URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — Central Illinois health experts are pleasantly surprised that COVID-19 numbers are decreasing.

U of I data shows that numbers are lower than what was expected. McKinley Health Director Awais Vaid said he thought they’d be higher.

“For the spring semester, we expected, we were expecting a larger surge, which did not happen,” Vaid said.

Vaid credits students who are vaccinated as well as those who are now immune. But he still says wearing a mask is the best practice for limiting the spread.

“I would want to wear a mask if it’s for a short period of time. So that I’m protecting myself and by protecting myself, I’m protecting my household and my co-workers as well,” Vaid said.

U of I student Zhepei Wang said he continues to wear masks in public. However, he doesn’t feel it should be enforced.

“I still prefer to put my mask on, just for myself. But in my opinion…it’s totally up to everyone on their own,” said Wang.