U of I in Urbana-Champaign to require twice-weekly COVID-19 testing to be on campus in fall

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, August 4, 2020
U of I to require biweekly COVID-19 testing to be on campus in fall
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign is requiring all faculty members, staff and students who plan to be on campus this fall to get tested for coronavirus twice a week.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill (WLS) -- The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign will require all who plan to be on campus this fall to be tested for the coronavirus twice a week, the university announced Monday.

All faculty members, staff and students who participate in any on-campus activities will need to be tested, whether they are regularly or for a limited time or purpose on campus for the upcoming semester, Chancellor Robert Jones said in communication to the campus community.

Those who visit university facilities only occasionally, including picking up an item from an office, will also be required to get tested at a campus testing center and have test results dated no more than four days before any planned visit to any university facility.

"We are privileged to be home to some of the world's leading minds on COVID-19 safety, testing and procedures," Jones said. "If everyone does their part to maximize the safety of our entire community, we have the ability to provide modified in-person delivery of our missions."

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In addition to mandatory testing for all personnel who will be present on campus this fall, other requirements and protocols for faculty members, staff and students include:

  • Contact tracing for all COVID-19 cases in Champaign County that are related to the university, in partnership with the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District.
  • Quarantine and isolation of any faculty members, staff or students who test positive for COVID-19, per CUPHD guidelines.
  • Online COVID-19 training for all faculty members, staff and students, regardless of whether they intend to go to campus, must be completed before Aug. 24.
  • Face coverings and social distancing are required on campus, though face coverings are not required in private spaces.
  • An app for faculty members, staff and students that will display an individual's building-entry status. The use of the Safer in Illinois app is recommended for members of the university community. More information about the app's release timetable and its use will be communicated soon.
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    The university says they have ramped up their cleaning and sanitizing procedures for all university-occupied facilities and installed additional stations to enable and encourage frequent handwashing and sanitizer use.

    Officials say compliance with testing requirements will be checked at the entrance of all university buildings through an individual's smartphone or identification card.

    University officials say they are proceeding with plans for in-person instruction this fall. They are also offering distance-learning instruction for larger lectures and other situations that would not align with the school's safety plan for those on campus, as well as the greater Champaign-Urbana community.

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    The university also announced that November 20 will be the final day of in-person instruction for the semester. Instruction for the remaining weeks of the semester and final exams will be provided through alternative-delivery methods.

    Fall semester for the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign begins Aug. 24. Mandatory testing for faculty members and staff will begin August 10, followed by mandatory testing for students starting August 16. Officials are also encouraging anyone who is already on campus to begin testing at the campus sites immediately.