University makes cuts to student services at off-campus community living office

At a time when students are struggling with leases, lockdowns, and landlords, the University’s Off-Campus Community Living Office has cut services and made major changes in its office.

Among the cuts have been the elimination of the online service known as the “Housing Explorer,” which allowed students with information on rental properties in the Champaign-Urbana and to complain about landlords who provided poor housing.

University of Illinois COVID-19 complaints and social media reveal how widespread violations were

A review of more than 400 complaints about partying and public health violations, multiple disciplinary actions and partial lockdowns at apartment complexes show the impact of the partying and social gathering was far wider than previously recognized.

While many students obeyed guidelines that included wearing masks and social distancing, a significant number of students held or attended large parties and social gatherings at Greek houses, dorms and apartments.

Public records show that four fraternities and one sorority have been disciplined and more than 1,000 students were disciplined.

University of Illinois Beckwith Services program continues to leave questions for students with disabilities

The Beckwith Services program at the University of Illinois is known nationwide for being a top-tier resource for students with disabilities to be able to independently attend a university.

But with COVID-19 precautions in place, these students have lost the resource this semester and are unsure where they stand as the upcoming Spring semester quickly approaches.

University building monitoring for COVID-19 lax after shortfall in hiring

To get into University of Illinois buildings, students and employees are supposed to show an app saying that they’ve had a recent, clean COVID-19 test.

Nearly one-third of the time, however, there’s no one at the door to check their status.

Religious communities connect online during pandemic

As COVID-19 cases surge, Champaign County along with the entire State of Illinois tightened restrictions last week on gatherings, including those of religious organizations. Known in public health terminology as a  Tier 3 Mitigation placed on Friday, part of the restrictions states, “the safest practices for religious organizations at this time are to provide services online, in a drive-in format, or outdoors (and consistent with social distancing requirements and guidance regarding wearing face coverings), and to limit indoor services to 10 people.”

But for Pastor Tim Bossenbroek of Hessel Park Church, the new restrictions have no impact. He said the church has not had any public indoor gatherings, such as small groups or Bible study. Instead, they offer outdoor, socially-distant gatherings or online streaming. “When we have moved inside because of rain, then we’ve just had the worship team in the sanctuary of about eight to 10 people at most.

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.

Calculation of COVID-19 positivity rate by university produces lower numbers than state

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s revised calculation of the campus positivity rate of COVID-19 has potentially lowered the rate substantially by reducing the number of reported positive tests.

Epidemiologists say the more accurate way to calculate positivity would be to divide unique positive tests by unique total tests, but that information is not always available.