University removes mask requirements for fully vaccinated individuals

By Aliza Majid, Assistant News Editor

The University sent out a Massmail stating that fully vaccinated people will no longer be required to wear face coverings or practice social distancing in most on-campus settings.

There are exceptions to this new mask policy that will require people to continue wearing face coverings in all summer 2021 in-person classes, at any health care setting and in University facilities that operate under state regulations. 

“At this time, compliance with this new (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidance will be on the honor system, and we are asking people to be honest,” said Robin Kaler, associate chancellor of public affairs. “For the fall semester, the University is asking everyone who is fully vaccinated to upload their COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card to the MyMcKinley Portal.”

The McKinley Health Center will also be doing a vaccination card review for authenticity purposes to confirm the cards’ validity to avoid any issues regarding fake vaccination cards.

“They will use a number of tools to verify these vaccination records, including checking in-state vaccination records against a State of Illinois database,” Kaler said. “Individuals cannot use their vaccination status to replace testing until it has been verified through this process.”

According to the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District website, 46.83% of the eligible population in Champaign County are fully vaccinated, and 52.78% have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“It is my estimate that the rate of vaccination on campus, which includes students, faculty and staff is much higher than the general community,” said Awais Vaid, the deputy administrator at the CUPHD.

According to Vaid, most COVID-19 cases are in people who are not vaccinated, and less than 1% of the cases that are happening to those who are vaccinated are very mild and unable to spread to others.

People are encouraged to get the vaccine as soon as they can, and it’s easier to get it done now because individuals don’t need an appointment anymore at many locations and can use vaccinefinder.org to check vaccine availability.

“I do think that in the next few months as more people get vaccinated, we will start to see fewer and fewer cases of COVID in our community, and that is the best chance of getting things back as normal as possible for the fall semester,” Vaid said.

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