So goes Western Illinois University, so goes the City of Macomb. Western Illinois University and the City of Macomb have a longstanding partnership, and together we work to ensure the town and gown relationship remains steadfast.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has left no one untouched – from businesses and organizations to school districts to communities to universities to individuals. We are all facing these extraordinary challenges together.
As many of you are aware, during these unprecedented times facing our University and our community, to adhere to the State of Illinois' Stay at Home order, which has now been extended to April 30, to ensure the safety and health of our joint communities, Western moved to an online format March 21 for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. University employees, along with many local and regional employees, are working remotely whenever possible.
While Western's residence halls remain open to serve the students who remained in Macomb, our University and community look dramatically different than just one short month ago as many students returned home, and businesses are closed or operating on reduced hours.
The students who remain on campus and in our community are receiving consistent support and information from WIU, including the guidelines and protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and state and local health departments to help stop the spread of the virus and flatten the curve.
Our residents are receiving those same messages to ensure we do all we can to protect our community's health and well-being.
We know that the day will come in which we have a confirmed case, or cases, of the virus, and we need your help and your cooperation now. These measures are in place for not only your health, but for your loved ones and friends, and for our community and our University.
Stay at home. Practice social distancing (six feet is the recommended distance). Avoid close contact. Do not gather in groups, whether in private homes, residence halls and campus facilities or area businesses. Cover coughs and sneezes. Wash your hands often. Clean and disinfect common surfaces. These remain our only safeguards against a virus that does not discriminate.
We are social beings, and we have routines. We have friends and loved ones, co-workers and customers who we may be used to seeing on a regular basis. It is hard to cut off contact, change our routines and stay home. However, it's more important than ever before that we follow the protocols and procedures in place to keep others and ourselves safe.
We will get through this together. So goes Western, so goes Macomb.
Take care, and be well.