Trending on Reddit: r/UIUC discusses protests, reopening campus

For the last two weeks, members of the r/UIUC subreddit actively discussed two main topics: reopening campus in the fall and peaceful protests and looting in Champaign-Urbana.

Posters, often students, staff, alumni and community members, critique the university for the quality of the online education they get paying the same amount of money they did for the in-person classes. Overall, r/UIUC subreddit members are worried about what they should expect next semester.

Champaign opens up small business portal

The City of Champaign announced in an email that it is offering grants of up to $15,000 for small business owners. The email comes in the wake of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s announcement June 17 that the state of Illinois will provide grants for small businesses under the new Business Interruption Grant program.

Illinois’ program provides $60 million of funding to small businesses, including allocations of $20 million to bars and restaurants who can’t have outdoor seating, $10 million to barber shops and salons, and another $10 million is allocated to gyms and fitness centers.

Meat and shopping: One more impact of the coronavirus on ordinary life

It began in mid-March when the new coronavirus became part of ordinary American life with shortages of household products like hand sanitizer, toilet paper and paper towels. Now, as May has turned to June, scarcity – and the fear of it — is all about the meat. As of June 6, there have been at least 20,400 reported positive cases tied to meatpacking facilities in at least 216 plants in 33 states, and at least 74 reported worker deaths, according to a Midwest Center analysis.

Virus outbreaks hit businesses throughout county

Twenty-six outbreaks have been recorded across several facilities and businesses in the county as of June 8, according to Julie Pryde, Champaign-Urbana Public Health District administrator.

The health district has recorded 30 total outbreaks, including those at the Rantoul Foods meat processing plant, an outdoor equipment manufacturing plant and two nursing homes, University Rehabilitation Center and Meadowbrook Health Center.

Rantoul Foods resumes hiring; receives donation of face shields

Rantoul Foods, which has had at least 87 workers stricken with Covid-19 at its meat processing plant, started hiring again.

But the meat processing company said new workers “must take a Covid-19 test and receive negative results prior to starting work,” in an email Monday to the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.

Mass testing at meat plant finds 27 more coronavirus cases

Rantoul Foods, one of Central Illinois’ largest meat processing plants, will partially shut down Monday to undergo additional sanitization following a mass testing event at the plant Friday and Saturday that found 27 more cases of Covid-19 among employees, according to a company release.

Though yet to be confirmed by health officials, this pushes the total number of employees who have become sick to 82.