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The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

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The Pandemic Pulse : Mask Mandates Lifting Across the Country

The+Pandemic+Pulse+%3A+Mask+Mandates+Lifting+Across+the+Country

Hello Knox, 

This will be the last Pandemic Pulse of the term. I hope everyone has a relaxing spring break.

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%

Feb. 21  – Feb. 27 

Last week 82 Covid-19 tests were done on campus. Of these, 0 were positive! This means the test positivity was 0%. No Knox students were in quarantine as of Friday, Feb. 25. This is great news for the campus, but I encourage people to continue to get tested if you have any reason for concern.

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

Knox County had 87 new Covid-19 cases last week, resulting in a 1.7% test positivity. This is also a minimal test positivity and the lowest this newsletter has reported this year.

The State of Illinois also had a test positivity rate of 1.7% last week. This is a minimal test positivity and down from last week!

Topic of The Week: Mask Mandates Lifting Around the Country

The CDC recently changed their masking recommendations for the country, and states all over have changed guidelines to fit with these new guidelines. The guidelines still depend on the risk levels in each area. If you are in a low risk area then you can mask based on your personal preference. If your area is at a medium level then you should mask if you are at risk for severe illness or live with someone who is high risk. In high risk areas, you should wear a mask all the time. Knox County is currently at a medium risk level.

By the end of March, Hawaii will be the only US state with a mask mandate still in place. As of Feb. 25, only four US states still had mask mandates in place, and all of those will be lifted in the next month, including Illinois. For many states school mask mandates still apply, but those are set to expire in the next month as well.

The Illinois statewide indoor mask mandate was lifted Monday, Feb. 28. Masks will still be required on public transportation and other high-risk areas like health care facilities, long term care facilities, and congregate settings (prisons, shelters). The director of IDPH Dr. Ngozi Ezike did say that masks are still recommended, especially in high-risk settings.

Knox is therefore changing our Covid-19 guidelines as well. Masks are still required in all public indoor settings: classrooms, the libraries, the dining hall, and all other campus buildings. The only places masks are not required are in residence hall common areas.

There also will be no spring term arrival testing, but students are still encouraged to get tested if they feel they may have been exposed.

Stay safe over spring break everyone!

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About the Contributor
Eleanor Lindenmayer
Eleanor Lindenmayer, Editor-In-Chief
Eleanor Lindenmayer '25 (she/her) is a journalism major. She started working for TKS as a staff writer when she was in her first year. She has also worked as the discourse editor and is now the Editor-in-Chief. Eleanor has also been published at Tri States Public Radio, where she was an intern and a freelancer. Eleanor was born and raised in the pacific northwest and will argue that there is no better place on this earth. Awards Illinois College Press Association 2024
  • 1st Place In Depth Reporting
  • 1st Place News
  • 1st Place Feature
Illinois College Press Association 2023
  • 2nd Place Columns
  • Honorable Mention Columns
Knox College 2023 Ida M. Tarbell Memorial Prize For Investigative Reporting    

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