This week’s update includes information about Halloween safety, COVID-19 and the upcoming election, the Election Day holiday, and testing locations.
Celebrating Halloween Safely
With Halloween weekend upon us, students are strongly encouraged to avoid large gatherings where physical distancing cannot be maintained. Earlier this week, President Larry Dietz urged students, faculty and staff to remain steadfast in our fight against COVID-19 and to not fall victim to COVID fatigue. “Due to enhanced testing, tracing, tracking, and cleaning by ISU staff, along with more vigilant adherence to COVID-19 protocols from our students, the University’s coronavirus cases and positivity rates have been a success story as of late. But if we let our guard down even for a moment, those numbers could jump to the same levels they reached two months ago, making life difficult for the campus community and dangerous for our most vulnerable populations,” said Dietz.
As a reminder, the Town of Normal emergency order that limits gatherings in and around Illinois State University to 10 people or fewer remains in effect through December 31. Fines for those found in violation can be up to $750. If the University is made aware of a student violating a Town of Normal ordinance, the student can also face disciplinary measures for violating the Student Code of Conduct, ranging from educational trainings up to suspension from the University. This fall, over 100 students have gone through the conduct process as a result of their participation in a large gathering.
Please do your part to keep our Redbird community safe and healthy by celebrating Halloween responsibly.
COVID-19 and the Upcoming Election
Civic engagement, one of Illinois State University’s core values, includes voting. The Redbird Voter Guide is the best election resource for our campus community and includes information on voter registration and voting, candidates running for office, and post-election guides.
Early voting is available for anyone in McLean County (except Bloomington voters) at the Bone Student Center and Watterson Towers, October 26-30. Early voting for Bloomington residents is available at Grossinger Motors Arena or Eastland Mall through November 2. During this timeframe, individuals can register and vote at the same time. Proper identification is required for same-day registration.
In addition, Illinois offers same-day, in-person voter registration on Election Day. When voting on Election Day, please also note that your polling place might have changed due to the pandemic. To save yourself time, determine your polling place before heading to the polls. If you live near campus, check out this Google Map from the Voter Engagement Coalition to easily locate your polling place.
As Election Day approaches, please keep in mind ways to protect yourself and others as you cast your ballot in the upcoming election. The CDC offers recommendations for voters; these recommendations include taking advantage of early voting or voting alternatives where available in order to minimize crowds on Election Day and limit the number of people you come in contact with at the polls.
Election Day Holiday
As a reminder, Election Day, November 3, 2020, has been designated by the State as a one-time holiday and will be observed as such on campus. No face-to-face, online, or hybrid courses will be held; however, essential on-campus services such as, but not limited to, residence halls, both dining centers, and retail dining in the Bone Student Center, will remain available for students. COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic students will be available at the two on-campus testing sites on November 3. Unless otherwise indicated, all University departments will be closed and staff assigned to those departments, whether working on-campus or remotely, will be off work in observance of the holiday. Employees who are required to work to maintain essential services on this day will be compensated in accordance with University policies.
Asymptomatic COVID-19 testing for students will continue at the temporary building in the parking lot between Watterson Towers and Stevenson Hall and the fire station at 602 N. Adelaide St., Normal. Both locations are open from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Only students being tested should enter a testing center.
Students experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms or who believe that they were exposed to a person with COVID-19 should contact Student Health Services at 309-438-7676 for direction regarding quarantine and/or to schedule an initial screening and make an appointment to be tested.
Testing is available for students, faculty, and staff at the Interstate Center testing site. Students testing at this site should share positive test results with Student Health Services by uploading them to the Secure Patient Health Portal. Sharing test results will ensure students have proper documentation for classes, housing, and/or employment.