University of Illinois COVID-19 cases surge past official predictions

University of Illinois officials reported 1,754 new cases from Aug. 15 when students started coming back to campus, through Sept. 8, although a team of researchers working directly for the university administration had projected only 500 to 700 cases by Thanksgiving.

University expands testing requirements as researchers predict hundreds more cases

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign quietly announced on Tuesday an expansion of its Covid-19 testing by requiring students to be tested routinely even if they live in the community but do not plan to come to campus.

The decision comes during a week when two university epidemiologists recommended in a letter to city officials in Champaign and Urbana that they go back from current Phase 4 of the Illinois reopening plan to Phase 3 to limit the spread of the virus during the surge of returning students.

Returning international students from countries with lower infection rates of COVID-19 than the U.S.

Most of the international students from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s 2019-2020 academic year are from countries with lower daily Covid-19 infection rates than the United States, according to a CU-CitizenAccess analysis.

Last spring, 9,824 international students attended the University from more than 100 countries, according to university data.

More than 20,000 university students may return from zip codes with higher positivity rates for COVID-19

Champaign County has had about 2 percent of those tested for the virus receive positive results, which means the person should self-quarantine for 14 days.

But a comparison of state public health test data on August 3 and ZIP code data for students who attended the University in the last academic year shows that 20,000 out of 28,000 students from Illinois may arrive from ZIP codes with positive percentages above 5 percent, according to a review of the data by CU-CitizenAccess.org.

Many returning university students may come from high-risk states for COVID-19

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began in January, Champaign County – home to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and about 50,000 faculty, students and staff – has experienced a low number of positive cases when compared to many other areas of the state and the U.S.

A comparison of university data on where out-of-state students are from as of the last school year and data on the positivity rates in those states show as many as 5,000 students may be arriving from 32 states that have positivity rates higher than 5 percent, according to a review of the data by CU-CitizenAccess.org

Urbana schools attempt equitable discipline

Despite continuous coverage of misbehavior in Urbana School District 116, there have been overall disciplinary improvements, parents said.

UI system repeatedly denies Daily Illini FOIA requests

Amid allegations of sexual misconduct on campus, The Daily Illini has filed six requests for documents relating to sexual misconduct claims. All six requests have been denied, even when they were only for an aggregate number of complaints.

‘No Taxpayer Dollars’ for coaches at the University of Illinois? It’s a lie

The Multimillion-Dollar Head Fake is an investigative project by Jay Rosenstein, a University of Illinois professor of Media and Cinema Studies, on how the University of Illinois spends state money on its athletic department despite claims to the contrary.

Here part one of a four-part series as presented on Rosenstein’s website. It was also featured in the Huffington Post, the Champaign News Gazette, Illinois Public Media and the Chicago Tribune.