PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – A local college campus is taking a step toward a sense of normalcy.
This week, Bradley University eased some of its COVID-19 restrictions.
Pre-pandemic, having a friend visit or eating at an off-campus restaurant would be normal for Bradley University students, but for much of this academic year that hasn’t been the case.
While being understanding of the school’s decisions to implement mitigations, some students said they’ve had to adjust.
“When we first came back this semester, we got the e-mail before even coming back that we were going to be put on lockdown and I think for a lot students that was intimidating because we just dealt with that all last semester,” Ginni Bouck, Bradley University junior.
Beginning this week, Bradley is now allowing students and staff to do more by easing restrictions, some highlights include:
- Dining-in at off-campus restaurants is allowed, following State of Illinois guidelines.
- Organizations may be approved to host indoor (or outdoor) events, activities, meetings and/or tabling.
- Students are allowed to have a limited number of guests in their residences.
- Public study spaces have been added in the library and throughout campus.
- Everyone is still required to wear a mask, covering the nose and mouth at all times, whether inside or outside with appropriate distancing. The only time students don’t have to wear a mask is when in their sleeping room.
School officials said low COVID-19 cases on campus, plus the Peoria region’s virus levels made this possible.
“Obviously it’s not completely gone but it’s good to see that Bradley students are now following what they need to do,” Bouck said.
Karsen Jurenka, a freshman at Bradley, said getting accustomed to college has been difficult while facing COVID-19 guidelines.
“Since I’m not able to be in-person in classes, it’s a little bit hard to meet people in my major and meet my professors,” Jurenka said.
Jurenka said seeing things open up on campus is an exciting sign.
“Being able to eat out and see my friends a little bit more, it’s going to be good,” she said.
Bouck said she believes students will benefit from the opportunities in front of them.
“Even if we don’t necessarily go to a bunch of places and kind of go everywhere, it’s just the fact that we have that freedom to do it that really kind of eases students tension,” she said.
In the last full week data was collected (1/29/2021 – 2/4/2021) Bradley’s COVID-19 dashboard shows only four people tested positive for the virus, and six had to isolate or quarantine.