University updates COVID-19 testing requirements

Ryan+Reeder+looks+at+his+Covid-19+PCR+test+at+the+ARC+on+Feb.+1%2C+2021.+The+University+has+announced+new+guidelines+for+those+that+are+unvaccinated+on+Monday.+

Cameron Krasucki

Ryan Reeder looks at his Covid-19 PCR test at the ARC on Feb. 1, 2021. The University has announced new guidelines for those that are unvaccinated on Monday.

By Ashley Gilbert and Willie Cui

In a Massmail on Monday, the University announced a change to its testing requirements for unvaccinated students, faculty and staff, and outlined its COVID-19 guidelines post spring break.

Instead of having to test every other day, unvaccinated individuals now only have to test once a week, according to the Massmail. This change was made “in light of loosening restrictions” and recommendations from the University’s SHIELD team as well as public health authorities such as the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, the state health department, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to Allison Vance, director of institutional communication for the University, the University considered its own testing data “as well as local data from CUPHD” when deciding to relax the COVID-19 testing requirements for unvaccinated individuals. 

Vance noted that the CDC currently lists Champaign County as “an area of low community-level (transmission).”

However, according to Vance, the University will continue to conduct targeting testing in buildings “where the prevalence of COVID-19 is higher than that in the state.”  

“Individuals living in these locations will be notified if they are required to test every other day to maintain building access,” Vance said in an email. “Targeted testing only lasts until the prevalence falls to lower than that in the state, which is usually a week or two.”

Additionally, the Massmail noted that students will be required to get an on-campus test by March 25 in order to retain building access. 

“Undergraduate students are given until the end of the day on Friday, March 25 to receive a test after returning from spring break,” Vance said. “After that day, everyone who has not received an on-campus test will lose building access.”

The University’s policy on face coverings remains unchanged from before spring break, according to the Massmail. As such, masks will still be required when in a classroom or instructional area, MTD buses, SHIELD testing sights, McKinley Health Center and Willard Airport.

 

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