URBANA – The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is recommending that everyone wear high-quality face coverings in classrooms starting Monday, August 29.
The advisory was sent to all students, faculty and staff in an email from Chancellor Robert J. Jones on Sunday night.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has ranked Champaign County as “high” for COVID-19 spread.
Within the past two weeks, tens of thousands of students have descended on the community for the start of the fall semester.
The CDC says the rate of new infections in the county has increased by 43 percent in the past 7 days.
Although face coverings are strongly recommended, the Chancellor says they are not required.
People who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, chills, cough, lack of taste or smell, etc., are advised to stay home.
The Chancellor noted that the university community is more than 92 percent fully vaccinated. And the university will make new COVID-19 boosters available to faculty, staff and students when they are distributed in September.
After COVID-19 caused massive shutdowns in 2020, the University of Illinois was one of the largest higher education institutions in the country to begin online learning only.
The university also developed a saliva based COVID-19 test and required students, faculty and staff to test weekly once in-person classes resumed.