Pregame scene

The return of fans to Illinois football had Grange Grove and surrounding lots buzzing with excitement before Saturday’s opener.

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CHAMPAIGN — A local public health official said it should become apparent within the week whether the presence of 41,000 people at Memorial Stadium this past Saturday will result in many more COVID-19 cases for Champaign County.

Meanwhile, two C-U schools have postponed fall gatherings in light of the pandemic’s continued push.

Given that delta variant COVID-19 cases are spreading fast, some fans who attended may want to consider getting tested, according to Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Deputy Administrator Awais Vaid.

The statewide mandate to wear face masks in public places — which took effect Monday — applies only to indoor places. But Vaid encourages masking even at outdoor events that draw a crowd.

For those who have attended any large event and were in a crowd and unable to know if people around them were vaccinated, he advised testing three to five days after the event.

As of Monday, there were 937 currently active COVID-19 cases Champaign County-wide.

In other pandemic-related updates:

Dance is off — for now

Champaign Central High School has postponed its homecoming dance due to the significant rise in COVID-19 cases and the need to do contact tracing for positive cases.

“However, we are not canceling it entirely for the year,” said Principal Joe Williams in an announcement. “Instead, we are postponing it until later in the year and will determine a better date based on the number of COVID cases. We met with our student council sponsor and decided we will have our spirit week the same week we play Centennial (high school) in football — the week of October 18.”

Uni milestone can wait

Uni High postponed its planned 100-year anniversary “Century Celebration” in February. But with rising cases in the community, the school’s feeling better about that decision now.

“If there was any chance where we’d have to make it virtual, we did not want to take that chance, it’s just a wonderful milestone and a way to look forward to the next hundred years,” said Uni’s Director of Advancement Janet Kroencke.

While the main reunion event is set for Oct. 15, 2022, Uni will hold a smaller, blended event on Oct. 9, with a live-streamed performance of “happy birthday” for the school and other virtual offerings.

Hospitalizations

Carle Health reported a slight drop in the number of COVID-19 patients in its hospitals Monday.

Of 93 COVID-19 patients in all five of Carle’s hospitals, 66 were in Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana, and 14 of the Urbana hospital’s COVID-19 patients were in intensive care.

Of the 93 COVID-19 patients in all Carle’s hospitals, 74 are unvaccinated, and 19 have been vaccinated, according to Carle.

Dining out

If you’re wondering how the statewide masking order impacts restaurants, Vaid said it will work just as the previous masking order did. Restaurant patrons and employees must wear masks as they enter, leave and move around the restaurant, and customers can remove their masks as they eat and drink only.

Vaccinations

As of the public health district’s latest update, 60.9 percent of Champaign County’s residents eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine (age 12 and older) had gotten at least the first dose, and 59.04 percent of the county’s age-eligible residents were fully vaccinated.

Including children under 12, the percentage of the county’s population fully vaccinated was 50.7 percent.

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