MLK dinner at ISU delayed by pandemic – WGLT

Illinois State University said Thursday it has rescheduled its annual Martin Luther King Jr. dinner, in part because of the wave of COVID infections sweeping the region.

University spokesperson Eric Jome said the banquet has been moved from Jan. 21 to Feb. 25, adding university leaders continue to monitor conditions surrounding the rapid spread of the highly contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus and took the step out of a sense of watchfulness.

National data show new case rates of the coronavirus for McLean County are among the highest per capita in the nation by county.

Attendance for the event set for the Brown Ballroom in ISU’s Bone Student Center already had been capped at 350 people to allow better social distancing, and ISU set out a variety of protocols to reduce the likelihood of infection. Regular capacity of the ballroom is close to 900 people.

The keynote speaker is Emmy Award-winning journalist Jemele Hill.