University provides nasal swab testing alternative for Ramadan observers


Abe Baali

The Central Illinois Mosque & Islamic Center sits quietly at 106 S. Lincoln Ave. in Urbana on Saturday. The University is providing nasal swabs for individuals who partake in Ramadan in case fasting causes difficulties in saliva production.

By Aliza Majid, Assistant News Editor

The University has announced a nasal swab alternative option that Muslims can request during the month of Ramadan. 
Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar and will take place from April 12 to May 12. Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset and devote themselves to reflection and contemplation during this holy month.
“The University wanted to ensure that those fasting had an alternative option to saliva testing in case fasting associated with Ramadan caused potential barriers to participating in saliva testing because fasting could potentially interfere with the ability to produce saliva in quantities required for the COVID-19 testing,” said Allison Kushner, director of the ADA division of the office for Access & Equity, in an email.
This process will be available to individuals throughout the month of Ramadan and should be requested in order to make an appointment for proper accommodations.
“It’s very impressive of the University to offer that because it’s not just giving another option for COVID-19, but I feel like it speaks on bigger terms and on larger mindsets that the University is showing kind of unity with the Muslim community on campus,” said Amani Khatib, a Muslim and sophomore in AHS.
The information has not been shared outside of the “COVID-19 On-campus testing” section on the University’s website, which is why some students may not be aware of this alternative.
“I do think they need to make it a little more known in a way and get more exposure about it, just so more students on campus are acknowledging that is a resource and that is an alternative that they can use,” Khatib said.
Students and faculty will have to request alternative testing and schedule an appointment in order to proceed with the nasal swab testing.
Students can call the McKinley Health Center at 217-244-5661 and state they are requesting nasal swab testing for religious reasons to schedule an appointment. Faculty and staff will have to call the Office for Access and Equity at 217-333-0885 or request accommodations through their website.

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