huddled together in spite of public health directives.

Chicago Temporarily Halts Some Debt Collections and Ticketing Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the move to waive late penalties on city debts and stop the booting of vehicles was aimed at helping low-income residents.

Letter Carriers Say the Postal Service Pressured Them to Deliver Mail Despite Coronavirus Symptoms — and Often Without Hand Sanitizer

Experts say coronavirus could be transferred through mail delivery by sick employees. Postal workers say USPS isn’t doing much to keep them or their customers safe.

During Tuesday’s Illinois Primary, Chicago Alderman and Former Firefighter Nicholas Sposato Delivered Pizzas at the Polls as His Ward Office Remained Open

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Sposato said he wanted to serve his constituents. “It is what it is,” he said.

Spencer’s Pressured Employees to Come to Work, Selling Gag Gifts and Sex Toys, Until We Called

One store manager said the gag gift shop was “valuing us coming in and selling dildos and shot glasses over the health of our families.” Just before its deadline to comment, the store announced it was closing due to coronavirus.

Medical Conferences Didn’t Cancel, Exposing Doctors Who Treat High-Risk Patients to Coronavirus

A kidney care company did not cancel its conference even as the coronavirus spread. One attendee has been diagnosed, prompting fears that it will spread among doctors and patients. It’s one of several medical conferences that were not canceled.

Congress Passed $8.3 Billion in Emergency Coronavirus Funding, but First Responders Still Can’t Buy Masks

None of Congress’ emergency coronavirus funding goes directly to first responders for the protective gear and supplies that paramedics, firefighters and EMTs need to safely fight the virus. One fire chief said they’re being forgotten.

How Many Americans Are Really Infected With the Coronavirus?

Health care reporter Caroline Chen dug into the projections to learn what to make of them. Forecasts are fuzzy, but the takeaway is clear: Stay home.

The Trump Administration Drove Him Back to China, Where He Invented a Fast Coronavirus Test

A federal crackdown on professors’ undisclosed outside activities is achieving what China has long struggled to do: spur Chinese scientists to return home. In this crisis, it’s costing the U.S. intellectual firepower.

How Quickly Hospitals Could Fill Up if We Don’t Slow Coronavirus Down

How soon regions run out of hospital beds depends on how fast the novel coronavirus spreads, and how many open beds they had to begin with.

Illinois Hospitals Lack the Beds Needed to Care for the Number of Residents Projected to Get Coronavirus

Use this tool to see if hospitals near you have enough beds to handle the spread of COVID-19.

Methodology: How ProPublica Mapped Hospital Capacity for Coronavirus

Here’s how ProPublica analyzed how hospital capacity could vary region to region during the pandemic.

The Five Questions Reporters Need to Ask Hospitals and Local Officials About Coronavirus

ProPublica launched a tool that allows you to look up how the number of patients with COVID-19 could affect hospitals in your area under various scenarios. Here’s how to write a local accountability story with the data.

Chicago Shuts Down, but Its Public Libraries Are Open. Librarians Want Them Closed.

Librarians and other employees are protesting by calling in sick and signing a petition, saying the branches should be closed until the coronavirus is under control.

Inside the Pro-Trump Facebook Group Where First Responders Call Coronavirus a Hoax

In a private Facebook group, firefighters and paramedics shared memes and conspiracy theories doubting the pandemic, raising concerns that they aren’t taking precautions to protect themselves and others.

The CDC Recommends Americans Stay at Home — Unless They Work for the CDC

The Trump administration has reduced remote work across federal agencies, leaving federal workers ill-prepared to cope with the current crisis. Even the CDC has yet to direct employees to work from home.

After Discovering a Sailor With Coronavirus, the U.S. Navy Crowded Dozens Into One Room

On the USS Boxer, where the Navy discovered its first case of coronavirus on a ship, a sailor says his superiors called a meeting that crammed more than 80 senior enlisted sailors and officers together.

Millions of Federal Workers Still Waiting on Work-From-Home Order During Coronavirus Pandemic

Public health experts agree that Americans need to stay home as much as possible, but the Trump administration has not yet issued clear guidance to federal workers.

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