UI lifts essential activities guidance, promotes safe interactions

Students+walk+on+the+Main+Quad+through+the+snow.+The+%22essential+activities+only%22+guideline+has+been+lifted+as+of+today.

The Daily Illini File Photo

Students walk on the Main Quad through the snow. The “essential activities only” guideline has been lifted as of today.

By Alexandra Gergova, Staff Writer

The University released a Massmail addressing the implementation of the COVID-19 testing program for the spring 2021 semester that has allowed for the “essential activities only” guidance to be lifted today for students in the community. 

Since Jan. 20, students were asked to limit their campus activities to “taking COVID-19 tests, attending class, purchasing groceries and food, going to work, engaging in individual outdoor activity, attending religious services and seeking medical attention.” 

Despite this lift, the Massmail urges all students to continue exercising caution considering the B117 COVID-19 variant has been confirmed in the community. Additionally, a slight spike in COVID-19 cases has occurred due to violations of the essential activities only guidance order in the past several weeks. 

In the Massmail, Chancellor Robert Jones wrote that the University understands many students came to campus to enrich their lives through diverse interactions with others and thus wishes to provide various opportunities to do so safely. Over the course of the coming days, the University will release information related to planned upcoming events and activities that promote safe interactions.

However, the Massmail reiterates that this lift does not allow for students to violate COVID-19 safety guidelines and host large parties. Violations will result in another essential activities only guidance being implemented. 

As your chancellor, I sincerely hope and believe the end of this pandemic is nearer,” Jones wrote in the Massmail. “More vaccines are being administered each day in our state and in our community. We continue to have the absolute best public health district in the state. Please help me in being diligent until this pandemic is just a memory for us all.”

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