University of Illinois sees spike in faculty, staff, and grad student COVID-19 cases as county battles ‘uncontrolled spread’

Cases and deaths have been rising in Champaign County and the other 20 counties that make up what the state public health officials designate as Region 6, which covers East central Illinois.

The county is also on a state alert because of the rate of infection, 471 cases per 100,000, which nine times the target rate of 50 cases per 100,000.

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.