Updated Campus and Statewide Protocol

Updated Campus and Statewide Protocol

Photographs courtesy of https://week.com/

All information current as of Nov. 27.

The state of Illinois is experiencing record-breaking COVID-19 hospitalizations and case numbers. The University of Illinois Springfield has been adjusting protocol alongside state and campus occurrences. Interim Chancellor Karen Whitney outlined these protocol on Nov. 11, 18 and 23 in response to the campus-wide positivity rate and Gov. Pritzker’s decision to undergo strict Tier 3 Resurgence Mitigations.

            After the spike in coronavirus cases identified on Nov. 10, followed by the two-day halt in campus activity, work and certain operations resumed. Brookens Library, the Student Union, and TRAC briefly held limited capacity and scheduling, while indoor dining was restated to be forbidden until further notice. All gatherings, except those for instructional and low-capacity outdoor touring purposes, were prohibited until Nov. 26.

            From Nov. 25 until the end of the Fall 2020 semester, all classes are to be remotely delivered. All indoor gatherings have been delayed or shifted to remote methods. Only low-capacity, outdoor campus tours via the Office of Admissions are permitted on campus. It is recommended to work remotely as much as possible.

            Students are encouraged to avoid traveling back and forth during such a high-risk time to abate the spread of disease. The university still intends on allowing students to live on campus for the Spring 2021 semester, as long as mitigation strategies continue to be followed.

            As of Nov. 20, Gov. Pritzker enacted Tier 3 mitigation strategies. Daycare centers and schools are permitted to remain open as long as they abide by IDPH guidelines. Indoor dining is prohibited, and outdoor events can only occur with 10 or fewer mask-clad individuals. Health and fitness facilities and non-essential retail are allowed to operate at a maximum of 25 percent capacity. In the words of Pritzker, “Tier 3 boils down to this: if you don’t need to do it, don’t.”

            The governor urges Illinoisans to stay ahead of the curve by remaining cautious this holiday season. Large family gatherings can become super-spreader events, and Illinois is the fourth worst state in the country regarding COVID-19 cases. Travel and large gatherings can exacerbate spikes in coronavirus spread, which may cause another lockdown. Pritzker states that staying at home now, willingly, can prevent a mandatory stay-at-home order in the future. The sooner people cooperate, the sooner everyone can get back to normal.

Updates on regional metrics in the state of Illinois can be viewed here.