Read more about the article Two years later, COVID breaks death records in Champaign County
This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Two years later, COVID breaks death records in Champaign County

As the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic begins, cases plunge after the deadliest month for Champaign County just this year. Nearly 62,000 cases.…

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Read more about the article West Urbana residents criticize safety, impact of University’s plans to install novel nuclear reactor system
Image Source: USNC

West Urbana residents criticize safety, impact of University’s plans to install novel nuclear reactor system

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s proposal for deploying a micro nuclear reactor in west Urbana has sparked concern among local residents, who are…

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Read more about the article County COVID breakthrough cases undercounted, but university offers more accurate numbersMcKinley Health Center website
McKinley Health Center on the University of Illinois campus.

County COVID breakthrough cases undercounted, but university offers more accurate numbers

Because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) only requires healthcare administrators to report severe infections of COVID-19 among the fully vaccinated, the true number and percentage of vaccine breakthrough cases infections in Champaign County and across the nation is significantly undercounted, public health experts say. Data from the University of Illinois shows that breakthrough cases — severe and mild — are much larger than than the state numbers. Since May, 75.9% of, or more than three out of four, positive tests belonged to fully vaccinated students or staff. 

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Read more about the article The story behind the race to test for COVID-19 at the University of IllinoisUniversity of Illinois
The logo for the University of Illinois's COVID-19 SHIELD saliva-based testing.

The story behind the race to test for COVID-19 at the University of Illinois

It was late the evening of April 22, 2020 when Martin Burke, a then 44-year-old professor of chemistry, received a phone call from the university provost. The provost, Andreas Cangellaris, requested that Burke develop a COVID-19 testing program for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus.  Over the next week, Burke gathered eight more team members, forming the founding members of what was known as the SHIELD team. The first SHIELD meeting was held on April 30, 2020, just eight days after the Provost’s call.

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Read more about the article Urbana’s number of waste haulers cited as environmentally unsustainable, some residents agreeDarrell Hoemann
Republic Services exterior at 2801 N Willow Rd, Urbana, IL 61802) on Sunday, December 19, 2021. Photo by Darrell Hoemann/CU-CitizenAccess

Urbana’s number of waste haulers cited as environmentally unsustainable, some residents agree

While recycling is controlled in Urbana, trash is not consolidated in the same way, as there are seven licensed haulers for the city of Urbana, all ranging in price and accepted volume.  Not every hauler services each part of Urbana, and haulers pick up trash on a few designated days. Courtney Kwong, recycling coordinator for Urbana, said this is a long-term goal for the city to increase efficiency in the next 30 years.

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Read more about the article Nearby landfill capacity nears limit within two decadesDarrell Hoemann
Illinois Street Residence Halls, exterior (1010 W Illinois St, Urbana, IL 61801) on Wednesday, December 15, 2021. photo by Darrell Hoemann/C-U Citizen Access

Nearby landfill capacity nears limit within two decades

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) predicted capacity limit for the Republic Services Brickyard Disposal is the lowest in the Central Illinois region, and…

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Read more about the article University of Illinois dorm maintenance relies on facility staff responses to thousands of requests, lack annual inspectionsDarrell Hoemann
Illinois Street Residence (ISR) Halls, exterior (1010 W Illinois St, Urbana, IL 61801) on Wednesday, December 15, 2021. photo by Darrell Hoemann/C-U Citizen Access

University of Illinois dorm maintenance relies on facility staff responses to thousands of requests, lack annual inspections

The university has a total of 37 student housing options: 24 regular dorms and 13 Private Certified Housing options. “A search for one month produced more than 800 Maintenance Inspector Weekend Logs, 2,400 Maintenance Request Database entries, and 3,000 work orders in the database,” University of Illinois Chief Records Officer Kristen Ruby stated in an email.

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Read more about the article University of Illinois building monitors inconsistently enforced access while campus COVID cases surgedVivian La
A vacant building monitor desk in the School of Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics in Urbana.

University of Illinois building monitors inconsistently enforced access while campus COVID cases surged

To mitigate infection, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign had to utilize several novel technologies, yet lack of staff availability to enforce this technology…

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Read more about the article Complaints rise about reduced bus services, but MTD can’t “speed up” training driversWikipedia
The Illinois Terminal in Champaign, Illinois. The terminal provides Amtrak service, as well as public bus service (MTD) for Champaign-Urbana.

Complaints rise about reduced bus services, but MTD can’t “speed up” training drivers

In August this year, Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (MTD) announced that many bus routes’ services would be reduced due to a shortage of bus drivers.  Officials said somewhere in the range of 80 to 90 drivers quit and about the same number were hired. Amy Snyder, chief of staff at MTD, said that it’s impossible to speed up the training. 

Continue ReadingComplaints rise about reduced bus services, but MTD can’t “speed up” training drivers