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University Of Illinois To Require On-Campus Students Get The COVID Vaccine

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The U of I system made the announcement Monday morning and said the decision is consistent with its scientific modeling and Illinois Department of Public Health goals.

All University of Illinois campuses plan to hold in-person classes starting in August.

A spokesman said more information will be released later for those who have conditions that preclude them from being vaccinated.

While some private schools have already announced vaccine requirements, most public schools indicated they were awaiting guidance from the state.

This past school year, the U of I required all students, staff and faculty on campus to take twice-weekly COVID saliva tests.

The U of I only recently lifted its testing and mask requirements for those who are fully vaccinated.

(NOTE: An earlier version of this story indicated the requirement would extend to faculty and staff. A spokesman clarified that details for campus employees will be forthcoming.)

The following message from President Tim Killeen was sent Monday:

Dear students, faculty and staff:

To continue our commitment to collective safety, the University of Illinois System will require that all students receive a COVID-19 vaccination if they plan to be on campus for fall semester 2021. This requirement is consistent with our own scientific modeling of the risks associated with the spread of the virus and its variants. It is also consistent with the Illinois Department of Public Health’s goals.

We recognize that some individuals have health conditions or other reasons why they cannot be vaccinated. That is why it is so important that those of us who can get vaccinated do so. Those who are not vaccinated will need to follow campus-specific guidelines and any exemption protocols issued by each university. Individuals who plan to work or study remotely are exempted from these requirements.

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, students have helped make the University of Illinois System a model for the nation – a model of community, a model of safety and a model of pulling together for the common good. We look forward to their help in setting the standard again this fall, a semester that will restore most in-person instruction and many of the other traditional rhythms of campus life that COVID interrupted last year. Widespread vaccinations will help us do that.

Each university will follow up with additional guidance on vaccination information as well as other safety measures planned for fall. We also will continue to monitor our policies closely, making adjustments as appropriate based on advances in scientific understanding and updated guidance from public health authorities.

Guidelines for faculty and staff are still being developed and will be shared later this summer.

Sincerely,

Tim

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