CDC issues new masking guidance, UI requires face coverings on campus for all individuals

A+student+at+the+University+poses+in+Illini+gear+after+the+Big+Ten+Championship.+Masks+will+be+required+on+campus+until+further+notice+since+the+University+follows+CDC+protocol.+

Cameron Krasucki

A student at the University poses in Illini gear after the Big Ten Championship. Masks will be required on campus until further notice since the University follows CDC protocol.

By Amrita Bhattacharyya, Interim Editor-in-Chief

Following new guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the University is requiring face coverings inside all campus facilities beginning Friday, regardless of vaccination status. 

On Tuesday, the CDC issued a new recommendation that fully vaccinated individuals should wear face coverings in public indoor settings in areas of “substantial or high transmission.”

According to the CDC’s COVID-19 Data Tracker, Champaign County is under substantial risk. Champaign County has a positivity rate of 5%, which classifies the county as an area of substantial transmission, according to Awais Vaid, deputy administrator and epidemiologist at the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District.

The CUPHD announced their alignment Wednesday with the CDC’s recommendation, noting the Delta variant is present in Champaign County and continues to increase both locally and nationally. 

“This particular variant appears to be much more transmissible and is impacting younger patients in a way previous variants have not,” the CUPHD wrote in a press release. 

According to the CUPHD, 56.41% of the eligible population in Champaign County is fully vaccinated as of Friday. 

The face covering requirement will remain in effect until the CUPHD determines the requirement should be lifted, according to the Massmail.

“Vaccinations and our comprehensive testing program are the most powerful tools we have available to let us come back together as a University and community, and the surest way to avoid setbacks like this latest return to face coverings.“ Chancellor Robert Jones wrote in the Massmail. 

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