MONMOUTH, ILLINOIS (November 4, 2020) — Monmouth College will enter into a cooldown period that will begin November 9 and last until the end of the semester, November 24. The decision was made in response to rising COVID-19 cases in the region.

Because of a rise in COVID-19 cases in the area, The Illinois Department of Public Health recently instituted Tier 1 mitigation restrictions for Region 2, which includes the City of Monmouth and Warren County. Schools, colleges, and universities are exempt from Tier 1 restrictions, which apply primarily to bars and restaurants, and limiting gatherings to no more than 25 persons.

"However, as a result of these developments and in pursuit of the twin goals of safeguarding each other's health and delivering our educational experience as effectively as possible, we decided it would be prudent for the College to enter into a cooldown period," said Monmouth President Clarence R Wyatt. "The cooldown will help our students, faculty, and staff mitigate the increases we have seen and prepare students for returning to their home communities in good health at the conclusion of the semester."

During the cooldown, a majority of classes will be offered remotely. But because the College is entering a cooldown and not a quarantine, exceptions will be made to the remote-only class policy such as labs, music ensembles, studio classes, and some exams. In those cases, strict mask and social-distancing rules will be observed and groups will be held under the 25-person limit.

Residence-hall rules will also be tightened as residents may not visit other residence halls during the cooldown and all food will be provided via takeout.

"This campus community students, faculty and staff have done extraordinary work in this most unusual of semesters," Wyatt said. "It has not been easy, but each member of this community has risen to the occasion, and shown themselves to be Noble Scots. I know that members of the community will continue to do all they can over these next days to continue to give ourselves the gifts of each other's health and of time together on this campus."

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