Peoria City/County Health Department Administrator Monica Hendrickson said they're keeping a close eye on Bradley University to see if the two-week all-student quarantine is getting the COVID-19 spread on campus under control.
Hendrickson said from Sept. 8 through Sept. 11 alone, the health department identified 110 COVID-positive Bradley students. Many were asymptomatic.
"This reset period, we're all monitoring, because that time period was really on the early side of the quarantine period that Bradley imposed. So we want to see how that mitigation effort is slowing down the transmission as we monitor it each day," she said.
Hendrickson said the virus is spreading largely in activities outside the classroom setting, following a pattern contact tracers have also noted with K-12 schools. Bradley University President Stephen Standifird said the quarantine will last through September 23. The 1-week campus positivity rate sits above 14 percent currently.
"If we can get to a point where it's under control, and seems to have run to a point where there's some community transmission, but not the level of a spike, then kind of reopening or going back to previous steps are something for staff to look at," Hendrickson said.
Hendrickson said that may look similar to a step the University of Illinois implemented, where students returned to in-person classes, but were still otherwise considered quarantined.
"They key is recognizing the fact that if you are positive, you need to isolate. You need to decrease your exposure to other individuals immediately, so you can prevent the further spread of the virus," she said.
Bradley will make a decision about resuming classes in-person on September 21.
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