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The Knox Student

The Knox Student

Pandemic Pulse : Post-Break Testing


Hello Knox, 

Welcome back from spring break! I hope everyone relaxed and has returned healthy.

As a reminder, Knox data comes from the Knox Together Page, and these numbers include both staff and students. Data for the State of Illinois and Knox Country comes from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). 

When analyzing test positivity I use the same language as the Illinois Department of Public Health. 

Minimal: Test positivity is less than 5%

Moderate: Test positivity is in between 5% and 8%

Substantial: Test positivity is over 8%

March 21 – March 25  

COVID-19 testing is required upon return from spring break. Last week only 468 students and staff got tested, that leaves more than half of campus. If you have not yet been tested, it is required, and I highly encourage you to do so.

That being said, of those 468, only 2 were positive. That puts test positivity at 0.4% which is up from the 3 weeks before. Knox had three weeks of no Covid-19 cases for the first time this year.  

Galesburg (zip code 61401) also had a test positivity of less than 1, at 3.1%, which is a minimal test positivity, lower than last week.

Knox County had 56 new Covid-19 cases in the three weeks since the last newsletter, resulting in a 0.8% test positivity. This is also a minimal test positivity and a new record for the lowest test positivity in the county this newsletter has reported.

The State of Illinois had a test positivity rate of 1.7% last week. This is a minimal test positivity and happens to be the same as the last time I reported on it.

If this trend of few to no cases on campus continues it is likely campus will implement the new guidelines mentioned in the March 16 update from Provost Schneider and Vice-President Barker. While the update did not specify what those guidelines will be, it was heavily implied that the campus mask mandate may be lifted. Though of course, those uncomfortable with that development can continue to wear them. Campus has no intention of updating their vaccine policies though, two doses and a booster are still all that’s required.

The visitor policy on campus has changed; visitors are no longer required to be vaccinated or check in upon arrival. Visitors are required to wear masks and are still not allowed in residence halls or dining locations. Class observations and professor meetings will be starting up again for prospective students, but there will be no overnight visits.

Once again, a reminder to get tested as soon as possible so administration can safely decide our next course of action.

Have a wonderful (and Covid-19 free) start to spring term.

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Eleanor Lindenmayer, Editor-In-Chief
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