(WTTW News)

The U.S. Department of Energy and the FBI both assess that COVID-19 may have leaked from a lab in Wuhan, China. Yet the Energy Department has “low confidence” in its assessment, while FBI director Christopher Wray said the agency has “moderate confidence” in its.

Illinois schools cut quaratine time in half, following new CDC guidance. (WTTW News)

According to district data from Chicago Public Schools, over 12,818 students are in quarantine, and 2,355 adults are also staying home due to a positive case.

People wait to be vaccinated by a member of the Western Cape Metro EMS (Emergency Medical Services) at a mobile "Vaxi Taxi" which is an ambulance converted into a mobile COVID-19 vaccination site in Blackheath in Cape Town, South Africa, Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Nardus Engelbrecht)

The findings released Tuesday are preliminary and have not been peer-reviewed — the gold standard in scientific research — but they line up with other early data about omicron's behavior, including that it seems to be more easily transmitted.

The increase in cases in Illinois this fall has now surpassed last summer’s delta variant surge. Health officials are urging residents to take extra precautions as they make plans to gather with family members who may or may not be vaccinated.  (WTTW News)

The increase in cases in Illinois this fall has now surpassed last summer’s delta variant surge. Health officials are urging residents to take extra precautions as they make plans to gather with family members who may or may not be vaccinated. 

Dr. Robert Murphy is the director of the Institute for Global Health at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. (WTTW News)

Chicago has once again implemented an indoor mask requirement as the Biden administration announces a COVID-19 booster shot will be available for Americans starting in September. We talk to infectious disease expert Dr. Robert Murphy about the latest guidelines.

In this file photo, restaurant patrons wear masks while dining indoors. (WTTW News)

Consider wearing a mask indoors, even if you’re fully vaccinated. That’s the newest recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and some experts say they expect mask mandates, not just recommendations, to return in Chicago and elsewhere.

(WTTW News)

Demand for the COVID-19 vaccine is dropping, but there is still a large population that’s hesitant to get the shot. Some of that hesitancy is steeped in politics or misinformation, but others fear an allergic reaction. We meet one Chicagoan who says she has good reason to hold out.

(WTTW News)

The CDC says fully vaccinated people can now travel safely, but what does a new COVID-19 surge mean for the summer vacation season? 

President Joe Biden speaks about efforts to combat COVID-19, in the State Dining Room of the White House, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

Plus: Dr. Robert Murphy talks with ‘Chicago Tonight’ about J&J vaccine

President Joe Biden said the U.S. expects to take delivery of enough coronavirus vaccine for all adults by the end of May — two months earlier than anticipated — and he pushed states to get at least one shot into the arms of teachers by the end of March to hasten school reopenings.

(WTTW News)

It took less than a year for pharmaceutical companies to successfully develop vaccines for COVID-19. The unprecedented time frame has raised questions for some about the vaccine’s safety. We learn about the science behind the shots.

Christmas shoppers in Oxford city centre England, Sunday Dec. 20, 2020. (Steve Parsons / PA via AP)

Reports from Britain and South Africa of new coronavirus strains that seem to spread more easily are causing alarm, but virus experts say it’s unclear if that’s the case or whether they pose any concern for vaccines or cause more severe disease. 

Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks to the media during his daily press briefing on COVID-19 on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020. (WTTW News)

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Thursday reported 9,935 new cases of COVID-19, a single-day record, and 97 deaths. In Illinois, 10,030 have now died as a result of the virus.

 In this Friday, June 12, 2020 file photo, a doctor holds a bag of blood plasma donated by a COVID-19 survivor at a blood bank in La Paz, Bolivia. (AP Photo / Juan Karita)

A group of medical experts advising the National Institutes of Health says there is not enough evidence to recommend for or against the use of plasma therapy for patients hospitalized with COVID-19.

“I have done a phenomenal job with it,” President Donald Trump says of his response to COVID-19 at a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday, June 20, 2020. (WTTW News via CNN)

He is optimistic about the development of vaccines and treatments to slow the spread of COVID-19 but describes the national response to the virus as a “disgrace.” We speak with Dr. Robert Murphy of Northwestern University.