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Face coverings ‘strongly recommended’ in U of I classrooms starting Monday

Altgeld Hall on the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign campus.

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.

Picture of Reginald Hardwick

Reginald Hardwick

Reginald Hardwick is the News & Public Affairs Director at Illinois Public Media. He oversees daily newscasts and online stories. He also manages The 21st Show, a live, weekday talk show that airs on 7 NPR stations throughout Illinois. He is the executive producer of IPM's annual environmental TV special "State of Change." And he is the co-creator of Illinois Soul, IPM's Black-focused audio service that launched in February 2024. Before arriving at IPM in 2019, he served as News Director at WKAR in East Lansing and spent 17 years as a TV news producer and manager at KXAS, the NBC-owned station in Dallas/Fort Worth. Reginald is the recipient of three Edward R. Murrow regional awards, seven regional Emmy awards, and multiple honors from the National Association of Black Journalists. Born in Vietnam, Reginald grew up in Colorado and is a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado. Email: rh14@illinois.edu Twitter: @RNewsWILL

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