WPGU News Summary – Week of 09/20/21

Happy Monday, Champaign-Urbana!

Here is your weekly COVID-19 update:

The University’s COVID testing data reveals 38 new COVID-19 cases on campus over the past week, putting last week’s campus positivity rate at 0.20%––a significant drop from the first few weeks students returned to campus. Last Sunday was also the first day that no undergraduate students tested positive for COVID-19.

Champaign-Urbana Public Health has administered a total of 229,070 COVID-19 vaccinations and fully vaccinated 112,696. A third booster dose has been approved by the FDA to be administered to people 65 and older as well as people 18 and older whose health conditions could be severely affected by COVID-19. Pfizer and Biontech have also announced a lower dosage of the vaccine that can be administered to children as young as 5 years old.

The University of Illinois Biochemistry Department shows that antibodies gained from the original COVID-19 strain do not protect well against variants of the virus, including Delta. To better protect against COVID-19 and its variants, Illinois employees in high risk settings, such as hospitals and schools, are required to either be vaccinated or get tested regularly.

Here are last week’s top stories to start off your Sunday. Click the link under each story to listen to them on the WPGU News daily broadcast.

Potential Automatic License Plate Readers installation in Urbana

By Owen Henderson

From September 21, 2021

At last Monday’s Urbana city council meeting, council members discussed the potential installation of Automatic License Plate Readers, or LPRs, in high gun violence areas to better identify suspects. Many council members brought up concerns of racial profiling and data privacy, while other members expressed that the gun violence issue in the area is too serious to not install the cameras.

Centennial installs metal detectors amid gun violence in C-U schools

By Kayla Mish, Husna Husseini

From September 22 and 24, 2021

Centennial High School has increased non-permanent protection against gun violence by introducing metal detectors and an increase in security staff, though many students have mixed feelings about the increased security. These measures are in response to recent cases of gun violence and threats in the area, including multiple threats in the past weeks at Centennial and in Urbana.

Champaign Crime Stoppers raises anonymous tip rewards

By Jackson Janes

From September 23, 2021

Amid the increased gun violence in the Champaign community, Champaign County Crime Stoppers, an organization that financially rewards those who submit anonymous tips on crime suspects, is hoping to raise the largest cash reward from $1,000 to $3,500, $5,000, or even $10,000.

U of I limits technology access for students not complying with COVID-19 measures

By Mac Dudley

From September 24, 2021

The University of Illinois is complying with state COVID-19 guidelines by gradually restricting students from campus participation who are not vaccinated or regularly getting tested. This includes limiting access to technology features necessary for students to participate in class.

Local arts reopen

By Madison Holcomb, Tori Gellman

From September 23 and 24, 2021

Arts events in the C-U area have returned in-person for the first time in nearly two years. The Pygmalion music festival returned last weekend with performances featuring more people of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community than ever before. Krannert Art Museum also hosted a public opening night reception last Friday.