Stories by Kristen Thometz

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Feb. 27-March 1

(C2E2 / Facebook)

Superheroes and villains, an icy dip in the lake, backyard chickens and winter ales usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Despite CDC Warning, Illinois Officials Say Coronavirus Risk Remains Low

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

The novel coronavirus is not spreading across Illinois communities or the U.S., but state health officials say they’re taking preventative actions to limit that from happening.

CDC: Coronavirus Spread in US a Question of ‘When,’ Not ‘If’

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Federal health officials say Americans should begin preparing for a potentially severe outbreak of COVID-19. “Now is the time for businesses, hospitals, communities, schools, and everyday people to begin preparing,” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier of the CDC.

Survey: 81% of Illinois Residents Worry About Future Cost of Health Care

(Ken Teegardin / Flickr)

According to a new survey, four out of five Illinois residents are concerned about being able to afford some aspect of health care in the future, such as prescription drugs and health insurance.

Local Teens Say High School Class Prepared Them to Respond to Emergencies

Sarah Touhy, left, a 2019 graduate of McHenry High School’s East Campus and Breanna Darcy, a senior at McHenry High School’s West Campus, pose for a picture on Jan. 15 in the biomedical science classroom at the east campus. (Courtesy of McHenry High School)

Two students who took a biomedical science class in the northwest suburbs say the program prepared them for stressful real-life situations. “Everyone should know what goes on in the body and how things work,” said Sarah Touhy.

Cook County Cold-Related Deaths Rise to 32

(Prayitno / Flickr)

On Friday, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office reported four new cold-related deaths in the county.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Feb. 20-23

International Carnivale Celebration (Photo by James Richards IV)

A Carnivale celebration, late-night art show, chocolate and bicycles usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Early Voting is Underway for the 2020 March Primary

You don’t have to wait until March 17 to cast a ballot in the state’s primary election. Early voting began Wednesday at the city’s downtown “super site” and dozens more will follow. Here’s everything you need to know.

Study: Coronavirus Can’t be Spread from Mom to Baby in Late Pregnancy

(Lisa Runnels / Pixabay)

In a small study, pregnant women diagnosed with the novel coronavirus during their third trimester didn’t spread the virus to their newborns. While a local researcher called those results exciting, he said they can’t be generalized to all pregnant women. 

FDA Wants to Know More About E-Cigarettes Linked to Lung Illnesses

(Vaping360 / Flickr)

Vaping-related illnesses have killed more than 60 people across the U.S. since March – including five in Illinois – and hospitalized 2,758 others, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Chicago to Begin Testing Patients with Flu-Like Symptoms for Coronavirus

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Chicago is among five U.S. cities that will test patients who exhibit flu-like symptoms for the novel coronavirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Feb. Feb. 13-16

(Courtesy of Chicago Auto Show)

Hot cars, folk music, dance lessons and scaly creatures usher in the Valentine’s Day weekend. Here are 10 things to do in Chicago.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Feb. 6-9

Sister Frida Rage (left) vs. Aunt Nance at The Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers’ 34th match CLLAW XXXIV: Good vs. Evil at Logan Square Auditorium. (Photo by Trainman Photography)

Strong ladies, a pop-up music festival, a walk in the woods and ice skating usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

CDC Issues Quarantine for 195 American Evacuees from China

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Evacuees from Wuhan, China, will spend two weeks at a military base in Riverside, California, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The risk to the American public remains low, officials said Friday.

More than 165K Inclined Baby Sleepers Recalled Due to Risk of Suffocation

(amyelizabethquinn / Pixabay)

While no infant fatalities or injuries have so far been reported, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says consumers should stop using the recalled products immediately. 

1st Case of Person-to-Person Spread of Coronavirus in US Stems from Chicago

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

The announcement from local health officials came just hours before the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Jan. 30-Feb. 2

(Photo by Ronnie Marlin)

Bite-sized dishes, Oscar-nominated films, hot cocoa and Lunar New Year parades usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

How to Avoid the High-Calorie Punch from Super Bowl Foods This Sunday

(Switz1873 / Flickr)

Super Bowl Sunday is a massive day for sports fans – and high-calorie foods. Get tips for trimming the fat off some game-day favorites without punting on flavor.

CDC Investigating 110 Suspected Cases of Coronavirus

(valelopardo / Pixabay)

Among the dozens of American patients under investigation for the novel coronavirus, five have tested positive for the illness while 32 others have tested negative, according to health officials.

Plastic Found in Raw Ground Beef Prompts Amity Packing Company Recall

(Pexels / Pixabay)

The Chicago-based company is recalling approximately 2,020 pounds of raw ground beef products after consumer complaints of clear, thin pliable plastic found in the products.

Should You Give Your Pet CBD? Research is Hazy, Says Vet Group

(Moshe Harosh / Pixabay)

CBD pet products claim to treat pain, anxiety and even seizures, but do they work? And are they even safe? The chief veterinary officer of the American Veterinary Medical Association weighs in.

1st Case of Coronavirus Confirmed in Chicago

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks at a press conference Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. (WTTW News)

A new and potentially deadly virus circulating in China has been confirmed in Chicago, according to health officials. “This is a single travel-associated case, not a local emergency,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health.

Added Sugars, Serving Sizes: What You Need to Know About New Nutrition Label

A nutrition fact label for vanilla yogurt shows a 6-ounce serving contains 20 grams of sugar – of which 18 grams are added sugars. (Kristen Thometz / WTTW News)

If you regularly check nutrition fact labels, you may have noticed some recent changes – namely, the addition of added sugars and realistic serving sizes. Those changes and others went into effect Jan. 1 per new FDA guidelines. A local registered dietitian explains.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Jan. 23-26

(Photo by James Richards IV)

A Chinese New Year celebration, a play about Nancy Pelosi, sweet bread and an icy dip in the lake usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Pot Makes Pets Sick, Says Veterinary Group

(Pexels / Pixabay)

Marijuana may produce pleasurable affects in people, but for pets, the mind-altering substance can be dangerous and even lethal, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. “We don’t want people to think it’s benign or harmless,” said Michael San Filippo of the AVMA.

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