After photo of crowded bar line surfaces, UI Chancellor stresses ‘care and vigilance’

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Photo Courtesy of Reddit user simpl3y

Patrons of Chipotle wait outside the restaurant on Monday night. The recent Massmail sent by Robert Jones encourages students to take precautions against COVID-19

By Samantha Boyle, Managing Editor for Reporting

Care and vigilance was the main idea of Tuesday’s Massmail from Chancellor Robert Jones to all students, staff and faculty. While reminding readers that all COVID-19 policies and rules are still actively being enforced, he also understands that requesting a limit on activities may be rather difficult.

This semester, students who don’t comply with COVID-19 requirements such as social distancing and limitations on gathering sizes, may end up losing access to University Wi-Fi, Zoom, Compass and other technologies the University offers.

“We will take enforcement seriously,” Jones wrote in the Massmail. “But the honest truth is that the safety and health of this community depends on the decisions each of us makes on a daily basis.”

The email came the Monday after long lines were seen across campus at bars, like The Red Lion.

“When we decide to stay home rather than attend a party or stand in a crowded line — even though we just want to pretend the world is ‘normal’ again, even if it’s just for an hour or two,” Jones said regarding decisions everyone might make to value the health and safety of the community. Jones went on to describe some of these decisions as “life-changing.”

Jones attended the “Open Hearts” memorial, which is located on Green Street at the Unitarian Universalist Church. The memorial was to honor those who have died from COVID-19 and the grounds were marked with more than 100 markers.

As of Tuesday, Champaign County has had 107 deaths due to COVID-19 and a total of 16,012 cases, according to the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District.

“For those of us, including myself, who have lost family members in the pandemic, we see the faces and hear the voices of those we knew and loved in those markers,” Jones said. “This is a singular sadness I would spare anyone if it was in my power.”

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