COVID Sample 1920At the early onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, a team at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign immediately began to work on a solution to keep the campus open while keeping students safe and healthy. Quickly, a simple saliva COVID-19 test was created that is now not only being used by students on campus, but organizations across the state.

With the spread of COVID-19 being primarily by droplets from the nose and mouth, scientists decided analyzing saliva seemed logical. At the time of the initial creation of the saliva test, many other tests weren’t publishing results for days. However, the U of I saliva test shows results in mere hours because, the contents are subjected to a molecular chain reaction test to show the presence of COVID-19.

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IllinoisCavernAfter being closed for a decade, Illinois Caverns State Natural Area is back open to the public. Located in Monroe County, this underground wonder includes an impressive array of cave formations like stalactites, stalagmites and more.

Illinois Caverns is the only commercially operated cave in Illinois. It originally opened in 1901 and passed through various owners before being sold to the state in 1985.

Due to concerns about white-nose syndrome, a disease that effects bats, the caves were closed to the public in 2011. Recent research, however, showed that human visitation did not promote the spread of the disease, leading the Department of Natural Resources to reopen the park to visitors this summer.

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d9ad53a36789ab905b5cbf32c259 1575605.jpgdWise Plastics Technologies, an Illinois based company, has received national Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) designation from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

“Wise Plastics Technology has gone above and beyond, proving it’s dedicated to workplace safety,” Illinois Department of Labor Director Michael Kleinik said. “The company has set an example for others in its field.”

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business 2089533Illinois is being recognized for its commitment to attracting businesses to the state and providing an environment where firms can thrive. CNBC’s latest Top States for Business rankings saw Illinois advance to the 15th best state in the United States for business.

CNBC scores all 50 states in the country based on 10 categories of competitiveness, such as cost of living, infrastructure and access to capital. States are then scored in each category and categories are weighted based on how often they are used in economic development marketing.

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windIllinois’s commitment to sustainability has been recognized in the rankings from Site Selection Magazine. This year, the state earned the coveted top spot, ranking first in the list of U.S. states.

Site Selection magazine uses their annual ranking to provide a resource for companies when deciding where to expand their business with a focus on sustainable development. The magazine looks into development of green energy, green-certified buildings, incentives for green development, redevelopment of brownfields (locations where former industries have left toxins or other environmental dangers) and how well the states are meeting their own environmental goals.

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