Campus Vaccination Rates Increase at ISU and IWU

Aidan Morris

Active COVID-19 cases in McLean County reached a number of 394 new infections since last Wednesday, according to the McLean County Health Department (MCHD). 

MCHD also reported that 480 individuals are considered to be isolating at home, 8 less than last week. 

As of September 21, 92 percent of McLean County hospital beds are in use. There are currently 28 individuals hospitalized for COVID-19 in county hospitals, which is an improvement from last week’s number of 30.

 WGLT, ISU’s NPR affiliate, reported that both OSF and Carle Health have provided data that more than 80% of their COVID-19 patients are not vaccinated.

Data published by MCHD on September 14 also showed that a majority of the new cases in the county are children aged 0-11. 

Illinois Wesleyan has no new cases as of September 22, with ISU presenting a number of  35 new cases over the past week. 

 Cases at IWU are determined by positives identified through surveillance testing and symptomatic student testing, and ISU’s data represents individuals who are tested at on-campus SHIELD COVID-19 testing sites as well as symptomatic student testing at Student Health Services. 

Despite the high numbers among college-aged students, vaccination rates among all individuals on both campuses continue to rise. IWU reported that 93 percent of students have been vaccinated as of September 18 which has gone up 2 percent since September 10. 

When asked about students who are still reluctant about getting vaccinated, sophomore nursing major James Owen answered, “With the FDA’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine, there isn’t a solid reason to stay unvaccinated other than personal choice.”

Another nursing major, Ben Knupp, added, “Personally, I find it annoying. It’s been proven safe and effective in combating severe outcomes from Covid, including the Delta variant.”

76 percent of ISU’s students have been vaccinated as of September 18, showing an increase of 2 percent as well.

With Covid-19 cases on campus becoming fewer, educators who opted to continue teaching online are now considering going back to the classroom.

   Also according to WGLT, the latest Covid-19 related death in McLean County was a man in his 30s. This brings the total of Covid-19 related deaths up to 255.