Response to the coronavirus | To control omicron, universities in the region require entrance tests, some distance learning | Coronavirus


The schools are resuming their lessons. Next step: higher education. ¶ Before lecture theaters fill up again this month, colleges and universities are releasing new COVID-19 guidelines as students and staff return amid the nationwide surge of the omicron variant. ¶ Many students and staff will need to be tested for the virus before the start of their semesters, or start the year with a period of distance learning. ¶ Here is editor ETHAN SIMMONS ‘take on what nearby higher education institutions need at the start of the spring semester:

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS

Distance learning: January 18 to 21.

Resumption of in-person classes: January 24.

Return test required?

  • Undergraduate students: test negative by January 21.
  • Faculty, staff, graduate students: a negative test before January 15th.

Not vaccinated? Must test every other day.

The UI rolled back its spring testing requirements in an announcement this week.

Those who return are no longer required to take an off-campus test before arriving in Champaign-Urbana. Instead, all students, faculty, and staff – regardless of their immunization status – must get a negative campus saliva test to re-enter campus buildings.

UI spokesperson Allison Vance explained the change.

“We always strongly encourage everyone to take an FDA-approved off-campus test before returning to campus,” Vance told The News-Gazette. “However, many students and parents have told us that it has become incredibly difficult to find tests in their communities, so we have removed it as a requirement.”

Vance said the university had heard that many places offering off-campus testing took days to return results, “which would not be effective.”

The return testing period began Jan. 3 at the CU campus. Fully vaccinated students and staff will have access to campus buildings after testing negative for the virus from that point on.

Unvaccinated students, faculty, and staff should still perform bi-daily testing on campus to maintain access to the building.

The UI organizes its first four days of distance learning to give students and staff time to test.

Chancellor Robert Jones said the university “does not expect or plan to extend this delayed start” for face-to-face teaching “beyond this first week”.

The UI is also implementing new isolation and quarantine guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People with asymptomatic COVID-19 infections must now self-isolate for five days, while spending the next five wearing a mask around others.

“The university follows the advice of the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District regarding quarantine and isolation policies,” Vance said. “They are both following this new guideline from the CDC.”

The UI officially recommended the use of N-95 or KN-95 masks for all students and staff in this week’s announcement and requires that everyone who is vaccinated – as of now, that is 94% of campus – receive a reminder when they become eligible.

Those who test positive at an off-campus location should upload the result through the school’s MyMcKinley portal.

ORIENTAL ILLINOIS

Remote instruction: none.

Resumption of face-to-face lessons: Monday.

Return test required? A negative test before January 13.

Not vaccinated? Must test weekly.

All students, faculty, and staff, regardless of immunization status, should be tested at the school’s SHIELD saliva testing center upon arrival on campus.

According to the EIU COVID-19 Dashboard, around 77% of students and staff are fully immunized.

STATE OF ILLINOIS

Distance learning: January 10 to 21, with a few exceptions.

Resumption of in-person classes: January 24.

Return test required?

  • Students: A negative test within three days of arrival.
  • Teachers and staff: One negative test within seven days of returning to campus.

Not vaccinated? Must test weekly.

On December 22, ISU President Terri Kinzy announced that the first two weeks of teaching would take place online, although “some exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis for a small number of specific courses.”

All facilities have reopened Monday, January 3. Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days must upload proof of their positive test to the school’s patient health portal to gain compliance.

ILLINOIS WESLEYAN

Distance learning: Optional for professors for the first two weeks.

Resumption of face-to-face lessons: Wednesday.

Return test required? Students must receive a negative test within three days of arrival.

Not vaccinated? Must test weekly.

The school recommends that all non-essential campus activities take place virtually until January 16.

Administrators were clear in their latest email to students that the CDC’s new isolation guidelines will not be adopted by the school.

“Although federal guidelines for the length of isolation and quarantine for the general public have been shortened, our communication with local authorities and CDC says this does not extend to higher education institutions and venues. gathering, including densely populated residential communities, ”the most recent email mentioned.

More than 97% of IWU students had been vaccinated by Thursday, spokeswoman Ann Aubry said.

PARKLAND COLLEGE

Remote instruction: none.

Resumption of face-to-face lessons: Monday.

Return test required? No.

Not vaccinated? Must test weekly.

Parkland continues their lesson plan in person.

Students and Parkland staff must still provide full proof of vaccination, or a negative COVID-19 test from the past seven days, to access the building.

“We ask those who are not feeling well to stay at home,” said Stéphanie Stuart, spokesperson for the college in Champaign. “New flexible classroom technology allows students to connect remotely to live lessons, so learning can continue when unforeseen circumstances arise. “

COMMUNITY COLLEGE OF THE DANVILLE REGION

Remote instruction: none.

Resumption of in-person classes: January 18.

Return test required? No.

Not vaccinated? Must test weekly.

The DACC uses a system called Cleared4Class to track the vaccination and testing status of its students. Students and unvaccinated employees should take weekly tests at the SHIELD campus saliva test site.

His mitigation strategies have not changed since the fall semester, although he is adding a temporary full-time COVID-19 coordinator.

The coordinator is an individual “with a background in nursing and contact tracing responsible for ensuring that testing requirements are met for students and unvaccinated employees,” said Lara Conklin, executive director of college relations at the University of Ottawa. DACC.


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