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.

COVID-19 hampers food distribution at Eastern Illinois Foodbank

Pre-pandemic, Eastern Illinois Foodbank provided food and grocery products to 100,000 people in 18 different Eastern counties in Illinois. Today, they project the number of those in need to increase by 63,000.

The foodbank expects the second wave of COVID-19 will continue to increase the need for “emergency food,” and they are preparing for just that.

Waitlist extends as Champaign County housing authority faces resource shortage

5,210 individuals are on the waitlist for all properties and programs that the Housing Authority of Champaign County supports, according to the authority’s 2020 Fact Sheet.

The annual budget from the federal government is about $23 million. According to the housing authority, they’re in the process of developing over $100 million in new units inside and outside Champaign County.

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.

Limited funding prevents West Urbana brick sidewalks from being accessible

Despite ongoing major road construction within West Urbana, multiple stretches of brick sidewalks that do not meet the standards of the federal disability act will not be fixed.

Urbana City Administrator Carol Mitten said the City doesn’t have the finances to correct every non-ADA compliant sidewalk in Urbana that is outside of MCORE’s construction zone.

State database reveals details of Covid-19 outbreaks in Champaign County

Previously confidential statewide data tracking coronavirus cases across Illinois shows that there have been at least 50 different outbreaks in Champaign County traced to restaurants, stores, churches, nursing homes, hospitals and in a county office.

The internal database kept by the Illinois Department of Public Health has tracked case counts for nearly 2,600 separate outbreaks across Illinois.

In Champaign County, the number of cases in individual outbreaks ranges from two at the Carle Clinic in Mahomet to 97 at Rantoul Foods in Rantoul, which CU-CitizenAccess has previously reported.

The database also listed cases at Cunningham Children’s Home (8) , Plastipak (14) and the Champaign County Jail in Urbana (4).

The data also includes the ‘unofficial prom party’ in Champaign County where there were 17 confirmed Covid-19 cases. That prom party has been reported as being in Mahomet.