Public drive-up WiFi hotspots for education have been identified and mapped in a collaborative effort by the Illinois Board of Higher Education, Illinois Community Colllege Board, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Illlinois Department of Innovation and Technology, Illinois State Board of Education, and the Illinois State Library. These hotspots provide internet access for remote learning while students are not in school. The interactive map provides locations and log-in instructions. The sponsors ask that users refrain from using the bandwidth for purposes other than education. The map is hosted on the Connect Illinois webpage, www.ildceo.net/wifi.
In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) established a new set of best practices for naming diseases. The WHO sought to abandon associating places with a disease – as was the case with COVID-19’s cousin, MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) in 2012, and many others in the past. On February 11, the WHO recommended using the name COVID-19 when referring to the novel coronavirus that was, at the time, sickening and killing people in central China and elsewhere in eastern Asia. Other experts concurred, but differentiated between the virus that causes the disease, known as SARS-CoV-2, and the disease itself, COVID-19. The name reflects the pathogen (a coronavirus, COV), the nature of the illness caused (an infectious disease) and its year of origin (2019). Once a disease has started circulating in human populations, its point of origin is far less relevant for a general public looking to stay healthy or public health practitioners trying to control a person-to-person epidemic than, for instance, good hand and respiratory hygiene or access to medical care.
The Electronic Vehicle (EV) industry is looking for ways to reduce recharging time. The most accessible charger, level 1, is equivalent to using a 120-volt household power outlet, a great option for charging in a garage. Level 1 recharges 3 to 5 miles per hour, and would take 50 hours for a 2018 Tesla Model 3 long range to reach a full charge. Level 2 chargers use 240 volts of power, equivalent to what most high energy consuming appliances such as water heaters or air conditioners use. EV owners can install a level 2 charger at home if they have a 240-volt power line in the garage. Level 2 chargers are commonly provided in parking lots and parking garages. The 2018 Tesla Model 3 would take 6 hours to charge with a level 2. DC fast chargers are more expensive, and send direct current electricity from the power grid to the car's battery. Doing so can bypass the charger's limit and supply a large amount of energy in a short period of time. The charger speed varies significantly, but some stations can add up to 75 miles of range in just 5 minutes. Other companies are working to build even faster chargers to accommodate larger vehicles and semi-trucks. Reducing charging time will make EVs a more attractive option.
Nearly 500 Local Government Education webinar participants attended last week’s COVID-19 Update for Local Officials in Illinois. Illinois Extension thanks Heyl Royster and the Illinois Association of County Board Members for presenting this information. You can listen to the recording here (for the time being, since the recording will be removed as soon as the information has been deemed out of date). Upcoming webinars can be found at https://go.illinois.edu/LGE. Suggestions for webinar topics are appreciated, and can be emailed to either Anne Silvis (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Nancy Ouedraogo (email@example.com).