With positivity rate numbers fluctuating every day on Illinois State University’s campus, it is unsure what the future may hold when it comes to group gatherings of over 10 being pushed back or moved up by Dec. 31.
Normal Mayor Chris Koos sent out an email about three weeks ago to the residents of Normal issuing no group gatherings of over 10 at a time.
Individuals may be fined up to $750 for failure to comply. Students residing in on and off campus living facilities at ISU have been authorized to follow these guidelines as well.
On Sept. 2, the Normal Town Council passed the ordinances extending the deadline. The discussion of ordinances could be rescinded early if the council saw positive movement in terms of less positive cases.
“We understand the majority of ISU students are doing all the right things, it’s the vocal minority that have made some decisions that impact our community negatively,” Director of Communications and Community Relations Cathy Oloffson said.
“We need to limit the number of gatherings because Mclean County Health Department indicates that much of the spread we've seen comes from large group gatherings.”
Still encouraging residents to wear their masks, social distance and take responsibility to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, the university and the Town of Normal are working to come up with new plans to keep numbers on and off campus at a persistent rate.
“What the Town of Normal council is doing and what the Town of Normal staff is doing is taking the steps that we can take to try and limit the spread of COVID,” Oloffson said.
Residents who live in off-campus housing at Kensington Suites have positive confirmation to what the university and Town of Normal expects students to follow.
“Coming back to campus at the beginning when the positivity rates were spiking was scary and I understood why the university decided to put restrictions on the number of people that can be together,” junior Kamryn Bucci said.
“Recently it seems like the campus is starting to contain those numbers but if it's what we have to do for now, I’ll follow the guidelines.”
“It’s different not having the ability to go to class in person. If Illinois State keeps the extension until Dec. 31, it’s for the students' safety and it's what we should be doing,” junior Kaitlynd Firek said.
“I hope all students living in apartments are being smart because maybe things will start looking up before we go into the second semester.”
As of right now, students who are living in off-campus housing can remain at their permanent residence after Thanksgiving break, but more changes may be made by the time the university hits the winter season.