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Monmouth resident fears her community and Monmouth College isn't taking the pandemic seriously

She wants more to be done to protect her community from the infection.

MONMOUTH, Ill. — There are more than 300,000 positive COVID-19 cases in the state of Illinois. According to the Illinois Health Department, 516 of them are in Warren County.

Judi Kessler says she feels trapped in her Monmouth house, "There's not a lot of mask wearing out in public."

"When I walk into a convenience store my heart is just in my throat."

A nurse for 20 years, she's now traveling to Galesburg to do her shopping.

"Unfortunately shopping local just isn't safe."

Now a sociology professor at Monmouth College, she says, "I go to my campus once a week on a Sunday to pick up my mail."

Working entirely from home, Judi says the college isn't doing enough to protect their staff and students from the virus, "There's no assurance testing or surveillance testing going on at Monmouth College."

Monmouth College makes up about 10% of the Monmouth community. They've had 40 cases, nine of them are currently active.

Monmouth College President, Clarence Wyatt, says the school is doing all they can to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 on campus, by, "Requiring the wearing of masks by all students."

From installing temperature checks, to pulling out furniture, to ensure students are socially distanced in classrooms. President Wyatt says, "When we have had positive cases we engage in our own contact tracing."

"We have been very accommodating with peoples desire to work and study remotely."

President Wyatt acknowledges testing in a smaller communities is difficult, "Any small colleges or any small towns, the access to surveillance testing has been problematic." So their protocol is to only test symptomatic individuals.

Judi says she want's more testing to be done. Monmouth College finishes classes on November 24th. Judi says she'll be working from home till she feels safe to go back to work.

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